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 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.


Susieee Mac and the ‘Liebster’ Award

Enough about TV shows … well I do have one more post, but I’ll put a bit of a distance between here and then … and on to some fun stuff.

So, Susieee Mac, bless her little cotton socks, nominated me for a Liebster Award.


***   ***

So, I sez to her, “Susieee,” I sez. “Wot am I supposed to do wif this?”
And she sez to me, “Answer me questions, and pass it on.”
“Simple,” I sez. “ But, I don’t do ‘pass-it-on’s.”
“S’aright,” she sez back at me. “Pass it on anyway.”

P.S. We was pretendin’ to be Pirates!

So I will. Anyone who wants to play, go ahead. These be the questions …

1 – What was the last thing that made you laugh?
2 – What’s the one thing that irks you?
3 – About how long do you think you can stand on one foot?
4 – Time yourself. How long did you actually stand on one foot?
5 – What would you want for your last meal?
6 – What’s something that you would not regret about having missed doing?
7 – What’s the one thing that scares you, but you do it anyway?
8 – What’s something funthat you would like to do right now?
9 – Would you rather be an eagle, crow, or a parakeet?
10 – If you could be a sitcom character, who would you be?
11 – Who rules – Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennett, or Jo March?

Herewith be my answers:

The last thing that made me laugh? Widdercat wanting to go out the front door and be let in through the back. Three times! Consecutively! She had to have a long snooze after that.

Something irksome? Article writing persons who rely on spellcheck. It’s pique, not peek or peak. (this is different from the odd typo, of which, as we all know, there will always be at least one!)

Thinking of standing on one foot? About 15 seconds.

Actually standing on one foot? 15 seconds – but my knees aren’t what they used to be. They used to be my elbows! (old joke)

Last meal? Mashed taters with green onion in them, turkey sausages from our local supplier (to die for, heh, heh,) Mrs Widder’s gravy made from the sausage juice, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and chardonnay Dijon mustard. A glass of our own zinfandel rosé wine, perhaps two.

Not on my bucket list? Bungee jumping – see previous comment about knees.

Tall cliff of scared-ness? Having my regular blood tests. I can watch until the needle right up until it actually goes into my arm, and immediately afterward, but to actually watch something thin and metallic slide into my person without any resistance? Nope, No. Not gonna happen. No way, no how!

Fun, Right now: I wrestled with this one for far too long. It was the ‘right now’ component that derailed me. But my eventual answer involved Mrs Widders … and to quote Forest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

Feathered dinosaur descendant? Crow. Don’t take no s**t from nobody.

Sitcom character? Bea Arthur as Dorothy, from The Golden Girls. (Betty White better not die, ever!)

Who rulz? Jo March, of course.

***   ***

The Last Word:

You want your socks? Why don't you come and get them?

You want your socks?
Why don’t you come and get them?