And now it is May!

Where does the time go? Honestly?

So, since we last spoke I made a dash down to the Valley to spend Easter with my siblings, my children and grandchildren. I was also blessed with a lunch invitation at the Rossi’s! Marian Rossi was my inspiration, my mentor though she knew naught. I looked after her children when her oldest was in Grade 1 and then her kids looked after my kids! Then, you know, life happened and we lost touch. I never stopped thinking of her though. She went on to become a teacher;  I followed in her footsteps, enrolling in the NITEP (Native Indian Teacher Ed Program) that I might one day become a teacher, like her. Funny thing, when I had Anita, Marian made me a  Holly Hobby cross stitch which I still have though it now sits in a store-bought frame. I will carry Marian, and all that she stands for, in my heart for all the days of my life. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to see her parent her children with such love and devotion – it set the path for me to follow. Oh, the super bonus of that trip is that I got to bring my 5 year old grandson home with me! He spent two weeks with us. The ladder-stairs didn’t phase him in the least. He didn’t mind using the dunny for business or the bucket for after dark pees. He traipsed through the forests like an old hand and while he thought the trip to the Boathouse was a little bit long, he really enjoyed the tinny and the canoe. I should mention that when he arrived there was still ice on both the Creek and the Lake. By the time he left though, the ice had completely melted and he DID get to go out in both the tinny and the canoe; his fave part of the trip. No, no! Wait! His absolute fave part of the trip was sitting in the excavator with his Grandpa! His fave part of the Earthship? The Crow’s Nest. I promised him it would be free of boxes next time and that he could camp up there!

Benny in the excavator! Every lil boy’s dream?

The frozen lake and creek. So, the first Saturday that Benny was here we saw a Grizzly!! Right there! Just outside the East Kitchen window. Okay, maybe not just outside the window but there he was in all his glory…big, fat, fluffy, glorious, on the far side of the creek. The creek which we now know is knee deep. We admired him through the binoculars. Watched him as he ambled down along the creek towards the lake. Then Luke got bold and thought he would take his new camera and see if he could get a better shot than my lame one. Young Grizz had gotten almost to Casselman Creek where he was taunted out onto the ice by a murder of crows. (Honestly, I would like to murder that murder of crows! They have discovered that they can get a rise out of Bear and Sammy and often taunt them just as they were taunting Young Grizz!) Luke was amazed at how far out onto the ice the young fella was able to go! We know now, after having canoed the whole lake at long last, that the lake is pretty shallow where the grizzly was and even if he had fallen through he could have just waded back to shore. So any grandeur thoughts of the creek providing us with a buffer of safety from wildlife has now been shattered! And it also explains how four huge horses were easily able to make their way over the ice. And that huge pack of wolves that just sat there and had a stare down with Luke.  It amuses me to think that Luke and I were concerned that the ice would not hold two lowly humans and their dogs. Mother Nature and her creatures often know better than we humans. Let’s see if I can find my lame Grizzly shot…

Mr. Grizzly has woken from his Winter slumber

I could definitely bore you with a lot of grandson shots, a lot of yummy goodness shots but, well, if you want to see that stuff you can go check it out on Facebook. I’m told my reading public are not interested in my epic food journey. I will say that while Benny was here he was missing pre-K classes so I kept him busy with printing, colouring, cooking, baking, gardening, making big, huge fires, hiking and an abundance of story reading; The Aunts Came Marching has usurped Abiyoyo’s spot!

I brought Benny to William’s Lake where his Maman collected him and I made the lonely journey back to the Earthship. Oh, wait, it wasn’t that bad! I had the whole truck to myself so I cranked the tunes and drove, drove, drove like a mad woman! It was a GREAT drive! Well, until I got to Henry’s Crossing and then I could have easily given over the task of driving to ANYONE willing to drive that last 15 km! The snow and ice  have now well and truly melted and to be honest? I miss it; it made that last 15 km so much more driveable. To be sure, Spring is supposed to have sprung but, hey, it snowed here yesterday! But no more snow accumulations so that’s good, right? Our roads…and by our roads I am referring to the bit from Henry’s Crossing to here…are still suffering from the melt.

