January 31, 1998
Jerry and I here for the day. Are we the first people here since November? Bill Robinson is trying to locate the telescope. Does anyone know where it is? Not much snow cover - we walked in without getting our feet cold or wet and are wearing just our hiking boots. We're doing some black and white photography today for a course I am taking. Jerry has the skidoo running so will leave it at the top for the next time we visit this winter. Love to all.
April 3-4, 1998
I am here with Matt and the "Fools". It is absolutely beautiful out here! Thank you very much!
Came out for one beautiful day and one gorgeous night. This is the Green Fools first visit and hopefully not the last. We made masks from the surrounding flora and exhibited them around the fires. Hope to be back soon.
A lovely little escape! Thank you. It's our first outing as the Green Fools this year. It was amazingly warm. Hope to be back soon.
I was a Mad Trapper in a past life so felt right at home.
Enjoyed watching the chunks of slushy ice breaking up and floating down the river. Spotted an owl that was followed everywhere by a crow and cussed out by a squirrel! I believe the coyotes enjoyed our concert as much as we enjoyed theirs.
April 25, 1998
Arrived today to gorgeous, breezy weather. The frogs have awakened. On the road in, I spotted a big, dark,porcupine. I went over and we looked at each other in the eye from the tree he'd climbed in case I wanted to flip him over
26th - Went to Innisfail for the day - will be back later. Saw beaver down the river and, on returning, startled a young moose. It led me all the way up to the house before disappearing completely.
April 26, 1998
We will be coming out next weekend to bring the tractor back for the summer building season and so thought I'd get the cabin de-moused now. I went over everything with bleach (Hanta Virus) and set out poison, so watch your pets.
Dear White Tornado -
It seems that, in the latest visitation, my blue jacket with orange hood and fake fur trim got swept away into limbo-land. If you should come across it in your windswept journeys. (I HUNG IT UP IN THE CLOSET..Judy).oh, just noticed also that my blue coveralls with red arm stripes "Wes" name tag, have also walked out. Gee, didn't have to wonder how you got your name!!! Sorry I wasn't here to give you a hand. P.S. Do you have something against candles? They too vanished.(IN CUPBOARD Judy) PPS. Found Wes in the toolshed. I better mention that I left a coyote (road kill) on an ant hill in a wire mesh cage in the west cow field .. an art project. I was going to set the mousetraps but then thoughtwho wants to clean out week-dead mice?(WHO WANTS TO PLAY WITH ROAD KILL?Judy)
May 3, 1998
Jerry, Buster and I here to drop off the tractor then to Calgary for Steve's farewell party.
May 10, 1998
Came out last night in the motorhome - our second use of it since we bought it last fall. All the comforts of home but it's a good thing that we're both short people. A tree fell on the power line and pulled it loose from the transformer pole. TransAlta were notified and they'll be out to fix it tomorrow. We move the woodpile and the sauna so that we can drive on that part of the road again - a little less steep than the other option and, this way, we don't have to move the campfire when we need to get through with the tractor. Next trip out we'll start on the building project again. Looking forward to making some progress with it - hope our bodies are up to the task! We're both feeling our age and infirmities after the work we did today. Love to all,
June 1, 1998
We built a bread oven. It started to rain. Saw some moose droppings but no moose, some bear poo but no bear, some coyote scat but no coyote. Swam in the river - it's still colder than a well-diggers behind! We left the blankets hanging to dry. Hopefully, we'll come again soon and help with the work. Thanks.
July 1, 1998
Happy Canada Day! The first day of vacation for us and we came to the cabin to cut the grass and see what all we need to bring on Sunday when we come to stay. All is ready for Karin's wedding on Saturday. It promises to be some party!!
July 6, 1998
Stefan and dogs and Mom and Jerry with dog and cat arrived yesterday to spend two weeks on the building project. It's been two years and I'm surprised at how little the foundation has moved. Glad now that we dug those holes so deep! Sure wish we had a few more guys but no volunteers. I guess next time I'll bring some from Vancouver. Now that the walls are going up, I can visualize the cabin and can't wait to be in it!
Jerry removed a small but tender part of his finger with a power tool and went to Sundre with Mom to get a small but painful tetanus shot.
