May Long Weekend, 2000
Jerry and I came out to stay for the weekend. Jerry had been out earlier in the week to replace the water holding tank. We spent Saturday and Sunday doing cleaning, and maintenance including:
We had approval from Ejor to purchase the materials we needed and Carol will reimburse us for the money we've spent. We thought we might make some repairs to the deck but Jerry thinks that it is beyond fixing. We'll need a group decision about replacing it - could cost as much as $1,500 to $2,000. Our friends Bob and Beth Jessop came out for supper with us on Sunday night. We made a big feed of spaghetti and fruit salad. Peg, Alan, Mom, Chris and JP will join us here today and we're looking forward to visiting.
June 5, 2000
Came up with Chris and Dave, Tina and Timbre had come out last night. Tina saw six deer, a porcupine and a large frog. She slept out on the deck and marvelled at the sky full of stars. Chris, Dave and Tina have been hard at work taking down the old deck and I have just been an observer. How my role has changed since the early days! Saw a woodpecker on the tree in front of the cabin - great! The water into the sink is lovely and warm - perfect for doing dishes or washing up. Guess it's nap time. Love,
June 5th, 2000
I was sure glad to be able to get up her during my short visit to Calgary and glad to be able to help out on the deck project - those e-mails have been fast and furious lately! Has anyone else noticed that we are losing a lot of our land to erosion? I wonder if we could/should do anything about it. I probably won't be back now for quite a while, but you never know!
Jerry and I came out Monday to finish taking down the old deck. We hauled most of it away to the dump. Tuesday we went to Sundre and bought the lumber needed to build the underpinnings for the new one. The fridge quit working so we took it to the dump and will make arrangements to get a new one before everyone is here for the long weekend.
June 25th, 2000
Tim, Krista and a bunch of friends came up for the weekend. Had a bit better luck with the weather than our last trip up. Went up to the clearing to watch the sunset Saturday night and were greeted by a couple of white-tail deer. Also saw a dead porcupine in the woods. Unfortunately, I won't be able to come up next weekend for the deck-building party as I have to work. I am hoping to come up a couple more times this summer. It truly is beautiful up here, a very nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Hope to run into some of you on future trips.
June 26 - 28, 2000
Chris, JP, Judy and Jerry here working on the deck.
CANADA DAY July 1st, 2000 - DECK BUILDING PROJECT
Fabi, Stefan and dog arrived at 9:30 to find nobody here. Dibs on the bed!
July 2nd, 2000
What a day this has been! Came up with Carol and Bill this morning to find the deck nearly finished - wonderful job! More and more arrivals as the day went on - grandchildren and great (great!) grandchildren and their friends. The largest gathering at the land in many years - the usual super abundance of great food - next on the program, the camfire for which we await Dan's arrival. Special recognition to Judy and Jerry for all their hard work, to Chris for her appointment and to Sue for her principal's job. The rest must speak for themselves. Love to all,
Beautiful sunny day with almost ALL of my favourite people.
So fun to see all the "next generation" having a ball up here - throwing rocks in the river, mud baths, water gun games. Imagination - dreams realized, new relationships formed and old ones renewed.
41 People who were at the cabin for the July long weekend, 2000
Vivian Osborne,Carol Robinson, Bill Robinson,
Jeanine Robinson, Allan Boyartchuck, Natalie Boyartchuck,
Kira Boyartchuck, Eric Robinson, Hilary Robinson,
Benjamin Robinson, Clare Robinson, Judy Osborne,
Jerry Kaita, Stefan Eser, Fabi Katz-Eser,
Karin England, Michael England, Kathy Cairns,
Peg James, Alan James, Chris Buijs,
Dave Quan, JohnPaul Buijs, Kristian Chadwick,
Sue Forest, Don Totten, Heather Osborne,
Alec Osborne, Holly Totten, Amy Totten,
Floyd Totten, Dan Osborne, Rob Reese, Joy Reese, Sam Reese,
Will Reese, Sophie Reese, Jeff Jandeworth, Scott Hunt, Jennifer Harris
Dogs: Cassie, Kelso, Finnegan, Timbre
July 3rd, 2000
Today I reluctantly must leave after a joyous long weekend of actually recreating. It's a different place when 40 other people are here - this place should be shared by friends and family alike. Took time to ride bikes to where the James and Red Deer join. Tried to fish while the fish were elsewhere.
