January 29th, 1993
Karin and Joel up here completely on a whim. There’s been a Chinook blowing so the weather is beautiful. The cabin is in great shape and quite cozy in the winter. It’s great to see Jenna and Jacob’s artwork on the wall. Thanks to them. It would be terrific if we could get the whole family up here for a weekend this summer. I’ll see what I can do about that.
January 30th, 1993
Tina, JP and Timbre here overnight.
February 6th, 1993
Came up about noon and walked in from the NE corner. Tried the water system and the well and holding tank are working but there must be ice or a leak between there and the shower head so drained it again. The promise of spring is everywhere – snow melting, steam rising, and you can hear the river rushing beneath the ice. There is open water in places. Crossed the river to the south side, came back along the north bank, then walked up to the top and back through the forest. Lots of deer signs but didn’t see any. Saw three moose on the south side this morning. Another beautiful, warm, sunny day – Stefan’s 26th birthday.
April 4th, 1993
JP, Amos and friend Greg up over night. Saw two deer on the way in and a bald eagle. Chopped some wood, went walking and did little else. The guys built and slept in a leanto up in the forest directly west of the cabin. I was going to stay longer but the Nintendo-less Amos cut the trip short.
April 10th, 1993
Matthew and friends up here since the 7th. On our way in we saw two moose – a male and a female. We saw some fairly old bear tracks not far from the cabin. We stayed for five days. On the 4th, my dad and one of his friends joined us over night. I like the new sauna – it works quite well. I came, I explored, I ate, I discovered, I slept, I enjoyed. David Turri.
There are lots of deer, elk, moose, beaver and wolf or coyote signs up here but all we saw were the moose. We had a really good firework display on the last night. My dad brought them – bought them at the James River Store. Bye!
April 25th, 1993
Stopped in on my way back from Edmonton – intended to be here a few minutes just to see if the road was passable – stayed for two hours. Love this place!! It restores my soul! Xoxoxo
May 22nd, 1993
Up for the long weekend – arrived in rainy conditions but it cleared and went for a pleasant walk. The fields and forest are full of wood violets and wild strawberry blossoms. More birds around than I have ever experienced at one time. The saskatoon and chokecherry bushes are flowering – could be a great year for berries here.
I’ve made an agreement with Guy Winkleman to fill in the hole behind the cabin as we discussed at the Ejor meeting.
May 23rd, 1993
Karin, Scott, Jeanette and Tim joined us and the guys crossed the river and hiked five miles east and north along the Red Deer. We all had spaghetti supper and Karin’s friends went home after dinner. It rained through the evening and we went beaver watching at dusk.
May 24th, 1993
Karin caught frogs and tadpoles to take back and put in the pond at Mom’s. We hung the hammock that I bought in Costa Rica. I saw the stone and inscription on Alexis Osborne’s grave for the first time this weekend. It’s a touching reminder of days gone by.
The springs east of the cabin and the one outside the NW corner are flowing very well this year. The beaver are using the eastern ones as slides to the river and they have created an easy crossing to the gravel bars at the bottom of the path. There is a dead beaver in the brush down by the old ford.
I’m taking the record player and a broken window for repair when we leave today. Best wishes to all.
May 25th to 30th, 1993
Arrived in the rain. There were sunny spells on Thursday and it was really nice on Sunday when we were cleaning in preparation to leave – it’s always the case isn’t it! A lot of time was spent reading while it rained but also managed to do a lot of bird watching. Kept a list of all the birds we saw and they include:
Western wood pewee
Eastern king bird
Hummingbird (not sure of kind)
Some of these were seen along the road to the cabin, not actually on the quarter. Many noisy geese and a few ducks were also seen. During our walks with the dogs, we also saw several mammals – a large porcupine, a rabbit and a total of ten deer (not all seen at once and probably the same one was seen on different nights.) The road to the cabin wasn’t too bad and we didn’t have any problems with the mini on her maiden voyage. We were amazed at how much room there was to pack stuff – including the dogs. We came prepared to brave the river but, because it was so rainy, we opted for a sauna instead.
