Again, I left on the Friday, but I wasn't able to get out of my driveway until well after 4 p.m. & probably closer to 5. Everything here was a go & ready & all of my gear & the bike were packed into the old trailer, including another 150 liters of fresh tap water & 3 different sizes of rain barrels. Everything was ready, including myself, except for one thing, the vehicle towing the trailer was still not here. Nor the other guy coming up for the weekend!
|Lee & his buddy, Charley the dog, make it up to the acreage for this weekend!|
The Sasquatch was doing all kinds of running around, looking after BJ's estate, lawyers, bill payments, etc... so he offered to hook onto the trailer & tow it out to where the siding was all tucked away. I could load up as much as I wanted & then he would tow it all back down here again, after I had finished work that day. So I was all in for that deal. It sounded great. Free stuff!
I showed up at
"Take whatever you want" he says. I pick up an old grinding wheel, the kind once used on the type of grinders old street walking knife sharpeners would push down the streets of a town or city while swinging a hand held bell announcing their arrival. "Just like new" quips the Sasquatch. So then I reach for an old pick. It had seen quite a few days of service & use, but it was still quite usable and again, I present it the guy standing in the doorway. The Sasquatches arms go up in the air this time & again he says; "Just like new"! So then, the loading began...
My plan was to go into work for a couple of hours after I had the trailer loaded & ready for delivery back to my place, but after doing so, I stopped into Sasquatch Larry's new place & that plan had changed. Some of his appointments got knocked around & now he needed to deliver the trailer back to my place in Fenelon Falls, A.S.A.P. & I had to be there to do the unhitching so that he could just turn around & head right back off to see the lawyer looking after Ole BJ's estate. And this suited me just fine too. I would then have plenty of time to unload , sort through all of this stuff & stow everything away & then pack up the trailer again for my trip back into the bush, well before the scheduled 2:30 p.m. prearranged time I had set up with everyone else.
|The old trailer full of goodies.|
|A couple more barrels for collecting rain water.|
|Some various types of down-spout for the rain water collection system.|
|An old thermal pane sky-light window & a single aluminum crutch + several good tarps.|
|Another thermal pane for my cabin out there.|
|Lots of siding & all of the fixings.|
|The old grinders wheel!|
|An old pick!|
|I even grabbed up some old broom handles & this small long bow!|
|An AM/FM radio & a small bug zapper!|
I spent the remainder of the early afternoon unloading, sorting, storing & then, reloading the trailer & had everything all set for the pre-arranged time. Lee was to be here for his 1st stay out at the acreage & Leighann's mom & stepdad were coming to pick up the trailer, And then I waited, and waited, and waited...
Finally, at around 4:30 p.m. sometime, Lee arrived & shortly after that came the In-laws. I was all, Gun-Ho, about getting on the road. I tried to get everyone up to my speed so we could be on our way becauseTthe Weather Network had something on it about the possibility of rain for Sunday & I had some "big plans" about how much work I could get done before then. Timing, was, everything...
But, just like that old adage taught to me by my Ma; "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions", my weekend would not go as I had hoped.
We arrived to the parking area in around 5:30 or close to it. I immediately disconnected my trailer so that the In-laws could get back on there way & so that I could do the same. It was around 6:00 p.m. when Lee, Charley & myself, were up along side of the bigger of the two Beaver ponds just north & east of the acreage when I spotted Mr. Beaver swimming with a new cut branch in his mouth.
Lee, had his camera rolling already, capturing the trip in from start to finish, but had to do this in two takes due to the sunlight, circumstances, etc... and he has sent me the links to all of the footage he took during the entire weekend, so I've included some of what happened here.
It turns out that the pond was a very busy spot this time of day. The beavers were busy doing what they do best & the Great Blue Herons & the turtles were all out & about too, either capturing fish or else sunning themselves before the big yellow fireball disappeared for the night. Unfortunately, I still haven't mastered sneaking up upon the turtles using a running quad-bike, so you may not see any of them in this short video. But the ponds, all over throughout the area, are all full of painted turtles...
Arriving at my camp is always a huge event for me. I'm no longer as anxious as I used to be, wondering if all of my gear is still safe or if there's been any storm or other type of damage caused from animals or whatever & last Monday, I had left camp & forgot a bag which contained some lunch meat in it. With the black bears out & about so soon after our early spring, I was really concerned about things up there, all the rest of this week. But it is what is & the truth is, it's all just tents & tarps & more, stuff. All of it can be replaced. Still, I don't want to accidentally attract these animals to where I'll be living all of this summer & hopefully, right through the hunting season too.