Wow! What a great weekend! Hate to leave. Weather was great, company was better and wonderful campfire last night. Just like old times, Dan and his guitar were the hit of the party.
July 1-4, 2000
The Canada Day weekend was a huge success! The weather cooperated, there was a good turnout and enough preparation had been done beforehand to assure that the deck project was manageable.
The first folks to arrive were Stefan and Fabi - they drove through Friday night from Vancouver and were waiting here when Jerry and I arrived on Saturday morning. Peg, Alan, Karin and Michael arrived a little later and we all had calzonies that Peg and Karin made for lunch. It rained a little after lunch and so we took shelter in the cabin and listened to old records and sang and danced. Karin had brought some recorders from her school and she and Fabi serenaded us for a while. I had made a cassette tape of much of the music that we have sung and played at campfires over the years and it made great background music. Everybody pitched in to work on the deck - painting fence boards, screwing down decking, putting up posts and railings, preparing stringers for the east stairs.
JP and his friend Christian arrived and we all had chili for supper. Peg and Alan pitched their tent in the loghouse building site, Karin and Michael slept in their car, Christian and JP slept in Ethel's camper and Stefan and Fabi slept in the cabin.
Had a communal breakfast of back bacon, eggs and pancakes with Saskatoon syrup. The weather looked really threatening for a short while - very black sky to the west and a brisk, cold wind that lasted for about half an hour before the skies cleared and the sun came through. Mom, Carol and Bill, Kathy, Chris and Dave arrived.
Everyone worked on the deck - got the front decking completed and put the fence boards on the railing. Jeanine, Alan, Kira, Natalie arrived followed by Eric, Hilary, Benjamin, Thomas and Clare. Eric and Hilary had friends from Whitehorse with them - Joy, Rob, and children Sam, Will and Sophie. The timing for completing the fence around the deck couldn't have been better - kept all the little ones safe from falling off the front into the carragana hedge.
Carol and family provided lunch for everyone - bunwhickes, salads, fruit and birthday cake for dessert. It was Kira's 4th and Benjamin's 8th birthday. I brought a piñata for the occasion and all the little kids took part in breaking it after lunch.
Sue and Don Totten arrived with Heather, Alec, Holly, Amy and friend, and Don's Dad who is visiting from Woodstock, Ontario. Don and his father planted some small spruce trees near the water well and at Alexis' grave site.
Dan arrived in time for a communal supper of baked ham, baked potatoes, pork and beans, salad, buns, fruit cobbler and crisp for dessert. Friends of Stefan and Fabi's arrived from Calgary - Jennifer and her boyfriend Scott. The area behind the cabin looked like a public campground - wall to wall tents, tent trailers, campers and our motorhome. There were four dogs here too - Cassie, Finnegan, Timbre and Jeanine's border collie, Kelso.
The campfire was fabulous - so many voices singing along with Dan's guitar. Fabi had brought some rhythm instruments and they added another dimension to the music. Mom stayed for the singalong and then Carol and Bill took her home. Kathy, Chris and Dave headed back to town Sunday night too. Some of the group were still at it at 2 a.m. - lots of story telling and laughter.
The deck was pretty much finished and so Monday was a day of rest. We had a communal breakfast on the new front deck and later, everyone went up to the meadow to watch Eric launch Benjamin's rockets. We went for a walk along the elephant path after and then most people went down to the river for the afternoon. It was fun to watch the little ones discover all the same things there that my own kids did twenty-five years ago. It was a much quieter evening. Eric and Hilary made spaghetti dinner for everyone and we had a small campfire.
Just the cleanup left to do and then we all headed out - Eric and family to take in the Tyrell and Stefan, Fabi, Jerry and I home to the acreage. On the way home we encountered some heavy rain and hail - fortunate that it held off until our weekend was complete.
It was wonderful to see people here who hadn't been here for years and to see the second and third generations enjoying this special place. The dream that we had back in the early seventies lives on. Our children and children's children continue to experience the freedom, adventure, contact with nature and with each other that this place has fostered from the beginning. The circle is unbroken.
