Cabin fevered

Last weekend, we were holed up in a Yoho cabin. Not as fugitives – it was too late for that. The long reach of bacteria had caught up with us and we were suffering from students being overly generous with germs. This is a brief post, scribbled as I quietly recuperate…(He’s fine, it was nothing more than a cold – Mrs. PC)


Not being one to complain, I stoically sniffled and snuffled all through the weekend, bravely depleting the cabin stock of tissues. As I dealt, quite heroically, with my mysterious malady (it was a cold – Mrs. PC), Mrs. PlaidCamper quietly put me to shame by dealing with her far worse cold, um, quietly.

A lovely back yard

Instead of getting out and about, we had to settle (quite happily) for gazing out of the windows into the woods, or at the falling snow, or at the misty mountains. Those of us that could see the mountains through watery eyes…(He had a cold – Mrs. PC)

Honestly, if you’ve read this far, thank you! If you’ve checked out already, I understand. I’m not one to complain.

dscf4373Eventually, using my iron will and enormous amounts of determination, I agreed with Mrs PlaidCamper that a gentle stroll around the town might – just – be manageable. (It was – just – a cold – Mrs PC)

We tottered through the tiny town, enjoying a break in the weather, the views, the clean air, and gingerly negotiating icy sidewalks. It looked like I was clinging to Mrs. PlaidCamper for support, but I was simply offering an arm. (??! – Mrs. PC)

A grainy photo. Sorry.

With temperatures hereabouts bouncing up and down, it is hard to say if spring is really just around the corner, or if winter is going to cling on a little longer. Having courageously survived this medical mystery, this illness as yet unknown to science (a cold – Mrs. PC), I am hoping for a few more weeks of snowy fun, perhaps another month or two, before conceding that spring is here. You can be sure, either way, that I won’t be complaining about it.

The house over the way belongs to Parks Canada. It’s a beauty – perhaps they’ll sell it to me, or employ me?

Anyway, a short post this week (I don’t want to go on about it, but I haven’t been well), thanks for reading, I hope you are well, and have a wonderful weekend!

All photographs this week were taken from the cabin or on our short walk around Field, BC. How I managed to carry the camera, lift it, get it in (almost) focus, and battle my ailments…(Only a cold, nothing more – Mrs. PC)

It isn’t my fevered imagination – there is a ghostly something in the trees…

Canadian Thanksgiving!

A brief post (something readers might be thankful for) to acknowledge Canadian Thanksgiving this coming Monday.

Low key drama
We’ve lived up in the True North for almost a decade, and we’re constantly thankful for the experience. As a nation, like other places, it isn’t perfect (many terrible mistakes have been made, particularly in relation to indigenous groups), but there is a sense of striving for a society that is working towards inclusivity and acceptance towards all – inside and outside the borders. It is, generally, a welcoming country, with many citizens who are prepared to live and let live, and where every day life for most people carries on without too much drama. Again, not perfect, and not for many northern communities, but (painfully small and slow) steps are being taken to right some of the past wrongs.

Fall drama
For me, the real drama is found in the landscapes of this great country. Personally, we have barely uncovered the tip of the wilderness iceberg here in western Canada, and beyond that there is so much more to discover from coast to coast to coast! Like the real icebergs and the true True North. Thousands of lakes large and small, tiny creeks and rushing rivers, more mountains (oh yes!), almost endless prairie, and an expanse of boreal and coastal forest to lose oneself in.

Lose yourself
I know, I know, we’ll never get close to exploring all that there is, but it’s fun to think that we’ll try anyway. It’s the pull of the north (and the east, and the west) and a need to see for yourself and attempt to comprehend the nature of Canada. Impossible! Folly! But so alluring…

Fingers crossed, touch wood, and we’re hoping to celebrate a few more decades here, and be able to look back at travels all across this wonderful land. 

The people we know, the place we live, where we’ve come from, and where we are going – so much to be thankful for!

Thanksgiving in a cabin!
Thanks for reading, happy Thanksgiving, and have a wonderful weekend!

Taylor Creek, AB

Time out in Tofino, and realizing Thoreau probably had it right…

This post might seem a little off topic, but bear with me! I’ve been reading Walden and I think that I may, like many people, have been born in the wrong age…

We’ve been downsizing as far as we can recently, not because we are jumping on a particular bandwagon or vogue for small living, (although this is a good idea), but simply because the timing is right. Junior is about ready to forge her own path, heading out to be independent, and we don’t want to be living in a space that was designed to accommodate four or five people comfortably. Our empty nest can be smaller than that! We sold our family house, and we are renting a little apartment until our new little apartment has been built. 

This would be fine (cedar shack in Tofino botanical gardens)

This all seems simple and straightforward enough; a linear sell one, rent one, and then buy one. Couldn’t be easier. All you need is a small mortgage from a bank, a helpful legal person to do the necessary lawyer type things, and a builder. These three can then communicate with each other, working tirelessly and seamlessly on our behalf so we can secure the tiny apartment of our dreams. And they can collect well earned fees from us… 

Kerbside appeal without the kerb

I honestly cannot go into the complications experienced in trying to get these three parties all on the same page. If I had three more lifetimes ahead of me blogging to explain how frustrating the past couple weeks have been, I wouldn’t have enough time. I’d lose the will to live three times over. I’d rather have an operation than buy somewhere to live ever again. 

