Monday, September 21, 2009

Letter to my friends

John offered me a gift last week. He said “I have a professional day next Monday. We have a long weekend. Want to go to the cabin?”

September! The month where I am already missing summer with the knowledge that only Thanksgiving is left for one more trip to the lake.

It was a magical weekend.

We made such good time that we had 20 minutes at the Tim Hortons where I enjoyed cheese biscuits and a butter caramel smoothie. Our timing was superb and there was hardly anyone waiting at the ferry. I was thankful for the hot water bottles at the cabin though. I needed just to warm the bed because I am still trying to shake this dry cough.

Katie and I woke before John and took our cup of tea to the lakeshore. Most of the flowers are done except some pink phlox and that new rose bush I planted quite late in the season. There were actually 14 flowers and more buds to come!

At the lake, everybody showed up except the eagle and the otters. The geese that had woken us started honking as Katie ran down the boat road, but soon quieted when she paid them no attention. A group of 5 and a group of 3 and one lone guy. We spent some time watching them paddle around but the groups never changed. The sun line was just creeping down the mountain across the lake drawing a silhouette of the mountains behind us. The heron was fishing off to the left in the grass showing where the lake has receded and just behind him was one loon. Then the osprey called from behind the trees and took off toward the river.

I looked right to see that the lake had gone down so that there is a lot of sandy shore between it and the big stump and the sand bar out from Henry’s place can be seen as a different colour change in the water and lots of grass showing on the high spot out in the middle of the lake. There is no smoke coming from Commaplex mountain so the fire must be finally out.

Sharon, I am sure you will understand when I say I spent quite some time redirecting our little Wine Creek to make sure it has a clear path. Then I headed back up with wet runners and a dirty housecoat but a great sense of being home.

While John worked in the shed, I decided to build a fire to get rid of some of the junk I had gathered during the ‘no fire’ summer we had just enjoyed. We must have missed a good rain because everything was damp and it was nice to feel that it was finally safe to enjoy a fire. Then, Sharon, I took John and his chainsaw down to our new path from Beer Creek to the road. He commented that he wanted that board to help get the beer out easier and we had made the bridge in the wrong spot. So I took him and showed him a couple of willows too big for me to prune and he got to make some noise and was happy again. All we need now is about 3 steps dug in the hillside, I’ll take the grubhoe next trip.

After lunch we thought we should walk round to see if the redfish had arrived. The weatherman had warned of a partly cloudy day. I dressed in my partly sunny day clothes, t-shirt and jeans, rubber boots and a raincoat. Some snacks in my pocket and off we go.

We went down the path through Rose’s morel mushroom garden but all I saw were those ugly big red and white ones. (There are lots of different mushrooms now everywhere Rose, so Thanksgiving you may just find the Chanterelles). The cedar crossing Beer Creek was a little slick and John commented on how worn and tired the big downed cedar was from Lee’s continual pacing. We spoke of what would happen when the tree finally rotted and hoped it would last for Darwin to follow. No redfish in our creek so off around the bay to Thompson creek.

We followed the hidden path toward the corner of our property and the road, commenting on the size of the spruce we had planted 10 years ago on the high water line. I turned back to the path and just before reaching the road I saw apples! Apples! Sharon did you know we have an apple tree? Rose, you go that way lots of times, have you ever seen apples? They are all about the size of Katie’s tennis ball. The tree is not short and certainly not hidden. John had to hold a branch down later for me so I could pick some to save to show you at Thanksgiving just in case the bear got to them first. I can’t believe we have been there 16 years and it took me 13 to see the pin cherry trees and 15 to see apples.

On the road now we passed the spot where some people had their trailer on Labour Day. Right by where the water tap is usually under water, remember the tap, Peter? Well, these folks had rolled some of the huge boulders into a circle for a fire and cut up a mighty big pile of firewood. They only stayed 2 nights and left behind a huge stack of split wood. Most of it is pretty punky so they must have found some old downed cedar and hemlock in the Harrington woods. We went by later with the quad and trailer to take some of the better stuff back. It will only turn into more driftwood next year at high water.

Just past where Smoker and Walter had their trailers last week, John picked up a travel size shampoo. Still full and clean. Amazing what people drop. All I found was a heart shaped rock for Danielle.

At Thompson creek, we scrambled down the bank right where we had canoed in, Sharon. I remember you saying that it would be easy to cross this year, and it was. The water had gone down enough so that rubber boots did the trick. And redfish? Everywhere you looked. They were quite skittish of Katie and of course, she didn’t even notice they were there. We spent quite a bit of time there encouraging first one and then another in their attempts to jump the falls.

We could see a little weather front coming through the pass but thought since we were close enough to Don’s place we could drop in. A bit hard to find a trail up, the bank changes every year. Absolutely nobody home. Not a single cabin with people in. Tthis meant we were alone in the valley. We checked the garden, lots of tomatoes still so we would have to come back next day with a bag.

As we started home the rain began. A light steady rain. We crossed back over the Thompson and headed back down the old road and I was thinking that my Gortex probably needed a good wash because I could feel my shoulders getting wet. Just then, the sun came out from under the clouds and the warmth on my back was such that I was sure steam was rising back there. And right in front of us the most amazing event began.

The mouth of the Fish began to glow and gradually arching over the trees and right over the property and ending in the hillside on our right was the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen. We saw one a few years back and I remember taking a photo from our boat of Rose and Al canoeing home and the rainbow arching over their heads. This was the same, only better. After a few minutes a second formed above the first and the band of grey between them was quite dark. Then the first rainbow got brighter and brighter. We could see each colour so distinctly and right into the violet layer and then if it didn’t start to double up on itself with more green and purple. The whole arch gradually moved to the right so that it looked like it was coming out of the top of Henry’s cabin and then from the clearing in front of George and Barbara’s place. Do you know, I don’t actually remember when it stopped raining because John and I were so awed by what we were seeing. As the clouds blew away and the rainbow faded we felt that we had been given such a gift, no wonder the bible has a story about it.

When we got home we took the quad and trailer to pick up some driftwood for the Thanksgiving campfire and I built up the fire I had left. A supper of satay pork and veggies and rice, some Sambuca at the fire watching the stars come out and Chitter talking to us while taking his peanuts from the tree were a perfect end to a perfectly magical day.

How could tomorrow be better?
Well, of course it was, I learned to drive the quad :)

Later man, jan

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Joel Carlman has finished his Kiva Fellowship in Kenya and posted one last video which I would like to share with you...

later man, jan