Written by Lyndon Froese // Artwork by Seth Heinrichs

“It was one of the longest snowmobile journeys I’ve ever been on.” 

These are the words of Brad Chapman, a friend of Falcon Trails Resort who was sent on an emergency mission to transport a wedding cake.

Sometimes people ask “What’s more Canadian than maple syrup?” How about a wedding at the lake involving a bus with skis, freezing rain and an improvised garbage-bag snowsuit? 

Falcon Trails often hosts weddings and one winter, a couple wondered if they could get married at the resort’s remote cabins over at High Lake. There is no road access out there and no electric grid either.

“We thought it would be an interesting adventure,” said Barb Hamilton, the matriarch at the resort. She turned out to be right about that part.

Like all wedding plans, at the start it all seemed reasonable. More-or-less reasonable anyway. Falcon Trails staff would haul all the tables and chairs and wedding things out by snowmobile. A local cottager agreed to shuttle guests with his 1950s Bombardier snow bus (a wooden vehicle with skis in the front, tracks in the back and circular windows for the passengers). 

The couple had hired a wedding planner and she spared no expense. She even had ice sculptures made up! There would be a rose-petal procession from one cabin to another, marched to the sound of the groom’s bagpipe. He would be in Scottish tartan – but not because he was Scottish – because he wasn’t Scottish. He was Jewish, and the bride needed to be converted. 

For her, a full-body baptism was needed and the Rabbi asked if they could use a resort hot tub. This ceremony was to be done traditionally, wearing nothing but a birthday suit. Since the hot tub was no stranger to skinny dipping anyway, Barb and Craig saw no problem – especially because it’s always funny when such proper things resemble improper things. And who doesn’t like it when things are funny? For example, it was pretty funny when a couple of days before the wedding, the people of Falcon Lake saw the first of the limousines making their way down the rutty gravel.  They came in from New York, Oregon, Colorado, Montreal and other faraway-sounding places.

By the night before the wedding, almost all the guests were in cabins. Light from the cottage windows shone on the snow, wood-smoke rose from chimneys and joyous laughter could be heard all around the resort.

In the morning what could be heard all around the resort was rain. It was a frozen version of Alanis Morrisette’s ironic wedding day and the radio urged folks to stay off the icy highway.

As Barb made her way into work on that winding gravel road, even her four-wheel drive kept wanting to slip sideways on the crowned surface. Folks who live out in the country are used to difficult roads, so when Barb arrived and said it was bad, that meant it was bad. Thankfully, most everyone and everything Mission Critical were already there. 

But not the cake.

The hired waiter was supposed to be driving the cake out that morning from Winnipeg. He braved the highway, crawling on sheer ice for hours until he finally saw the sign welcoming him to the town of Falcon Lake. There, at the turn off, he was advised to wait for help. The road that attempted to swallow Barb’s vehicle earlier would be a perilous traverse.

As everyone at the resort scurried around taking care of all the things that people scurry around taking care of before weddings, it would be left to family-friend Brad Chapman to figure out what to do about the cake and waiter stranded back at the Trans-Canada.

Brad got on a snowmobile. This was going to be a long, wet expedition – a twenty-six kilometer return trip on a lake covered in slush.

When he finally arrived at the highway, there was the waiter, waiting. It wasn’t hard to pick him out: three-piece suit and everything – wow. Maybe even a four-piece. Or more pieces. However many pieces the nicest suits have, that’s what this guy had on.

Brad had a look at the cake. It was very tall and very fancy. It must have been the tallest, fanciest cake he had ever seen in Falcon Lake.

It wasn’t obvious how this was going to work. The waiter was in an immaculate tuxedo. Brad was in dirty old winter coveralls, drenched from the ride over. And then there was this cake business...

Twenty minutes later, they were ready to give it a go. Brad Chapman sat at the controls. The waiter, now dressed in garbage bags and duct tape, sat as far back on the seat as he could. Between the men was a five-decker wedding cake. Brad squeezed the throttle. 

“It was quite the journey,” said Brad, “but I was on a mission for Barb and Craig to get that cake to the cabin.”

Well, Brad Chapman, thanks for taking the cake.