July 7, 1998
Michael and Karin's wedding was a wonderful celebration and thanks to everyone who helped with it and who came to share the occasion with them! We have Jerry's photos developed and here with us so I can savour the joy and excitement each time I go through them.
Jerry was using a grinder to trim back the scribed edge of a log last night and ground the surface off the little finger of his left hand - about 1 ½ inches of flesh missing, in one spot, down to the bone. The circulation and feeling were still there and he didn't want to go to the hospital last night. Talked to Richard this morning and, after he explained the possible consequences of not having it cared for properly, we went to the Sundre Hospital and had it cleaned and dressed. He may have to have a skin graft but will see first how much of it will heal on its own. He's back out there moving logs and running power tools again so I guess it will be OK.
Richard's advice re skin graft that Jerry said would "definitely not come from my butt". "Have it taken from your upper lip - that way it will grow hair and be useful as a q-tip, toothbrush, ear and belly button cleaner or paintbrush." It tickled my fancy!
Stefan is twice as fast as I am at peeling logs - has three done already and helped Jerry bring two more down from the meadow. That will give us lots to work on for the next five days. The ones we are using now are from the slope west of the cabin and they all have a "j" bend at the bottom. It takes a lot more work to fit them to the building.
July 8th, 1998
The first log of the summer was completed today and Stefan and Jerry moved two more onto the building ready for scribing. Stefan left after an early supper to go to Calgary to see Matt play at the James Joyce Pub. He called Kate and Sue and is going to bring Jacob, Jenna and Alec back with him tomorrow morning. Jacob and Jenna will stay with us till Saturday and then Kate will pick them up. One last visit before they leave for New Zealand.
The weather today has been hot and humid. It's cooled off a little this evening with an approaching thunderstorm. All three dogs are afraid of the thunder - Cassie is the worst - she thinks the only safe place in a storm is on your lap!
July 10th, 1998
One more log done todayhow many to go? Had a visit from friends of Jerry's - Bob and Beth Jessop. They're staying at Red Lodge and will drop in again tomorrow. "Us kids" stayed up late to watch the lightning.
July 12, 1998
Jenna and Jacob are off to New Zealand BYE!! Now it's just us guys here 'til Tuesday. We had bison for dinner (yummy) courtesy of Jerry's friends Bob and Beth. Sure am glad we don't have any buffalo around here - they sound nasty! The lightning caused some problem at the compressor site and we had a real stink of sulphur. The river is so high that campers at Red Lodge were flooded out and had to be rescued. I wouldn't like to try crossing the river just now! We slept most of the day and stayed up most of the night. Tried weaving baskets from bark - it must be good for something but it's not as easy as we thought. Got more groceries and clean laundry - three days left to go. Strange that nobody else is here - what are you all doing for the summer? With all the toys and gear we have here, it's a camper's dream.
July 14, 1998
Sue and girls came for the day and took Alec home BYE! Nice to hear that they are visiting regularlywish I could have seen Don too but there will be another time. Jerry got one more log 90% done and we felled the next one. Alec and I put a rope swing on a tree over the road - a little lower than the last one. We also cleaned up around the grounds and took a load of scrap metal to the dump. We took down a tree that was threatening to fall on the power line.
July 19, 1998
Have been here for two weeks today and took time out to go into Calgary for the day. We had brunch with the newlyweds and Mark England, Peg and Alan. Had a show and tell session with Jerry and Alan's photos from the wedding, and got to meet the addition to Karin and Michael's family - Finnegan, a Sheltie puppy. We gave Michael and Mark a hand at putting up a gate on the dog run. Visited with Mom in the afternoon and came back here by 6:30 p.m.
On the way back, we drove down the old road to the Steven's Brothers place - now Lopeters. It now has a fancy gate and sign that reads "Twin Valley Ranch American Paints" - very upscale from former years. There is a lot of new development along the east side of the road and new neighbours on the west - Gordon Smith, Brackens and a fellow who used to work for Moose Mountain Log Builders in Cochrane.
