Monday, September 26, 2011

Canyon Alpine RV Park - Autumn

DSCN0347Friday night running away to the country, feels like shedding the city in a great escape. The clothing of work and worry lies strewn all along the highway. We provisioned at the Huskey Station in Chilliwack, filling  the truck with diesel, the jerry cans with  gas,  and the spare bottles with propane.  Victor had given us venison jerky for 'pattern recognition' . Gilbert was as interested in that the whole ride as the passing scenery.   Somewhere along the canyon highway before the tunnels I stopped to pee by the side of the road. At the Husky I'd only seen a couple of shy stars, now the whole sky was filled with a hallelujah chorus of them.     Then we're enterring the Canyon Alpine RV Park, Brent stepped out to welcome and greet us.  The park is pristine as usual. I love the trees and quiet.
It didn't take any time to set up the RV.  I plunked down in front of tv to watch a Space film about military time travellers bringing back aliens who attacked the world.  Perfect for before bed entertainment.  Laura had the mattress plugged in so it was toasty warm when I moved from the couch to the bed.  Gilbert was already beside Laura lying in my spot thinking me rude to move him.  He brought me a toy after that. Of course I must want to play, he thought. DSCN0337
5 am the shoe was on the other foot when I had to get a very tired little Gilbert out of bed and dressed for the morning hunt.  We headed out of the park and up Ainslee Road to the Forest Service Roads up back of the mountain that go for miles.  I found a spot and sat in ambush drinking thermos coffee and eating hard boiled eggs I'd brought along.  Gilbert loves to share the eggs.  It was a delicious morning.  Someone failed to schedule the deer  but after a couple of hours I was happy to go look for them.  Hunting is often just walking or riding about the back country drinking in the sights and exploring. I love nature. I love the wide open vistas. I love just being out with the crazy dog.  His enthusiasm and belief that just around the next corner we'll see game is even greater than mine.  Nonetheless I'm as surprised as he when we do.  This day it's just grouse and the birds are smarter by now. At least a half dozen or more escape by flying straight away and not up to a tree. Even Gilbert can't catch them when they glide off somewhere to land in bush running.  Thankfully one silly one flies up to sit on a tree watching me shoot him in the head with my Ruger 22:10 rifle.  Gilbert is ecstatic when he runs to find the fallen bird.
The sun becomes so hot I stop and strip down to pants and t shirt.It's the Daytona Motorcycle race t shirt my brother game me.
DSCN0341 Gilbert and I have walked about in the woods some and now he settles into the back seat looking over my shoulder as we have a leisurely ride back to the Canyon Alpine RV park.  Laura is waiting to hear all Gilbert's stories as he bounds about her.  Eventually his reunion is over and he settles into his Little Ceasar dog food while Laura brings out bacon sandwiches she's made.  I putter about the camp a bit.
I'm reading David Donachie "A Game of Bones '1796 maritime novel of privateers, frigates and the East Indian company ships.  It's a marvellous way to relax before evening settles in and the tv calls for zombies.  I'm on the couch watching my brains drain out of my ears and my body slime the floor.  It's tv time and Laura and I watch mindless detective shows with rapt attention.  Early to bed at 9:30 and I'm up at 4 am this time.
I've dreamt of killing a deer. A good sign.  Gilbert is all for staying in bed.  But I'm adament. We're on the ATV and up the mountain to leave the machine and hike to position ourselves  on the side of the mountain. I've a perfect spot to watch the treeline, a trail and clearing. I've seen deer and deer sign here.  I break out in coughing just as light comes up. I've forgotten cough drops and the coffee and eggs take a while to relieve it. I'm sure every animal for miles is scared away.  Another hour and maybe now at 7 am they've  forgotten the noise. I'm hopeful, listening and watching in total silence.  A crack in the forest, animal coming.  Gilbert barks, a challenge both brave and cowardly as if startled from revelry. I whack him, 'you idiot', and he looks up with that 'sorry, I forgot boss' look.  Another hour and nothing comes despite our mutual silence.  So we might as well ride about the back woods a couple of cowboys.
We meet a couple of other hunters.  "Haven't seen anything today but last week my friend and I both got 4 points up there," he points to where I've just come from.
DSCN0342He's driving a two by atv with canopy and they've been listening to iphone music plugged into the console. I want to ask if they were sitting walking or driving around but I don't. I 've just missed a grouse because I couldn't find my 22 clip.  Grouse aren't the thing to mention when guys are telling you  they've got big game and are back for seconds.  Young guys too. One Italian while the other was Asian.  New clothes, old guns, worn binoculars.  I know the Italian has sized me up too.  I look like I know what I'm doing but there's no deer across the front of my Polaris.  I drive away feeling more despondent. Maybe he's just trying to psych me out. Reminds me of medical school where the guys would lie about what they knew. There's no reason out here.  He doesn't need to impress me and I don't need to impress him.  If anything we'd tell each other we hadn't seen anything and hide our carcass so they move along to another place and leave the good hunting ground to us.
Gilbert and I return to Laura.  I'm beat. He's pretty tired too. It's 2 pm.  Brent comes by and tells me there's another salmon run starting. It will be going on next weekend.too. I 've told Laura how my father did more fishing when he was older.  I feel older now but think I'll fish more when I retire, not that many more years.  I tell Brent that the BC  hunting guide says that any bucks are open starting October 1.  This week was 4 points or more only.
Brenda comes by and we talk of travel. They're going to fly over to the Phillipines this winter for a holiday. I talk about Saipan and how I miss it. Brenda is from Phillipines and Brent says he loves exploring the countryside there like I've been doing here.  DSCN0338
I have a nap before Laura and I clean up camp and load the ATV. DSCN0339
It's 4 when we leave.  "The radio says that the city had wind storms." L aura tells me.  We have an easy ride down the canyon.  At Whatcom we stop at the Wendy's drive through for supper. Laura and I have chicken tenders while Gilbert has a burger paddy.  By the time we get into the city Randy Bachman and his wife are on CBC radio going over the oldies.
"Did you know his father was a Mennonite Minister?" Laura asks.  I say I knew he was Mennonite.   Brilliant man. Guess Who and Bachman Turn Overdrive were such great bands.  Tonight I love his show with songs of unusual instruments. Great way to drive into Vancouver.  Great end to a great weekend. DSCN9701

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