Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Week 6: Blame it on the Rain

Chainsaw time!
Our trip up north on week 6 was like most others: a stop at Burger King for some Croissan'Wiches followed by a casual drive to the cabin. One thing that varied from the norm was that Luke accompanied us. As Twin Ponds is quickly becoming one of our favourite places, being able to share it with family and friends is one of the few things that makes spending time there even better. We were glad to have him along, not only because of his work ethic, but also because, well, he's entertaining.

Upon reaching the end of our familiar, worn drive we all hopped out of the car and got to work.

The first order of business was cutting down what was left of a tree that had perished at some undetermined point in the recent past. It had inconveniently taken root immediately on the other side of the kitchen wall so its early demise was not unwelcome. Spencer and Luke took this opportunity to start a much needed wood pile (which no doubt will come in handy as cooler temperatures arrive). After cutting down the tree initially, they spent the next half hour chopping it up into small pieces. Spencer grinned as he wielded his chainsaw while Luke made quick work of the logs by chopping them into smaller pieces with his trusty axe.  In fact, he actually managed to crack not only the wood, but the rock he was using as a base! Before we knew it a nice pile had formed inside the metal shed that sits beside the cabin.

And, of course, a little axe time
While the guys worked outside Sim decided to assemble a recently purchased coffee table. Although it's certainly too early to start furnishing the cabin (what with the lack of floor, water, and insulation...), we had previously decided that a coffee table would be a welcome early addition to serve as a place to store the various stuff we bring with us each week -- be it bags, snacks, or, most importantly, beer.

With the table completed and wood chopped it was time for a hike. Although it had been raining most of the day, we decided we didn't care. The allure of exploring the unexplored was simply too much. One small problem though: Luke had no rubber boots. His white running shoes were surely the wrong choice for the rainy day we'd faced so far, so we decided to make a quick trip into town to acquire the crucial articles.

One of the many advantages of the cabin's bucolic setting is the distinct lack of traffic. A trip into town always takes the same amount of time regardless of the hour. It's small point of interest for locals (if it's even noticed at all), but for us it's a dream come true.

Forty minutes later the three of us were walking down the main path that leads to the ponds and river. Much to our surprise (and pleasure!) the rain decided to let up for the first time that day. Indeed, the sun even greeted us at one point! The next two hours were spent exploring the various main paths and trying to understand where the property lines are. We never did get an answer to the latter question and therefore decided a survey may be in our near future.

Climbing high... or not
Luke spent our hike exploring various hidden treasures along the path: a huge old tree stump, enjoying some fresh, cold stream water, even making friends with a dragonfly which landed on his shirt (which stayed there for at least 15 minutes to enjoy the trip). At one point we approached the western boundary of the property and came across the tree fort Sim and Spencer had previously seen. Spencer was tempted to remove the ladder, since he was convinced that hunters use it, but elected to leave it be due to an obscure (but discernible) fear of evoking retribution by the locals who had probably lived in the neighbourhood for decades and who had come to consider using it as their inalienable right. We'll figure out how to deal with these issues over time.

Eventually we came across the cute little stream Sim and Spencer had seen on their first exploration through the forest. There it was - trickling crisp, cold, and clear water along the slight grade of the hill. At the point it met the trail it was obvious that someone had installed a culvert to ensure its survival and indeed, the water emerging out of the other end of the ridged pipe continued its flow easily downhill. Unfortunately the soil around the entrance to the culvert had disintegrated and the water was beginning to eddy around it. Luke and Spencer therefore dug a diverting channel so that the excess flow could rejoin the stream below the culvert exit. On the way back to the cabin a little while later we were gratified to see that our method had taken. The Stream was safe.

A new table and some beer
Jasmine, in turn, had a very different experience on the hike. Having consumed some wild mushrooms before any of us could intervene, she spent the journey back teetering between stumbling around as if drunk and experiencing an uncomfortable combination of projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea. Being the tough trooper that she is, though, she refused to lag behind and we encouraged her to drink the water of life from the Stream we'd visited earlier on our little sojourn. She made it back to the cabin under her own power at which point she promptly laid down for the rest of the afternoon.

As we crossed the bridge to return to the cabin Luke decided it was time for a swim. Sure, it was cold out and the water was even colder, but hey, we're here, right? In the interest of doing the experience justice, we've embedded a video of the event below. Check it out - it speaks for itself.  Did we mention it was cold?

A bon fire was next. Even though the wood was wet, Spencer and Luke wasted no time getting the flames going. Before long a fire blazed between Pond Superior and Peanut Pond. Quietly enjoying the heat, sights, and sounds of the fire we watched as fog gradually grew over Pond Superior and deliberately swirled above the surface of the water. A perfect afternoon.

Before too long we found ourselves back in the car heading home. Our traditional A&W stop, during which Luke ate more food than we thought possible, was once again the highlight of an otherwise uneventful ride home.


  1. Poor Jazzle! I can't believe she wolfed down wild mushrooms... hopefully that was her first and last time doing so! I can just imagine our dumb little hounds doing the exact same thing!

  2. Seems like one of those lessons everyone needs to learn once. But hopefully only once!