January 21st, 1990
Happy New Year! Came up with JP, Matt and Amos. Parked the car at the first gate and walked in with supplies for the day and the toboggan. Matt and Amos were most interested in all the tracks in the snow. Had to keep reassuring Amos that none of them were bear tracks. the snow is quite deep in some places. Hard, crusty surface through which you crack and end up on your knees. Warm and sunny. Kids playing on the hill with the toboggan.
Later: Walked down to the river and played fox and geese in the snow. We studied the ice crystal formations at the edge of the water, some of it open, and saw fresh deer droppings. Next time we'll come with skis and snowshoes.
April 8th - 11th, 1990
Tina and five friends were up for three days. We hiked in with our stuff because there was quite a bit of snow. It was snowing when we came but now it is really warm and a lot of the snow has melted. the river is almost all open and we saw five deer drinking from it today. Last night, we saw the brightest northern lights I've ever seen - they were green and pink.
the phone was used quite a bit for calling parents, about five or six calls. there was not very much wood when we came but now there's a nice supply of chopped stuff by the fire place. the cabin floor was swept and cleaned, and all the dishes were washed before we left. See ya.
Lolita, light of my life, my sin, my soul. Lo-Lee-Ta. Who is John Wazt?
It's been a slice as usual. Amber
Singin bye bye Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry and good old boys were drinking whisky and rye singin this will be the day that I die.
All hope abandon ye who enter Winnepeg.
July 5th - 6th, 1990
Susan, Don, Heather, Alec and Heather's friend Heather B. came up. Brian said some kids were up here last weekend – the July 1st long weekend - but I don't know who. His stallion got loose and kicked up a big fuss and was hurt. He didn't say so, but I wonder if our tribe let the stallion out? A gentle pinto. Anyway, he's talking about us finding an alternative way to get here that doesn't involve crossing his land. think about it.
Weather great and had a lovely time as usual. the cabin is quite a mess.
August 3rd, 1990
Karin, Mark and Mark's friend Darce were here. Beautiful day. the road was messy but no problem for an experienced young man like Mark. Someone called and told us his cows got out/in and mixed up with some other cows so, it appears that the top gate fell open after we closed it. We are leaving now to see if we can be of assistance. Remember the Alamo.
August 14th, 1990
John Paul up for three days. I arrived at about 6 p.m. Mom and Judy drove me up. We all went down to the river (quite warm) and discovered that its course has changed a fair bit since I last saw it. Also, looked at the garden, or rather what used to be the garden. As you can guess it is very overgrown. An apple tree that Judy planted a few years back now has small, bitter, apples on it.
Mom and Judy left after an hour, leaving me on my own for three days. (goody!) I then went for a swim, found a nice, slow flowing spot just 300 meters from the usual spot. It's even got sand! Now feeling calm, relaxed and totally refreshed, I returned to the cabin and started cutting a log for a drum-like instrument I plan to carve during my stay.
Time for a break, I made my way up to the brush pile to watch the sunset. Beautiful. I returned to finish cutting my log, full of life and energy. I continued to strip my log of its bark. Now happy and content with two days activity I'll retire to my bed under the clear night sky. I look forward to tomorrow. I'm going to pick raspberries that I saw on my way to watch the sunset.
August 15th, 1990
I woke up quite late this morning, ate my breakfast and then, with my trusty hatchet in hand, set out for the "elephant path". Finding that it had grown over with small poplars and evergreens, I started cutting. It only took about an hour to finish so I came back to the cabin. On my way to the elephant path I saw some fresh deer droppings so hopefully I may catch a glimpse of one. (A deer, that is, not a dropping). Once back at the cabin, I went back to shaving bark off my soon-to-be drum. So far, all the bark is gone and I've started cutting out a hole. I'm finding it difficult to do this with only a hatchet and stone but it's coming along. the weather has not been totally pleasant, mostly cloudy with brief periods of sun. During these short interludes of warmth, all clothing is removed and I assume my position on a lawn-chair on the deck. I went to the river to get water for washing and then worked some more on my drum before lunch. After lunch I grabbed a walking stick and set off into the crown land north of ours. I found an old small dump filled with rusty tin cans and jars. Just off the road in, I found a large path leading to a small clearing in which were the rusted remains of two old cars. there were also several cow bones, mostly leg bones and a few vertebrae. I came back to do more work on my drum (boom! Boom!) It was then decided that I should wait until I have a good chisel to finish carving. I went for another walk, this time to the crown land east of here. I walked up a cut line north a bit, then cut west. It was then I found a fairly long pond with eight small ducks. I stayed and watched them swim for a while before I came back for dinner. I went down to the river and started a fire. It was then I saw the deer. the smoke of the fire was blowing towards the deer – not many wild animals like the smell of smoke. the smell scared the deer – he jumped out of the bush he was hiding in. Now in plain view, he stood and looked at me for a long while, then jumped away. (boing, boing!) I then continued to cook my meal over the fire. (yum!) After I put the fire out with great care, I returned to the cabin to strip another log of its bark and cut another log. Halfway through cutting the third log, I was forced to seek shelter due to rain. It had to happen sooner or later – too bad it was sooner.