Everything was fine at camp & just as I had left it, as usual. Nothing at all had made any attempts at the cloth shopping bag which contained the ham inside of it & I attribute this to the fact that the luncheon meat had not yet been opened. I guess those factory sealed packages do work quite well!
We spent a little bit of time getting my camp set back up & then Lee went off looking for an area for his tent while I made a few trips up & down the mountain, delivering gear from the trailer to our, "Base Camp". By 7 ish, the pot of water was boiling & we were drinking coffee, but due to the insects, not much of this evening would be spent beside our fire pit.
So out came one of my deep-cycle 12-volt batteries, an inverter & the ghetto blaster. One of these times, and hopefully that means, the next time I get up here, I'll remember a deck of cards & a crib board. My kids brought this idea up last weekend & I think it's an awesome one. I've no idea why it didn't occur to me earlier. I LOVE playing cards. Bridge, Crib, Euchre & I use to play as often as possible. The past couple of years however, it seems to me that I've not played any of those card games, at all or very rarely. A deck of cards would be a good addition up here. I'll need to go through some of Ole' BJ's kitchen drawers this week, sometime!
|A couple of the barrels I will use to create a "Rain Catchment System".|
|A piece of left over foam cut to work as an emergency, extra seat?|
|Listening to the CBC on McMac Mountain!|
|My tool area newly arranged.|
|Charley inspecting Lee's new camp site!|
Our first evening was spent inside of the screen house because of the mosquitoes & we only left that shelter to tend the fire, boil water & to cook meals. Again, I set up the radio & hooked up my 12-volt light & we sat inside the shelter until around 10:00 o'clock. I kept an eye on the time. All of last weekend, I had been reading a particular paperback novel which I wanted to finish off & I was kinda looking forward to getting back to it. So when 10 p.m. finally rolled around, I excused myself for the night & made my way into my tent dragging my 12-volt light along with me.
The following morning, Saturday, I needed to go to the pharmacy in Minden. I arose around 7 in the morning after awaking several times to the local song birds & then drifting in & out os sleep for a while & eventually, I had the fire lit & the water boiling for coffee. Lee had his camp set up in back of my camp area & was well shaded from the sun. I had noticed the night before that he had set up inside of a bowl shaped depression area with a dead tree leaning over it, so I pointed this out & we made plans to relocate him once we returned from our trip into town.
We were all set to make our trip down the trail, back out to Lee's car, when I caught sight of a white tail deer standing on the trail several yards ahead. Lee had just shut his video camera down or something & by the time he had it back up & running, so was the deer. In the video below, during the first 1 or 2 seconds, you can see the flash of it's white tail heading off into the bush to the left...
Once back to camp after our trip away for a couple of hours, the mosquitoes, black flies & the deer flies were all out & looking for a meal. Since we were the largest mammals around at the time, we were it!
But I did have my plans. I did, want to, try & accomplish, something, up here. It's what I do, up here. Every time I visit the acreage, I try to accomplish something, each day. No matter what. And this day had to work out like that...
But the bugs & the heat & my own level of self will, were preventing me from getting out of the screen house to do those things I had hoped to do. That I had planned on doing, this day. I just didn't have it in me. I think I was burnt out from all of the "happenings" of last weekend, still!
So we devised a plan. Neither of us had ate anything yet & we were in desperate need of breakfast or lunch, since the noon hour was well past. A meal needed to be prepared & then afterwards, we would relocate Lee's camp site up closer to the fire pit & then we would clean up the storage area where I keep my tools & other pieces of equipment. While doing so, we could also begin packing up some other camp items which belong to another guy who will no longer be using the acreage. At least, something, would get done. And it did.
We cleaned up & sorted out the tool storage area & then relocated Lee's camp onto the same site the other guy had been using. Lee would be safer here if it rained, instead of inside of the bowl shaped area which would just collect water & flood his tent out & then this would present me with another job which needed to be looked after, A.S.A.P., the felling of that dangling widow maker of a tree that was right over top of his tent. But I wouldn't get to that chore until Sunday.
Afterwards, the heat & bugs had me exhausted, pretty well, so we took the time to just laze around & enjoy the camp for what it is, our get away from the rest of the world. While doing so, I heard a quad-bike ride up to the area where I park my trailer. Once before, some riders had used this area for turning around & I don't, really mind, too much, that they do this, but it is a rule out here that you respect other peoples private property. I don't have any signs posted & this is something that I really, really, really, don't want to have to do either.