Maybe we’ll abandon the house, just hit the road instead

Thoreau had it right! I’m going to borrow an axe and start on my own place hewn by my own hands. (I will have to borrow an axe – I do have a little hatchet, but that’s not going to cut it. I’d be lucky to build a doll house or a birdhouse, never mind a tiny house. And I’d need those three lifetimes from above). Now, as an almost outdoorsman, I’d probably chop off my own limbs instead of a tree limb, and the finished article might not look like the finished article. But still, if you’d been in my shoes, you’d understand the attraction, trust me. 

Tofino bird house (with lawyer perched on the roof)

I’m lucky enough to be sitting on a deck, staying in a small cabin overlooking the inlet just outside Tofino. That means I get to calm down. This is a good thing for many obvious reasons. The less obvious reason is the one where you don’t get to hear a news story about some old guy wearing plaid running around downtown Calgary wielding a hatchet and cursing the modern home buying process:

“And the police gently disarmed the apparently harmless, yet clearly confused plaid-clad old man, leading him away from bewildered bystanders and committing him to a secure institution where further tests will be carried out to determine if he is fit to have his little hatchet back. And now the weather.” 

View from the dock – just breathe, PlaidCamper, just breathe…

Just to be clear, and before anyone calls the authorities, I’m not actually going to run amok anywhere wielding any sort of hatchet – that would be silly.

All complaining aside, I do know that with a little perspective, this is simply just another invisible Western problem; I should let it go, and accept it as one of the complicated processes that make up life for the privileged few in the modern world today. An irritating downside to accompany the many upsides? I don’t know. I could stand to live in another age – when life wasn’t easier, that’s for sure, but perhaps simpler? I still say Thoreau had it right… 

Head over the next mountain, just a little further…

Have you ever wanted to build your own little home, be a little more apart from the modern world? Please feel free to share a story or make a comment. Thanks for reading – I feel better now – and keep your guy ropes secure.

A monochrome Field day for PlaidCamper – and a tiny house obsession revealed…

That’s not a mistake! Field should be capitalized – just last week we went to Field BC, located in beautiful Yoho National Park. We had a few days off so headed out to stay in a cabin overlooking the village. Whenever we visit, we know the weather will likely be changeable, particularly in spring, but the setting is always spectacular. One black and white morning, we took a little hike around and about the town.

Towering mountains flank Field on each side, and even on an overcast day, make an impressive sight. So much so, I couldn’t stop taking pictures. (I’d have been in real financial trouble in the predigital days of buying and processing camera film!)

I love how being in mountain landscapes gives me a sense of perspective – our time on the planet is so short compared to geological time – any issues or troubles can seem trivial (or at least not so much a problem) in such vast settings. Our human accomplishments and failed flailings are all put into place. We can make our mark on nature, for good or ill, yet I believe that if they could, mountains would simply look down at us, shrug indifferently at our feeble concerns, and continue to weather the real passage of time long after we’re gone. I think there’s a certain comfort in that…

               The Kicking Horse River flows through the valley.

               Mount Stephen looms over the town, a dizzying 10 495 feet above sea level

             In just a few minutes, the mist would gather (above) and then clear (below)

            In addition to the lovely mountain vistas, there are smaller sights as well. Field has a number of beautiful old buildings, and they tell interesting stories about Field’s past. Below are pictures of a couple of them.

  The photo above is of the Park Superintendent’s house, completed in 1930. It is a delightful Arts and Craft style building – the original intent of the design was to impress upon viewers the importance and dignity of the Park Superintendent. Park officials were trying hard to gain recognition and respect from the hard working miners and railway men who dominated the town’s population in times past. My guess would be that then, as now, the interests of commerce, industry, and Parks conservation and management did not always align.

  The little building pictured above sits at the top of the town with a commanding view over the valley. It used to be the headquarters of Field’s RCMP detachment. The story goes that a prisoner’s cell door wouldn’t actually be locked in the event of a fire burning the building and a prisoner was in the cell. Those were simpler, more trusting times! These days the building provides a home for Park workers. Pretty nice accommodation.

  The final picture above, is also pretty nice accommodation – it’s where we stay when in Field! A lovely little cabin, sleeps two (very) comfortably, with amazing views out of all the windows. 

I am fascinated by tiny cabins and houses – my inner hippie is fully aware that unnecessarily large dwellings are unsustainable in the long term. As a not so closeted treehugger, my hope is that one day, sooner rather than later, we catch onto this and begin to build more modest and appropriate homes. The little cabin above is a delight. The owner tells me it is not quite 600 square feet, but I find it roomy, modern and in no way Spartan on the inside. I’d happily live in something similar full time if such places were more readily available. Maybe I should build one myself…that would be an adventure!

I hope you enjoyed this little black and white tour of Field. Just a tiny taster, barely scratching the surface of the history and beauty of this small community. We always enjoy visiting, secure in the knowledge that time in Field is special, with peace and quiet virtually guaranteed – Field’s population is less than 200 lucky souls sharing a wonderful mountain town. 

Have you visited Field and Yoho National Park? Do you have a favourite mountain destination? Please feel free to share your thoughts. Thanks for reading, and keep your guy ropes secure.