Thank you to everyone who made it possible, to everyone who managed to get here for the occasion and a special thank you to you, Jerry - you help me to live my dreams. oxoxxo
P.S. We have video footage of most of the weekend events and will send a copy to Kate and Steve. If others would like a copy, please let me know. Hope that everyone who took still pictures will sent the best of them to Mark and Carol for the family web page.
Sunday July 14th? (who knows?)
16 people and not one watch. Great! It is some time after 10 a.m., probably before noon. Breakfast is what's happening. No beer yet. Not sure if there is any left.
Bonfire, Thrift Store, tenting, rock painting, fireworks, wild flowers.
In attendance: Justin Gullickson, Tian Kettyle, Jackie Ford, Todd Ford, Paul Ford, Jesse Henderson, Chris, Holly, Rachel, Shaun, J.P., Nikie, Ben, Mike, Timbre and Buddy too.
VW Adventurers…. We drove around in the darkness, rain and great lightning shows. Tornado funnel clouds threatening, scary ghosty clouds on the steaming roads. Which road is it? Nobody knows this either. We wait…and then our rescue arrives - the chocolate monster machine and Timbre who knows exactly where to go.
And so this tale of summertime at the cabin begins. Thank the full moon for a wonderful time.
Some went fishing, others cycling. The vegetarians scowled as dozens of pounds of flesh were roasted on the camp fire. Many beverages consumed, albums spun, works spoken and silences shared. Everybody, including me, was able to appreciate this place for what it is. I feel lucky for both the brilliant family with enough of a vision to make this place happen, and too for the kind friends that are able to join me here. We have a truly beautiful asset that should be shared at every opportunity. This land can never leave this family and I sincerely hope that our family never leaves the land. We have too many memories and dreams planted here.
Went fishing - 3 upstream, 1 in bucket. Great times had by all.
If I had my own vehicle, I'd probably be willing to commute the three hours daily. But, for now, I am content with my weekend home. My guest list was just Ben and his dog, Buddy, from Friday night. Four more came Saturday afternoon and stayed no more than 18 hours. Justin, Jarvis, Norm and Rob left for Edmonton early Sunday morning for courier cycling stuff. A much more relaxing weekend for me than last - less hosting, more roasting of my buns in the sun that is. You didn't know the nudists were on both sides of the river did ya?
Hauled more dead fall and worked more on making some of the paths a bit more bike friendly. The days have been hot and the nights rainy. Ideal for all the varieties of fungus that are springing up all around. Tadpoles are getting fat in the ponds. Saw a large falcon and a smaller one too but no other wildlife besides the insects.
No sign of any mice in the cabin now. No scat or chewed food. Brilliant work! Having thoughts of turning the old tent trailer into a sauna that actually works. Any ideas? No doubt my week will be filled with trying to find friends and a way up next weekend.
August 5th - 8th, 2000
Jerry and I came to the cabin to finish up the deck project - just some railings to be completed. Jerry built a new picnic table on Sunday and we were in the process of painting it when the weather turned ugly - dark clouds and strong winds. We heard later on the radio that there was a severe weather warning issued and a tornado had touched down at Elnora - east of here. It poured rain all afternoon but the evening was lovely. We had a campfire and went for a walk along the river. The whole sky was pink at sunset.
Monday we started building a set of stairs out back. We used up all the 2x6's that were here before we got the treads done so watch your step! Will finish them on Saturday. Late in the day, some friends of JP's stopped by - Todd and his wife. Nice folks. They say Hi.
There was another heavy rainstorm Monday night so things are pretty wet this morning. I won't get the mowing finished before we leave today. Have had some problems with the water - I think there must be a slow leak somewhere and there is still some insulation plugging the line on occasion. Just have to pump up the tank more often till we can get it fixed.
There are about ten cows in the top meadow this morning so we'll close all the gates on our way out. I thought Finnegan might chase them but she's afraid of them. Re the mice situation - trapped four and the cat caught a few. They were here first I guess - just wish they'd stay outside!
August 9th, 2000
Stopped by to complete the stairs out back…still needs painting. Will pick up stain and finish later. At least no one will break their neck now that the treads are installed.. Checked the mouse " trap line" - 3 traps, 3 mice.
August 18-20, 2000
Arrived at the cabin Friday night and were outnumbered about ten to one by the cows. Amazingly easy to move them - just opened the gate up top and they headed out to pasture. There were nine of us here for the weekend and we've had a great time. The weather has been fantastic. Went down to the river yesterday and did some tubing. Saw a couple of moose up at the top of the pasture. I have decided to leave my fishing rod here, it appears to be defective! Has anyone ever actually caught a fish up here?
