A day in the life of Atikokan...
Yesterday evening I left the house full intended to head to Camp Quetico to see about renting a canoe for the evening on Eva Lake. It’s about 40 kms or so from town. But enroute I see the turn for the Stanton Bay put in, only 18 kms up the bush road! So distracted I headed up the road. My first stop was a little pull off to talk to my daughter Maggie, who was proud to tell me she would be taking an outdoor adventure course. While I chatted with her I watched an eagle dancing in the sky with such grace over the water. So pretty to watch their gracefulness.
I let Maggie know I am heading up this bush road totally not knowing what to expect. It’s a narrow road, not really fit for a Chevy Spark, but I will go anyways. The road is narrow with trees right to the edge on either side. As I head up the road a storm approaches. It’s making me quite nervous as a lot of trees are already quite damaged or half fallen over from previous storms. I was a little nervous of the idea of a tree falling on me. So at moments when the wind picked up I would stop at a spot where I felt I would be less likely to be hit, but that’s not so easy to find on this road. But I am committed, turning around or keep going I was in the same predicament. After about 30 minutes I get to the portage trail into Stanton Bay, what a pretty little rustic trail head. But I didn’t get out of my car to walk it, it’s pouring rain. I took a photo sat for a minute there at the end of the road to enjoy where I am then headed back to the highway. It's another 30 minutes or so to get back to the highway, the skies still completely irrational. At this moment I am still thinking about heading to Camp Quetico if nothing else just to finish my drive. Of course the storm picks up, next thing you know I’m driving in rain and hail and dark skies thinking what the heck, I am driving through a tornado or so it seems! But I find a cottage road and take cover while the short lived down pour finishes it’s thing, but watched as the rain made the roads mini streams. A reminder that humans can build whatever they want but nature has the final say if it will stay that way. Rain can wash out a road! I was fortunate though it didn’t turn that bad. I gave up on my road trip and headed home. Instead of a pickeral dinner, it would be a box of Kraft Dinner and an early night to bed with my Presley to watch Youtube videos and catch up on Facebook groups about camping! I learn so much from others experiences. I am so grateful other people share their trip stories. Some share their stories in fantastic books like Kevin Callan or his KC Camper site on Youtube, and the likes of Jonathan Ontario otherwise known as Lost Lakes on Youtube. Hey if I can't get out the next best thing is to watch someone that did.
Today I worked from home, but on my lunch hour was able to quickly vacuum the Princess Cabin, give the floors a wash, and clean my bathroom. I am excited because tomorrow my best friend Bonnie comes for a visit, I hear she is bringing kayaks! Hopefully a 5mm crochet hook too, so I can make some socks!
In the evening I decide to go for a walk with my doggie to head to Home Hardware one of very few stores in town, and none open past 6, to see if I can find an air horn, and or bear bangers. But end up with nothing more than a foot stool and some large ziploc bags - I use them for just about everything on my trips. Clothes, dog food, a mixing bowl, a dog bowl, a dish washing bowl. It’s hard to believe all the uses for a ziploc bag but they come in handy for so many things! Not gonna lie, in a pinch if there is a big rain storm and I can’t leave my tent, a big old ziploc in the vestibule makes a really good pee pot making it so that I can stay dry! This is important because getting wet sucks when you are half asleep, especially if it’s gonna be a cold night.
On the walk over it was on and off raining, and of course the one time I don’t put on bug spray before I leave the Princess Cabin the blackflies make an inconvenient appearance. But I took a photo of the best outfitters around, Canoe Canada, right there on the Atikokan River. Then true story, I have been trying to get a hold of the local dentist figuring I only see the dentist a couple times a year, makes sense to get a new dentist here then I can just do that when I am up for my quiet time. I had called earlier this week, and sent emails with no response. But today walking by I learned two things. One they are closed for the month of June, and also they had posted on their window that there is currently a boil water advisory in town. Well hell I have been drinking my tap water like normal! this is how I will get beaver fever, not from dip and sip in Quetico!
Nobody told me there was a boil water advisory. Good thing I walked by the local dentist's closed up shop! Life in a small town, you get the important news in the strangest of ways, and too little to late.