We have to take Sammy to the vet tomorrow. Oh, yea, Sammy. Sammy ripped a pad on his left front paw from one end to the other! The vet had to re cut it, stitch it on the inside and then the outside;  we were instructed to keep it clean and dry, keep him off it and no walks. Hah! I challenge any one of you to come and take care of Sammy whilst keeping him indoors and off that foot! We did the best we could. Trust me, he is sorely over being encumbered with a boot and  leash  when out of doors. You have to watch him like a hawk!
This morn, while Luke was walking me through unloading my rifle we forgot to chain him up to something; a crow flew over and he was off like a shot!!! Before we could whistle Dixie he was at Clarice’s Bench and down the hill to the creek! Arggggh! Oh, yea, right. I took my rifle with me this morn when I took the dogs out because I just felt something in the air? We were about 1.5 km into the walk and came upon a torn up log…loaded with yummy bugs! Now I’m pretty sure Mr. Grizz hasn’t returned but that doesn’t mean that another bear is not in the vicinity. At any rate, the dogs were spooked; I radioed Luke on the walkie talkie so he knew something was afoot. I have to tell you, our walkie talkies kind of suck so how Luke managed to interpret my message is beyond me.  I managed to get Sammy to the top of the hill behind the Earthship and there was Luke, at the bottom of the hill, shotgun in hand.
I digress, we have to take Sammy in to the vet tomorrow. Luke is busy with work and we really wanted to take the dogs for a decent walk this arvo so I was elected to go and check the road on my own. It’s been a bit stormy here so rather than take the saw, and all that that  entails, with us tomorrow we thought it best to check for downed trees. I am pleased to report that there are none down on our, what? Four km? There was one big new blowdown but it was considerate enough to fall parallel to the road! Poor fella just toppled over from the roots! I got to Tsuniah Lake Road and there were a lot of newly downed trees but thankfully someone else has already taken care of them. I did take note of a few trees that are a bit of a concern; we’ll have to keep an eye on them.
So yes, the snow and ice are gone but now we get to watch for fallen trees, holes of indeterminate depth, boulders lurking in the muck that are super anxious to take a bite out of the underbelly of the truck…it’s never ending. But you know, it brought to mind all the other dirt roads I have travelled over in my lifetime and was reminded that often the best things in life are found along those roads less travelled.  I smiled to myself and thanked the Universe for bringing us here.
Now, bear with me as I present you with a pictorial of our less travelled path. And please, don’t let it scare you from visiting us! If you have a lovely truck you won’t have any problems. Or nerves of steel. (Read John) We will happily meet you at Henry’s Crossing and take over the driving from there.
Okay, here we go…

How deep are the ruts? Are there any big boulders in there? Just how deep IS that water?
What’s holding this bad boy up? How long can it hang over the road like that before it comes down? Is it safe to cut it down?
There it is, up there; just hanging on by the old man’s beard…no, not really. It’s being propped up by a youngster.
Okay, a bunch of youngsters who have been given a haircut.
Then there’s this guy and let me tell you, there is ONE branch suspending him there above the road
Oh, this guy! He had two bros hanging just beyond the curve there; when I drove out on Thursday, all good but when I was coming back on Friday I was met with two trees across the road and no saw in the truck! Luckily I was able to drive, one set of tires in the “ditch” to get around them.
The fallen two that I maneuvered around were cut up and hauled off the road by another Keeper of the Road
So then you leave the “good” unmaintained road onto Casselman Creek road and are greeted with these deep mud ruts which are still quite soggy and then, you know, there’s that puddle at the other end…just to make it interesting.

And there you have it. I didn’t bother to take a photo of the disintegrating road as you cross over Murray Taylor Creek…Let me see if I can find the last one I took.

The Amazing Disappearing Murray Taylor Creek Road
So this side is just falling into the creek and the other side looks like a rather large foreboding deep hole! Probably at least as deep as Brittany Creek, right?
But then you remember, this is why you came here…
And seeing this each and every day makes it worthwhile…and the peace and tranquility
And last but not least, Bear and Samwise are in heaven.

Thanks for bearing with me through all those photos; sure breaks up the reading, hey? So yes, the road less travelled is often a complete pain in the arse to traverse but, hey, it builds character, right?

Cheers, Folks! Until next time!

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