It's not a hard rain, but enough to get you wet. While inside, I read and wrote this before going to sleep. Still in peace,
P.S. Please excuse my handwriting and my spelling but it's summer, I'm not in school and I'm not expected to think.
August 16th, 1990
Today was a lazy day, mostly sunny weather with short periods of cloud and rain. I spent most of the day soaking up the sun. I did go for a walk along the road in. It's quite surprising that even though it rained last night, the road today looks okay. I found a good spot for picking raspberries. It's just in the field west of the road but before the patch of trees. the whole field is full of thistles. there was a big storm late at night – big thunder (BOOM!) I have my doubts that Mom will be able to drive in.
August 17th, 1990
I spent the greater part of the day on the road in, filling in the holes with small trees and stuff so that Mom can drive in. I don't want to carry my drum out because it weighs some thirty pounds. Most of the afternoon I spent clearing wood chips and shaving off the deck and washing dishes. It would be a lot easier to do repairs to the cabin if there were more tools here.
If I had a hammer!
P.S. Aug. 15th Mom called and a lady from the phone company called about the friendliness of telephone operators.
PPS. Aug. 16th some guy from Home Oil called. I also called Mom collect.
PPPS. Aug. 17th I called Mom again - collect.
PPPPS. there are two mice living here. I took the liberty of naming them Mickey and Minnie. Please be kind to them, it's their cabin too.
PPPPPS. If you get bored while here, build a drum (boom!boom!) I did!
PPPPPPS. there was no power this morning and I could not listen to Peter, Paul and Mary. the power returned after about an hour – I think it was the Home Oil folks.
PPPPPPPS. I'm getting tired of making "P"s. I could go on forever but I won't.
For a three day stay, I sure did write a lot didn't I? "Yes, John Paul you sure did. Now shut up!!!" OK. Bye.
August 18th, 1990
I stopped in here on my way back to Edmonton. I saw Ed Stevens in the Sundre Hospital this afternoon. He is very frail – loosing ground to emphysema and heart disease. He remembered me and asked me to give Mom his greetings. I then stopped in at Sevrens. Jake was out in the corral teaching a niece of his to ride. He says he can't do much anymore but still likes to try. Jean was in the house – she's suffering from bursitis and has to get around with a walker. She recited off all of our names – only forgot one! She asked me to give everyone greetings from her and would welcome visitors.
When I got to the top gate, I stopped and walked over to the NE corner, thinking I might see some evidence of road building or construction at the compressor site but nothing new in evidence.
Set up my tent trailer which is still in reasonable condition for fair weather sleeping and preferable to the mouse-infested cabin. Wound up sleeping on the deck as the weather cleared and the stars were visible.
Went to the spring this morning and found it flowing stronger than ever from the same spot above the culvert. Walked over to the pipeline clearing and there is a very strong water flow from a spring that starts above the bank, just east of our fence. It would make a terrific water slide! Walked downstream as far as I could without having to cross the river.
Burned some rotting lumber up at the first gate – left some larger pieces to dry and burn another time. Starting to cloud over at 5 p.m. so I'm off. Love to all.
September 1st - 2nd, 1990
Eric, Hilary and two friends here. We were warned by Mom that Brian wasn't pleased with people coming across his land and therefore stopped to chat. Not only is he not pleased, he's refusing to let us come through his yard anymore. He says that is what he told Mom and he wants someone to come up and discuss alternative access. Perhaps lower down on his land. He let us through this time but implied that it was the last time due to problems this spring. Apart from that, we had beautiful weather, the leaves beginning to turn and a very large beaver working beside the chicken coop. One of our number braved a swim but the river is very, very cold.