Yesterday, my friends Heather Henry and Linnie Chamberlin came out for the afternoon. We had a pleasant but too brief visit. Alan James was here from Thursday to Saturday and tried his hand at all aspects of log construction. He helped move logs into the site, notched, scribed, and ground. He also spent many patient hours peeling and taking knots off the logs and helped us insulate a couple. I think the only things he didn't try were running the tractor and chainsaw. It was a big help to have him here with us. He also had a look at the slumping slope we're building on and reassured me that it's not going to fall into the river in the immediate future. He was a pleasure to feed too - Jerry complains that I'm trying to turn him into a Sumo wrestler and that, after a meal, he has a struggle getting back up on the building.
We enjoyed having Jacob, Jenna and Alec with us for a few days. Kate seemed quite excited about the big move and it was hard to say goodbye to them all when she picked the kids up on Saturday. Alec went into a three hour quiet spell afterward - the longest I've ever seen him have nothing to say or do. Stefan kept him company for the duration - catching frogs, building a swing and playing the old records.
It was tough to say goodbye to Stefan when he left on Wednesday - we see so little of him and he seems to be having such a struggle living in Vancouver. We sure appreciate him taking time off to help us with this project again this year.
Thursday, July 23, 1998
Yesterday was a tough one for Jerry. The log he was working on at present (#26 - the seventh log up on the NE wall) was difficult to get into the building site and difficult to scribe. It turned out to be difficult to fit too and, dut to the moisture content, heavy to flip over. He had hoped to have it done by nightfall but ran out of time and energy. To add to his misery, he broke a tooth eating cherries at supper and caught his hand in the awning on the motorhome when we were closing it. He was able to get an appointment with his dentist so we're heading home today. When we first arrived, there were wrens nesting in the bird box that Karin made for me. The babies flew for the first time two days ago and they've abandoned the nest now. It was fun watching the parents feed them and finally coax them to try their wings. Love to all.
July 27, 1998
Craig, Tim and I came out on Friday with some of our friends. All together there were eight of us. Had a big campfire on Friday night - Tim played his guitar. The weather was amazing on Saturday so we spent it down at the river. The river was low enough for all of us to sit in lawnchairs in the water. Tim made a valiant effort to catch a fish but was unsuccessful. Craig and I spent Sunday out here by ourselves as everyone else had to work on Monday. We went for a hike, played cards and read some books. A perfectly peaceful day.
The afternoon brought us some visitors - Grandma and Chris. It was nice to see them. It's Monday morning now and we're on our way back home. My shoulders are sunburned and I must have at least 100 mosquito bites. It was an absolutely great weekend. Mother Nature couldn't have provided better weather. Can't wait to come back. Love,
August 1,2,3, 1998
Karin, Michael and our new pup Finnegan here for the long weekend. What beautiful weather! My friend Cathy Charlton was up for an afternoon and we all went in the warm, warm river. We had some trouble getting the water to run in the house. The line is getting plugged up with Styrofoam from inside the water tank. To fix this:
Friday, August 21, 1998
During the rain storm we noticed the top of the fireplace leaking, not enough to worry about yet but just thought someone may like to know. We had an amazing visit out here, miles away from anyone. I'm sure it is as close as I'll ever come to solitude. Waking up to "Bessie" and the rest of her heard outside the cabin was quite entertaining. I'm sure we'll be back again sometime, hopefully this time John Paul will be able to have a longer visit. Thanks very much.
P.S. We left a few cans of soup in the cupboard above the stove for anyone who wants them.
Monday, October 5, 1998
Green Fools spent the last two days expanding physical and mental boundaries, exploring new creations and expelling old demons. We thank the spirits of this valley that allow us to play here.
October 28th, 1998
Had a wonderful time reading by the fire - just a lazy morning. The power has been cut off by deadfall, not sure where the break is.
Mastered the tractor for a little while. Can't wait to come up and help with the project. Cut a ton of wood and will need some reserve by the shed soon. You guys rule.
November 1, 1998
Jerry and I came out today to take the tractor home for the winter and to look into the problem with the power. He felled three more dead poplars behind the chicken coop - ones that might damage the line again if they fell We left them beside the road - not enough time or gas for the chainsaw to buck them up today. I'll phone the power company tomorrow and have someone out to repair the line.