Grey Owl’s Cabin

February 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

Well hello again, Province! It’s been ages…. And I have news! The Barness family discovered a stone at Grey Owl’s cabin, all the way back in November. They must have keen eyes and right hearts. Congratulations to you all, and many thanks!

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Stones Unturned

July 31, 2014 § 7 Comments

Thus far: These are the stones that have been unturned, listed in order of which I learned of their discovery.

  1. Douglas Provincial Park
  2. Eyebrow
  3. Borden
  4. Findlater
  5. Cochin Lighthouse
  6. Kipling
  7. Silton Chapel
  8. Chief Poundmaker’s Grave
  9. Fairlight
  10. Good Spirit Lake
  11. Turtle Lake
  12. Woodrow
  13. The Great Sand Hills
  14. Carrot River
  15. The Big Muddy Badlands
  16. Assiniboia
  17. Adanac
  18. St. Louis
  19. Crooked Trees
  20. Val Marie
  21. Yellow Grass
  22. Kerrobert
  23. Froude
  24. Fairy Glen
  25. Gem Lakes
  26. Greenwater Lake
  27. St. Brieux
  28. Strasbourg
  29. Muenster
  30. Claybank
  31. Maple Creek
  32. Maryfield
  33. Grey Owl’s Cabin
  34. Wanuskewin
  35. La Ronge
  36. Moose Jaw
  37. Canuck
  38. Beauval
  39. Gravelbourg
  40. Shaunavon
  41. Plato
  42. Regina
  43. St. Walburg
  44. Stanley Mission
  45. Sceptre

Into The Forest

August 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

“Far enough away to gain seclusion, yet within reach of those whose genuine interest prompts them to make the trip, Beaver Lodge extends a welcome to you if your heart is right.” — Grey Owl

Province, here is an adventure story.

When the moon is high and full, three women follow roads North, further than they’ve been before. They aim for the forest and the deep night sky. On the shores of Waskesiu, they prepare for a long hike. Astronaut food, a tent, three sleeping bags, coffee, hobo knives, cups, and spare socks; into the packs with these. Attach a bear bell for good fortune. Who’s got the deet?

Through mosquito hordes and every green imaginable, the journey to Grey Owl‘s cabin begins.

The sunlit landscape is a changeling: Here, great distances of wooly moss spread beneath the trees, offering spaciousness to the shimmering birch. There, a giant poplar stands landmark. Clamber up root-bound riverbanks, through fields of fern, over felled trunks, swampy muck sucking at feet. Then the green lake, a fecund skim of thick algae blotting out life from all the pale trees surrounding. Suddenly the forest bears fire scars; black spires of char jut through lush brush. Other trees die of old age, fading slowly to the forest floor in invisible, tangible stages. All the while Kingsmere Lake beckons, and at last they strip and plunge into its cold clarity before pushing on.

They reach Northend in five hours; 17 kilometres down, only 3 more to the goal. In late afternoon light, they round the last bend and the cabin emerges from the landscape.

It is lonely. Serene. Full of presence, though whether the legend’s or the land’s cannot be determined. The women try to imagine how to live here, in this isolation and beauty. They stand at the trio of sunken graves on the hillside. They stare across Ajawaan Lake and then they depart for their camp.

Astronaut food tastes divine, it turns out. They sleep.

In the morning, clouds mottle the sky and shortly after the hike begins, the rain does too. The slow fat drops escalate into torrents and the three are drenched in seconds. Keeps the mosquitoes away. But then: hail pummels, lightning lashes and they scan for falling trees as thunder sharpens their eardrums. Too close. The path is a river, they stumble and slip and try to move quickly to escape the weather. It takes an hour and a half to find the other edge of the storm.

At last they reach the trailhead, where strangely, they had begun only the day before. The forest has impressed itself. Hundreds of mosquito bites and lasting exhilaration prove their hearts are right.

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