Friday, April 8, 2016
Friday morning, after Attila had slept for a few hours, we packed the car to the ceiling with needful things, and headed out the Rideau Camp for our first visit as owners.
The day was chilly, well below freezing, and we drove through periods of driving snow to get there. Snow! Wouldn’t you know it! We would not be deterred.
To cope with the cold weather we both wore many layers of clothing, with hats, and scarves, and long johns, and gloves. The wind was brisk, there was quite a wind chill factor. The temperature never did rise above freezing, although the snow stopped shortly after we arrived at the Rideau Camp.
Attila went right to work digging the new fire pit. I went right to work with the garden fork to remove brambles from the perimeter of the area around the fire pit. After a few minutes of this vigorous work neither of us felt in the least bit cold. We worked diligently for around six hours, and accomplished much. There was one long break mid day when we stopped to eat our peanut butter and jam sandwiches. The sun eventually came out from behind the clouds, and we drove home into a glorious sunset.
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Saturday first thing we were out there again. The day was sunny, and chilly, well below zero as it had been on Friday.
Attila spent the day working on the drainage system, as we are hoping to drain the swampy areas on the property to reduce the mosquito population. The small creeks on the property had been badly used. The main creek was full of garbage, there were many torn bags of garbage, that had been there for a very long time. There was even an old umbrella in there. Attila used the shovel to lift the garbage out of the creek and onto the bank, it was an all day job. My task for the day was to mind the camp fire, which I really enjoy. We are burning the dead wood closest to the fire pit first, and working our way out from there. There are a lot of dead fallen branches, which I broke into small pieces and burned in the fire pit.
Saturday we stopped for a lovely lunch cooked over the embers in the fire pit. Attila found two large rocks to place on either side of the fire in the pit, and these rocks held the grate. Using a sandwich cooker, Attila slowly grilled cheese sandwiches. So wonderful! There is nothing like the taste of grilled cheese sandwiches cooked over an open fire.
When it was time to leave I fetched two large buckets of water from the swampy area near the entrance to the camp, and with this water I put out the fire completely, drowning the embers.
And again we drove home into a glorious sunset. I felt very tired after my second day working in the bush!
Sunday, April 10, 2016
That brings me to today. Again, bright and early, we were off to the Rideau Camp. I had second thoughts about the way we constructed the fire pit, I felt there wasn’t enough sand lining the pit. I discussed my concerns with Attila, and requested that he dig up some of the gravel pile that he found overgrown on our property, and transport it to the fire pit. So that is what he did. Attila removed the rock lining we had put into the pit on Friday, and shovelled in the gravel, it was about two inched deep. Then Attila lined the pit with rocks from the property. Finally, I added a bag of sand and worked it into all the spaces between the rocks, to give us a thick, non-combustable base for our fire pit.
The rest of the day I tended the fire, burning dead wood from the property, and Attila did various odd jobs. He brought several loads of gravel to fill in low areas around the picnic table; collected and bagged the garbage that he had thrown up on the bank to dry yesterday; cut wild grapes around the property, that were growing up into the trees, dragged brush from down the driveway to the fire pit area so that I could burn it, and did more work on the drainage system.
There were no grilled cheese sandwiches for us today though. I had carefully packed everything we needed, except the bread!
We left the Camp mid-afternoon, so that Attila could come home and get some sleep before he heads off to work tonight.
We have left our mark on the Rideau Camp. The garbage cleanup, the removal of dead wood and brambles, the lovely fire pit, the grilled cheese sandwich feast, it was a good inauguration.
We are thrilled that it is an easy day trip to visit the Rideau Camp. It takes about an hour and fifteen minutes from driveway to driveway, and the scenery along the way is very pleasant.
One of the interesting things about an open campfire is how you smell after spending time around one. People don’t smell very nice when they have been spending a lot of time around a campfire. We showered each day when we arrived home, but since our clothing reeked, we wore the same layers all weekend, and when we got home today we began to do loads of laundry. This includes washing my parka, which I had to wear all weekend because it was so darned cold out there! Hopefully next weekend will be milder, so that I can wear a lighter jacket while tending the fire, which will be easier to launder than a parka.
We are totally in love with the Rideau Camp!
Cloudy. Periods of snow mixed with ice pellets beginning early this evening then changing to rain overnight. Risk of freezing rain after midnight. Snow and ice pellet amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h this evening. Temperature rising to plus 4 by morning.
Date: 5:00 PM EDT Sunday 10 April 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Visibility: 24 km
Wind: S 17 km/h
Wind Chill: -5
“By health I mean the power to live a full, adult, living, breathing life in close contact with… the earth and the wonders thereof – the sea – the sun.”
1888 – 1923
The sea has not been a part of my life, but the sun, inland lakes, precambrian rocks, pine trees, maples trees, oak trees…