But there was an occasion last season, when I had my trailer parked off to the side of the main trail, but still on my land, when a couple of younger guys pulled up & were unloading my ramps from the back of my trailer. I walked out of the bush with my dog Stanley & they just about jumped right out of their skins at the sight. I did ask them if they needed any help & they replied that they thought the trailer to be abandoned. After informing them that it wasn't, they kindly replaced my ramps back into my trailer & made their way back in the direction they were heading. So, when I heard this bike pull in, right up onto my land, I took notice & told Lee that I was going to see what was going on. I was no sooner to my feet when I heard the bike shut down, and then seconds later, someone calling my name; "Rusty"?
I couldn't believe my ears!
Last week, Leighann's Ma & Pa had bought themselves a 550 Artic Cat Quad-bike, and now, here they both were at the entrance to the acreage. Leighann's Ma is 87 years old!
Bill & Lillian had rode the 25 kilometers up the trail system, from their home on the Burnt River to our acreage. Bill, has had any number of strokes & doesn't have ANY use of his right side, any more, so when he bought the quad-bike, the dealership had to reverse the throttle & break levers for him so that he could operate the throttle using his left hand. Whenever he does manage to walk anywhere, he has to drag his entire right side around like dead weight & of course, Lillian, is an little old lady. And now, the two of them were down at the bottom of the hill, calling out my name...
I made my down by foot, still in disbelieve. Because I've been using their vehicle to deliver & pick up the trailer the past couple of weeks because my own truck is still broke down, I had extended the invitation to do this, for them to, drop by any time, thinking to myself perhaps that, they would never do this in a million years?!?! WOW, how time flies. Had it actually been an millennium since I last seen them?
Lillian dismounted the bike & I walked with her up the side of the mountain while Bill rode the quad up to camp. For an elderly woman, Leighann's Ma is probably in just as good a shape as I am, if not better. She has never smoked a cigarette, ever & I think, but I don't know for certain if I recall this correctly or not, she may have had a drink or two during all of this time but that would be about the extent of it. Even though her health has become a little bit poorer in the past couple of years, she made the climb up the mountain trail I'm working on, with very little difficulty, if any at all!
I did video their sitting at my camp fire while I made some tea for her & a coffee for him, but can't locate it on my camera now, for some reason. But that's no big deal, they do plan on visiting again & it's going to be a long, hot summer. I will capture them on video the next time. It's quite the sight!
But, that's about all that happened this weekend. I ended up pulling down that one tree on Sunday, shortly before heading back out to the parking area. One thing that did take place, early Sunday morning while I was carrying Leighann's rifle & my crossbow down to the trailer, was the spotting of another, huge, white tail deer. It was unbelievable. I'm trudging down to the trailer with two hunting weapons, and a deer bolts out about 7 or 8 yards away from me. It's the story of my life, everything happens when I least expect it to.
Check out the video of the "other side" of the Beaver pond. During our trip out, we decided to pull over to allow Charley to go for a swim & cool off some so I used my remaining strength & energy to cross the beaver dam & hike out to the point of rock over there...
The damn thing didn't work...
But here are a couple of pics of the area.
|Myself at The Point!|
|I wonder just how deep it is?|
Yeah, it's going to be a long, hot, summer. Bill & Lillian have four more plastic 55 gallon drums for us to use in our rain collection system & I may haul them out here next weekend & then use them to construct a dive platform for in the middle of the pond. If I can locate an deep enough area for swimming.
I do have two canoes here at my house in town, so the oldest one will be used up here for paddling back & forth from shore to the swim platform. In order to do so however, I'll require a roll cage on my bike for transporting the canoe from our acreage down to the pond or I'll have to discover a good hiding area very close by the pond where others won't be tempted to set it adrift or worse. Shit happens. But I do like the idea of a roll cage for carrying the canoe, as well as more gear!
I should be up here full time by the middle of June, or a few days earlier & I'll only be coming out on Tuesdays so as to re-supply, kiss the wife, whatever & I know that during all of this time, the dog & I are going to need to bath some place until I have a proper shower set up in camp along with a means of collecting enough water to keep it functional. So, here's my bath tub!
I've gotta say a big, "HELLO" to a couple of my avid readers out there, Crystal & Ryan. I had no idea until last weekend, when the kids told me about you two, that you guys even read my Blog. That's freaking awesome guys!
Now, get your asses up here to the acreage & begin diggin' in. It is what it is!