We made a couple of new bird boxes and made new lids for the three already up. They are 1) on the chicken coop, 2) near the garden, 3) on a stump seen when looking out the door by the stove, 4) on an aspen tree near the dead pine tree past the outhouse towards the top field, 5) on a fence post in the S.E. corner of the top field. People can check the boxes if they want by removing the loose nails holding the lid on, but disturbances should be kept to a minimum during egg-laying or the female will leave and find a new nest. Once the eggs hatch, the nestlings can be looked at without fear of scaring away the female. So far, we’ve only seen a couple of house wrens visit the third box. They’ve started a nest there!
Well, we hate to leave but we have to get ready to go to Edmonton to find a place to live while doing our Masters.
June 25th – 29th 1993
Matt, David, Turri, Nick Ireland, Mitch Christophersen here. Nice weather throughout our stay. Bathed in the river – very cold, but bearable. Had one fire inside, three outside. Saw and heard some trespassers – no major threat, assume they were just passing through. We hiked to the James River Bridge Store – took about four hours total. Lots of stinging, biting bugs – hornets, wasps, horseflies, bees, mosquitoes. Unfortunately, one axe was broken. But, other than that, everything ran fairly smoothly. No better place for a grade nine grad. Constant wars with outhouse bugs. We discovered that a fridge would be helpful as our food went bad and we ate crackers for the last few days. Left a hammer in the outhose to smash the bugs.
It looks like we will have a big crop of frogs pretty soon because there are a lot of tadpoles! We have seen a couple of deer, but nothing more than that except for a few redwing blackbirds and bluebirds. The bird box on the stump by the sheds has a nest in it.
P.S. Trouble with the stove. The burner without the knob sparks! Don’t use.
I just had a look at the nest in the bird house (#3)and we saw 5 or 6 very small birds. Just hatched. We were careful not to touch them though because we thought they would be abandoned.
June 24th, 25th, 1993
On vacation and came up to pay Guy Winkleman for filling in the hole. Had his crew come on Friday to put some gravel on the road – they did the job with dumptrucks and a bobcat. The result is okay but we need to seed the disturbed area and prevent any possible gully erosion at the bottom of the bank. Spence installed three ceiling fixtures – no more bare bulbs. He pulled the extra wiring up into the attic and capped it off but thinks it should be removed at some time.
Saw three deer in the river at the bottom of the pipeline clearing. Lots of flowers in bloom – wild roses galore!
Matt and friends arrived Friday afternoon – prepared to stay for a few days. We’re off to go rafting down the Red Deer – from East Coulee to Dorothy, not here.
P.S. The tent is one that belonged to Tonio Alas – said Mom could have it. We set it up and it’s all there and in excellent shape.
June 29th – July 1st, 1993
Came back up on Wednesday and brought seed to plant the area behind the cabin. The mix is fescue and wildflowers so, if the thistles don’t win out, we should have a pretty spot for tenting and picnicing. Also brought some paint and did the bedroom – looks pretty good.
Stacked the logs and firewood behind the cabin so that it will dry better and made some steps in front of the outhouse. Checked out the burners on the stove but couldn’t find anything wrong with them. Is it possible that the wiring was wet? I tried transplanting some caragana and wild rose to the side of the road but don’t hold too much hope that they’ll grow – maybe better to harvest and plant the seeds.
Chris and a friend came up for the day and brought a supper lunch. We played the old rock and roll records and danced. Great fun! Xoxoxo
July 12th – 15th,1993
Karin up for a bit of R&R and studying. The weather didn’t really cooperate but I probably got more done that way. The sink has a copper pipe underneath the counter that gushes water when turned on – beware! Have a pot under it before you turn the tap on. (Use left tap only to avoid this trouble.)
July 17th, 1993
Just came up for the day with friends. Nice bog out back. Checked out the river (swollen), cliffs (overgrown) and treefort (gone). It’s been ten years since I was here last. There’s a fallen tree over the north fence west of the old gate. It should be cut up and removed.
July 17th-18th, 1993
Came up after supper and spent a quiet evening reading. Did some repairs to the deck on Sunday but had to leave before the project was finished. Sunny day till about 2 p.m. and then it clouded over. Saw mountain bluebirds and rabbits this time.
I think some of that "styrofoam" lining of the water tank is stuck in the taps inside the cabin making the flow pretty slow but, if you want lots of water in a hurry, you can use the "shower" outside.
The seed on the "bog" has sprouted and it looks rather spotty so far – hope it spreads and thickens or we may need to do a second planting.
Walked along the river and found that the bank below the cabin is being washed away. Hope the weather improves or we’ll have no path left along that stretch.