The walk was nice, but it was time to head home. Presley was loving being outside so much that as I approached the front door to go in she lays down in front of me as if to say, mom I don’t want to go in yet. She was convincing so I decided it’s a good time to do my backyard inspection. I love going up into my backyard here, I feel like I have my own little mini hike to scale my own little hill into the trees on my own rock hill. Although I do so with caution because last time I was here, I startled a deer up there and it bolted seemingly over my head.
Truthfully if I had a hammock I could totally set it up back there and spend the night watching the night sky and feel like I am out camping. I will have to try that one night! I can see it now, a Granny with a house but she sleeps in her backyard in her tree hammock. Hey don't tempt me! Northern Gentleman used to joke that he would build me a tree house up there, and I could sit there with my shotgun and watch for bears like a crazy old lady! Could happen...
I inspected my side yard too. It always humbles me because between my house and the next house over used to be middle house. It burned down in a fire as a result of a dryer vent ill maintained. A very common cause of fire. The house that burned down was actually closer to my house yet my house only had a small spot of damage to the stucco where the other house being wood siding still shows the synge marks from the fire. Reminding me the value of a stucco house! I am pretty sure had my house been anything but stucco exterior, my house may have also caught fire! A reminder that God has my back, doesn't he though? I won’t forget that night. Northern Gentlemans’ daughter had sent me a text with a photo of a fire going on on my street. In that moment she thought it was my house. I was so scared that my house was burning down! I love this little Princess Cabin, I would’ve been devastated. Lucky nobody was home where the fire did happen. That said, when the fire was burning, emergency services had thought someone was home sleeping in my house and had kicked down the door to rescue the non existent person! Out of that I got a new front door paid for as part of the fire insurance, Northern Gentleman installed it for me! I love my new front door, just this year I painted a barn door red! Really pops with the white stucco! I can't believe though it’s been 9 years since that happened. Now with no house there I often thinking about buying that lot beside me for my family. You never know!
I took a picture of the neighbour's yard on the other side of me, not trying to be creepy but it's hard to believe... I had went over to ask them if I could take some seeds from their beautiful garden in the front yard. They advised me they didn't plant any of it, they just let it grow. So their front yard of beautiful flowers is just natures work! Reminding me just how ridiculous humans are ripping up nature to lay grass then put chemicals on it. Why not let nature do it’s thing! It’s so much better at landscaping, and so much prettier! Cities and some towns can be so blah with their need to have the conformity of well manicured lawns. It's weird to me what humans do.
My little yard inspection was done and though I was ready to head inside to do just this, blog, the neighbours called me over to see their chicken coop. They had been so kind as to share a dozen eggs when I got here on Sunday. I have been eating the freshest, most tastiest eggs ever thanks to them! Also they have a very entertaining rooster. I love hearing him during the day.
I am truly struggling about leaving, I know I still have a little over a week here, but it’s never enough time. I love Toronto too, don’t get me wrong. It’s so good to me. I often struggle where do I like more, Toronto or the Princess Cabin if I had to choose just one! But the answer is clear, as much as I love Toronto and definitely take full advantage of all it has to offer, and it's proximity to some other great nature spots, when I am there my mind wanders to being here with playing outside and when I am in the house with no TV on unless it’s a paddle show or one of my many VHS nature shows of Canada’s landscape, or reading a book, or playing a record, or writing a blog like this one! Who doesn’t want to live in a place where after work you can head outside and do something more than sit on a patio and spend money. I like this simpler life. When I am at the Princess Cabin, I don’t think too much about being anywhere else. In fact in a crazy world where my mind always seems to be on the go, this is one place where my mind seems to be living in the moment - truly!
Life in Atikokan is truly special and for anyone thinking about living in a place where you can “just be”, a small town in Northern Ontario is truly a place to “just be”.
Canoe Canada and the Atikokan River.
The white house is mine with one patch that was damaged, and the other house showing the burn from the fire.
My beautiful and full of green backyard... My own little camp!
The Neighbours wild flower garden
And the lovely rooster and his hens! How lucky am I to have fresh eggs being made across the street, right?
My view when I lay in my bed on an early night blogging/facebooking or catching a Youtube video! My boyfriend Stephan has taught me to just leave these curtains open when I sleep. I do that now, so that I can catch the nighttime sky right from my bed!
Incredible what I see when I don't close the curtains! My Samsung phone camera won't do a night sky justice that's my daughter Shelby's department, photography!