It was 1972 and Verigin Industries Ltd continued their contracts with the Department of National Revenue (DNR), in construction of various Border Facilities throughout British Columbia and the Yukon.
This incident took place at Pleasant Camp, a border crossing on the BC / Alaska border between Haines Junction, YT and Haines Alaska.
On our reconnaissance trip with Don Muirhead, Facilities Manager with DNR, we arrived at Pleasant camp to meet a feisty lady who was the one and only Border Officer on the Canadians side that was in need of a portable residence set up.
Don showed us where the residence was to go and reminded us that the separate roof structure over the pre-built unit would have to support a 24 feet of snow load. This was in itself an amazing challenge but a job was a job.
Don was in discussion with the female Border Guard who was gesturing and excitedly explaining the plywood all chewed up on the rear porch exit from the Border Station.
“You have to get rid of these horrid animals or I am going to quit this job”, she was very emphatic and serious about her statement.
“They keep gnawing away at night and I cannot sleep. I think they will chew their way right into the Station. I cannot stand this anymore!” and it appeared she was going to cry at any instant now.
“Obviously they are after the glue in the plywood as something they crave” responded Don in a calm voice thinking that he would be able to console this employee of the DNR.
“Covering the landing with rubber will not do it as they will eat tires right off a vehicle” Don was thinking as to what to do.
“My God”, she shrieked, “I am definitely not staying here. Those animals need to be exterminated”, she added.
After some scavenging around the building and separate storage shed, some galvanized sheet metal was discovered and the recommendation was that we clad the landing with this metal as an interim measure until an expanded metal or steel grating could be obtained to replace the wood landing when we came up to erect the residence.
The Border Guard was pacified and we decided to carry on to Haines, Alaska to spend the night. On the way there (about 4o miles of the most twisted highway I had ever seen as it followed a raging mountain stream), Don started to tell us about his apparent faint-hearted female Border Guard.
“This Spring, two Desparados from the lower States, had found their way to Haines and before the local police could do anything to apprehend them, they had rented a car and were off to Pleasant Camp and Canada to escape their convictions in the USA”, Don started the story.
“The authorities called the USA side of the border crossing and advised the Guards there not to apprehend them as they were armed and dangerous and the State Troopers would try and catch up to them. They instructed the US Customs Guards to go over and warn the lone Canadian Guard to do likewise,” Don continued.
“Well these brawny-looking two showed up at the Pleasant Camp Crossing and our Canadian Customs Guard went out to do het customary procedure,” Don went on with his story.
“Where are you from and your passports please,” she requested in her calm normal manner as she stared the duo straight into their eyes.
“They were shocked, I guess and when she was sure that they were not going to cooperate she drew her pistol, which she was assigned because of the remoteness of her Crossing.”
“Get out of the vehicle with your hands up and keep your hands where I can see them”, she just got the drop on them.
As the story unfolded, she kept them covered for four (4) hours until the RCMP were able to arrive from Whitehorse.
“I am not sure why she is afraid of a couple of porcupines”, Don concluded