I’d like to begin a log cabin project and wonder if anyone else is interested or has any objections. Maybe we could discuss it at the next family gathering.
July 23rd-25th, 1993
Came up with eight Gauntlet buddies. It rained nearly incessantly. I re-established the frisbee golf course (see diagram). While playing said course, we ran into a wasp nest. Burned the nest but, the wasps are in the process of rebuilding both a ground nest and a new tree nest. See golf course map so you can burn wasps too.
Adam told me that the electric chainsaw was dangerously dull and loose so I took it into Sundre to get it fixed. They said it was completely out of chain oil so we got an extra litre. Unfortunately, both are in the trunk of my car which is stuck in the ditch outside the compressor station. When it gets wet, the top inch of the road turns to mud and, on a crown road, you slide into the ditch. Bummer.
Later - OK – got the car out. Restocked TP, paper towels, large garbage bags.
July 30th, 1993
Kate and Steve up. Kids joined us on Sunday. Also had our mousers along – Smudge and Streak. Weather was great for the whole time with only one brief shower early on. River is still high and fast.
Saw almost no wildlife but lots of interesting flora. Kids love to pick raspberries (millions, lots still to ripen), strawberries (few) and saskatoons.
Some sort of mineral deposit is clogging the smaller diameter pipes still, seems to be coming right from the source. Otherwise, everything seems to be in great shape. A couple boards need to be replaced in the deck – maybe in the fall.
Our kids have been largely bored as well as distracted by the cats. We need to have more families and more kids here. Sunshine, long weekend – go figure.
Borrowing the big sythe for a bit. Hope that’s ok. See you next time.
August 8th, 1993
Here for the day with a friend from Calgary. Great weather. Sorry to see that the grass I planted hasn’t done any better. Will bring more seed next time.
August 11th – 12th, 1993
Mom and I came up Wednesday afternoon to set up for the meteor shower. Weather cleared off, cool and clear for the night. We set up our lawn chairs on the veranda and waited till it got dark which seemed to take forever. At 11 p.m. we saw our first meteors plus thousands of stars and the Milky Way. Some of the more spectacular meteors gave off long brilliant white tails. Others were just quick flashes of light. Most travelled from north to south. Mom saw 26 and I saw 30. I also saw 15 sattelites and Mom one large, bright one.
There is light frost this morning. The strawberries are excellent.
August 15th, 1993
Stefan, Fabianna and I came up for the day. We took a long walk around our place and into the quarter north of here. Picked berries including black currants that we found up in the NW corner. Stewed them and had them over fresh pears and nectarines for dessert. Started to rain about 4 p.m. and we sat and talked and listened to old records. We’re off to Red Deer for a concert that Karin is playing in at the Arts Centre tonight.
Look for gooseberries, raspberries and currants along the brushpiles next year – they seem to like the shade and rotting logs. We caught the very end of the season and many had already dropped to the ground.
August 21, 1993
Susan, Don, Heather, Alec, Holly and baby Amy (two weeks old) and two friends, April and Steven up for the day.
Amy decided to eat every 1 ˝ hours last night so consequently Don was very tired today. He slept with Holly and Amy till 5 p.m. The rest of the kids and I went to the river and picked raspberries. Great day! Finished off the corn on the cob and hot dogs over the fire. Visited Alexis. A perfect day!
October 3rd, 1993
On my way home from a weekend in Edmonton visiting friends and attending a UofA homecoming. Stopped in to check that the water had been drained and the windows and doors secured for the winter. The door to the deck is now permanently closed until I get parts to fix it so please don’t lock the back door when you leave. Lovely fall day – the cows are in the meadow, the sheep??
Love to all..
December 14th, 1993
Dad and I arrived last night hoping to see another meteor shower. The last one was such a success. But, this one turned out to be like all the others I’ve tried to watch in my 27 years – pretty disappointing. A few (4) were seen through the clouds, but where I come from, four falling stars does not make a meteor shower. Up early this morning, we’re heading to the other side for a couple Christmas trees.
I watched a cow and calf moose this morning – feeding on the willows across the river.
Dec. 31st, 1993
Chris, Tina, Alan and Peg came up to pick up John Paul and his friend Gabriel. Walked in the sun along the river and up the hill, then back along the cut line at the top of the property. Snow gleaming, golden grass poking through. Saw several deer in the distance. Timbre had a great time burying rocks in the snow.