How The West Was Won – The Canadian Way

How The West Was Won – The Canadian Way

Hail Brave hearts

Come and explore with me.  Come  into the adventure of your lives.  There’s no time to waste, the days are passing.  Make a plan, make several plans.  Learn and strive, push your limits.  Take the time to prepare.  Healthy food, proper clothing, skills, companions, strong bodies and strong minds.  Into the unknown, you travel.

A sketchy route has been marked on a page. Lines and drawings, hopefully familiar.  A post is the site marker, a mountain range on the left, stay on the river and follow the trail.  Animal tracks cover the ground.  The new fallen snow is heavy and trail breaking is hard.  Persevere, for today’s travel distance is long.  Fortunately the terrain is gentle,  rolling uphill but not too difficult to climb.  Somewhere out here is a cabin for us.  We can rest in shelter and escape the wind and the cold, then push on.  It’s a better trip than it used to be, before the route through the country was found, before the explorers and before the map makers.  Now we have a plan to follow.  The bleak, cold winter closes in, but we chose this life.  We are  homesteaders, looking for our land.

Land!  There’s plenty of land!  But ours is still a long way off and we persist in our travel.  A trading post is lurking close by.  Stay on the trail and follow it closely.  We need supplies.  Supplies and a place to rest, some warmth and some shelter, food and a hot drink.  We chose this life.  Come on.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Edmonton_Park

Come on, brave hearts, a new life is calling.  The freedom it brings will be worth all of the pain.  The hardship, the struggle, the will to survive.  Keep at it.  Don’t stop.  The winter is a good time for travel.  As cold as it is, the path is easier, travel along the rivers and frozen lakes.  It’s relatively flat and easier to see, it’s cold, but faster and we cover more land.

What is now just sport is survival to us.  The dogs must run and we are grateful.  Fast and steady they hurry along.  The dog team runs and they seem to know the way.  Skills and training, education, courses, work and labor to learn these skills.  All to become homesteaders in a land offering freedom, survival, a chance to choose for ourselves and a chance to be autonomous.  But it’s work and we have now traveled so far.  Out to the west to settle these lands.  Push on, push on, the day if fading.  Run you fabulous dogs!  Take us away to our world awaiting.  To trading posts and teepees, to waterways and farmland.  Take us to our destiny, our hearts are soaring.  The cold winters wind, howls beside us, but go on.  On to our home, to farming and prosperity.  Come on, you good dogs, run forever, transport us across Canada, open the way and save us again.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

March 19, 2018

dog sledding competition in Russia.  What was used hundreds of years ago to open up Canada is now international sport.

Those Snow Bridges

Those Snow Bridges

Good Day Bravehearts

The world is welcoming you to this brave new day. A blanket of snow lies covering the earth and the sounds of silence are echoing in our ears. Silence, quiet, peace. The calm of the snow in the dead of winter, where all of the world lies in peaceful dreaming.
Hello! It’s playtime now!
The sidewalks are shoveled. The snow is piled high in deep drifts. The snow plows have worked steadily to clear the roads and traffic is still at a minimum. This awesome day is upon us. Grab your skis before it’s gone, this winter won’t last forever!
The gently falling snow, swirls in large flakes and keeps us shoveling. Up on the ski hill the flat light, keeps us cautious. Picking our way down the familiar runs, twisting and turning and flying like birds. The fabulous rush of the ease of this sport, downhill skiing is just plain fun. Such a nice day and there’s no one around but us.
The joy of a remote place, like a wilderness setting in Canada, is that we have all of the fun.
The rushing, open waters greeted us as we went snowshoeing last week. Snow bridges over open rivers, opening up caverns of cold, icy holes for us to fall into. Down we went, one by one, into the drink. Struggling now to pull ourselves out as our patient companions watch helplessly by. Encouraging words, laughter and abuse, battered and bruised, but onward and onward we brave stalwarts persisted. Up the creek, up the creek, to nowhere. It’s just another afternoon outing into the great outdoors! A chance that we can’t miss, for a warm spell is coming and we’ll loose all of this precious snow.
So although the creek is not at it’s frozen best, we go anyway. The warm winter has left us no, choice. It is wintertime and winter fun is here and we’re going out to play.
The groundhog saw his shadow, of course, he always does. Another bout of stormy weather, more snow, more skiing, more snowballs, snowmen and angels. More shoveling and icy drives, treacherous really, but we’re happy today, in our warm cozy homes. Happy for the winter, the snow and the sports.
Global warming is a curse to us. The warming trends are comfortable. Warm winter full of snow, The icy chill is abating and we can easily go out to play for hours without the threat of frostbite, to curb our healthy habits. The windchill that plunges us into the deep freeze is passing and with it the dangers of freezing skin. This is a good thing, but there are other results. Open water that should be frozen, freeze and thaw, freeze and thaw, pushing the frost further into the ground. This creates conditions of uncertainty with some of our favorite past times. Avalanche hazards, melting snow, thin ice, caution, beware.
This is the dead of winter, when the cold is at it’s chilliest, but those rivers aren’t frozen yet. Beware!
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
February 8, 2015

Dream of Peace

Dream of Peace

Good Day, you Awesome Human!

Splendid day. Warm and snowy. The birds are singing gaily from their roosts. The elk lie in the meadows, relatively calm, after a long autumn of elk battles and rutting. The peaceful does with wombs full of the promise of another successful spring of calving. The big horn sheep, also resting, caring for the silent burden of their soon to be offspring.
The great wild! The drama of the wild as it plays out its role, in the never ending cycle of creation. Born to this place, the wild entices us, with its riches of spectacular views, muscle strengthening climbs, varieties of lifeforms and the gift of providing us with natural wonder to explore.
A peek into this place, of grand beauty and grand design, which fills out hearts and souls with wonder. Oh mighty planet, to give us this gift, from a highway, cut through the mountains. Those of us who have time, will exert ourselves more and climb to a pinnacle on a well traveled trail, for a look at what lies on the other side. A steep bit of climbing, a scramble, an effort, but where it takes us is to the grand view of the wild. A view of what lies on the other side of that mountain range. More forests and rivers, cascading waterfalls, animal tracks, mountains and valleys to explore. We are the hungry. We thirst for more and more. Show us your splendor, oh great planet earth, as we strive to reach your mountain tops and intrude into the land of your wildlife, to photograph those elusive species, and brag.
The world turns for us, on these snow covered days, as we strap on snowshoes and venture out to play. A daunting world of snow and ice, but for us to trudge through, a winter’s delight. Animal tracks. There’s plenty of life in this snow covered domain, but no one shows their faces today. Instead, it’s us, joining the tracks in the snow, plodding and chatting and breaking trail. These small few hours of exertion, to remind us of by gone days and years of exploration, as the well traveled adventurer set off to discover this new land. Tracks of snowshoes in the forests, tracks along the winding creek. An easy day of healthful activity, to fill our lungs with pure, clean air, to strengthen our bodies and refresh our minds.
The luck of an easy day of refreshing activity. The joy of adventure into the quiet winters solitude. A brush with nature as she plays out her part. The wild calls us and the wild whispers. Save us, oh mighty ones. Don’t plunder here. Spare us from the weapons of mass destruction and a world of madness and we will give you the peace of a quiet winter’s day, with snow on the mountains and the crisp, crunchy snow beneath your feet.
Let this stand of the earth be your playground, oh great ones, and may you forever venture into the wild and breathe.
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
January 19, 2015