August 23rd, 2000
Stefan, Fabi, Mom, Jerry and dog here for the last week of vacation. Dug a fire pit in the top field near the road and put some things there to sit on. Makes a nice place to sit and watch the sunset and stars. Tried Tim's rod and, if it wasn't defective before, it is now - I lost your spinner - sorry. A good spot to fish is the deep hole downstream from the cabin or you could walk to the Red Deer. I think Jerry is the only one to catch anything in recent years and he likes to use a "red devil". Have scooped the poop and the last bit of deck painting is done. I fixed up the roof on the wood pile and started splitting but there's not much wood ready for the cold weather. Jerry fixed the front screen door and built a new back step. He cleared the water lines yet again. If the kitchen tap doesn't work but the one out back does, then it needs to be unhooked and blown out. Blow into the faucet to clear it. We're leaving tomorrow for one night in Calgary, then home to work again. Boo-hoo! Don't know when we'll be back but I know we will. Best wishes to all who read this. Love,
< class="date"p>September 1-4, 2000
JP up for Labour Day long weekend with Nick, Nellie, Chris, Todd, Kristian, Shaun, Mel, Stacie, Hassan, Donna, Rochelle, Collette, Sicily, Abbey, Steve and a couple of Petes. Timbre too of course. The weather was consistently crappy so we stayed close to the cabin. Went down to the river to see about 30 of the nudist neighbours - all wearing clothes - it was that cold.
We listened to and played lots of music and of course no visit would be complete without a trip into Sundre for the Thrift Store and Burger Baron. Got a few new books for the library as well as a Lite-Brite Deluxe!
My next trip up will be with a work party. We need a sweat lodge before it snows and I'm going to look into some ways to insulate the roof and seal up any holes in the cabin. I plan on making some winter visits this year for skiing and general winter fun. Many of my friends are excited to help with improvements around here.Baby steps every day. Saw a couple of hawks but no large game - maybe on the way out.
October 25th, 2000
Jerry and I here to drain the water for the winter so that the taps don't freeze and split. Took the canned goods home and stored the packaged dry foods in the metal cooler for the winter. I took the last logbook instalment home to photocopy and will give the original to Carol and add the copied pages to the one that's kept here. Love to all.
November 1st, 2000
Shauna, Cory, Cydney, Ben, Matt. What a wonder at the Weepakum Inn! My first trip up. Beautiful weekend. Fabulous weather and memories. Our biggest project - we constructed a sweat lodge on the sandy riverbed directly below the cabin. The base is permanent- all you need to enjoy a good sweat is 3-4 tarps. We let the rocks cook for a good couple hours. A definite must do again. We hiked up to the mint field and collected fresh mint and sage. This was the planting weekend of SEED - the Society of Environmental Economic Development. You'll hear the name again. Warmest blessings to all
Very happy to have some friends up here that have never been here before. A welcome weekend away from the city. If anyone wants to use the sweat lodge, please add a stick or two so we eventually won't need tarps at all. The deck looks great! There are a lot of bottles and cans left here by someone, but we don't have room to take them back. We'll try later in the month. Shauna and Cydney built a compost holder out the back of the outhouse.JP
Ahhhh - no Hair record in the cover - what a letdown! Led Zep though. Gotta listen to "Tom and Jack" the cute Scotties.
To a family with a beautiful vision. What a marvellous success!
November 22, 2000
Just brought up a load from Vivian's garage that Judy had put aside for here. About 2 inches of old snow on the ground. Hunters must have killed their game on the land - found evidence of a blind and lots of blood at the gate entrance. Beautiful day, sunny and warm, i.e. 4C.
HiHo, Fave and Mooks here, friends of Matt's. Came in last night just for a sleep really. Northern lights were flashing. We stood by the river and discussed the fame of rap star Eminem and the impact his hatred-spreading music will have on the future. Back in the house, we ate mandarin oranges and played Trivial Pursuit. We cheated like crazy. I think next time, we'll bring a more Canadian-friendly game so that we actually know some of the answers. Well, that's all.. hope we left the house as tidy as we found it. Thank you so much for this beauty and quiet.