Tales from Otter Lake II

I firmly believe that any sort of camping, be it with a tarp and a blanket, a tent and a backpack, or an RV, you need at least three days on either end of the actual ‘holiday’ time.

It takes three days at the beginning:

To arrive and get set up.

Resolve the inevitable equipment failures.

Do some creative engineering to replace the (also inevitable) things left behind. I’m a firm believer in wire coat-hangers, duct tape, and pegs – if you can’t make do with those three items then whatever it is you’re trying to duplicate isn’t worth the effort, or you need to head into the nearest town and buy a new one.

And finally sit quietly (or exhausted) in front of the fire and breathe for at least an hour.

The three days at the end are for:

‘One last visits’ to the things/places you didn’t get to see/do.

Finding a way to get everything you bought with you back into the same receptacles you packed them in. Including mysterious items that magically appear out of nowhere, as well as the items you so valiantly tried to duplicate with your pegs and tape and wire.

And wind yourself up for the journey home and re-entering your life. Which at this point you’re either desperate to get back to, or wondering how far up into the mountains you can get before you run out of logging roads.

And then there are the stories.

I’m a night owl, (it’s when I do most of my best writing) but the nature of camping, at least for me is that I can’t sleep much past sunrise, or even earlier.

Otter Lake valley runs North/South, and is very narrow and deep, so it takes a while for the sun to appear over the mizzen-mast, let alone the yard-arm.

We were up early one morning waiting for the fire to mature enough to cook breakfast, sipping our tea, and watching the world around us come awake.

The forest is a mix of the usual suspects and lodge pole pines that have died or are dying from the pine-beetle infestation that has devastated swathes of woodlands, and millions of trees, both sides of the Canadian/U.S. border.

A crow had taken up residence at the very tip of one such skeleton, and sat there, occasionally preening, cawing to others of its kind deeper into the forest, but mostly it seemed to be waiting for something.

Once the sun peeped over the high bluff above us, the crow flew away … and I wondered …

Crow has come to make Sure the Sun rises over the Mountains to the East For Sun is Capricious today And may decide to rise elsewhere Or not rise at all

Crow has come to make
Sure the Sun rises over the
Mountains to the East
For Sun is Capricious today
And may decide to rise elsewhere
Or not rise at all


Many thanks to the wonderful Susieee Mac and her artwork ,for inspiring me to take my coloured pencils with me and play with them again, after far too long away.


25 comments on “Tales from Otter Lake II

  1. susielindau says:

    Love the drawing!
    I haven’t camped in a long time and love to sleep outside. I didn’t cross much off my list this summer. There’s always next year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice. I like the humor about your camping schedule. Hopefully, you go for more than 6 days!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jenanita01 says:

    I love to go away, and camping is one of my favourites. No rules or regimen of things to do. But I always need a few more days afterwards to get back to normal. Unfortunately…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kris says:

    “wire coat-hangers, duct tape, and pegs” Yeah, rule 178 in the Butches Handbook. Reminds me that Middleaged Butch is very quiet lately. Take care, Widder.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. M.E. Garber says:

    “I’m a firm believer in wire coat-hangers, duct tape, and pegs…” — But you left off my favorite: twine! Love the poem of the crow keeping watch over sunrise! And now, you’ve made me nostalgic for camping!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Olga Godim says:

    Love your MacGyver approach to making anything you need from wire hangers and duct tape. And pegs, of course. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jamieayres says:

    Haven’t gone camping in 2 1/2 years . . . hoping to sometime this fall. You sound like a good person to take along 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bun Karyudo says:

    I hope the crow is successful. It would be most inconvenient if the sun decided to rise somewhere else today. I don’t want to go to work in the dark. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Widdershins says:

      Our thoughts exactly. We thought about sacrificing Mrs Widds first-born to the crow by way of thanks, however the first-born is 40-something and we didn’t think he’d appreciate the gesture. Crow was satisfied with interwebz immortality. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. We didn’t get camping at all this year. I miss it. Except for the sleeping on the rocky ground part. I never get a soft spot. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Aw, gee, Ms. Widders. You’re welcome. I would have not ever guessed in a million years that I could inspire someone to gather their drawing pencils. Gee, cool. I love your drawing. I see dancing trees waking up to the sun. And, your story — wowza!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. […] Here are the first and second tales. […]


  12. […] be Part I,   Part II,   Part […]


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