Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mt H'Kusam View Lodge

Ostensibly I’m staying at the Mt H’Kusam View Lodge near Sayward, BC to go bear hunting each day. Because the bear have slept in like I have, I'm mostly driving around the glorious back country 4x4ing and taking pictures of Roosevelt Elk.
This Hostel and Wilderness Retreat owned and run by Jill Tyndale and Chris Watkiss is truly a jewel.  I’ve slept as deep as possible in the luxurious room.  There’s even a walk in shower, though I’m not old enough to appreciate that as one day I might.
This hostel sleep 20 some.  While a few rooms are like mine most are two bunks to a bed with a half dozen or more shared bathrooms and showers. There’s a professional kitchen and they once had a banquet for several hundred.  Two stories with rooms up and down and various places for meetings and relaxation.  I love the atmosphere.
 Chris taught Mathematics at university before having a family and becoming immersed in organic goat dairy.  No surprise one daughter is studying now to be a veterinary.
Right now there are tree planters here for a month.  Another time there were geologists.  They have a lot of return tourism folk who come like me for the outdoors. We were discussing nearby Mount Cheam with it’s tow rope skiing and Mount Washington resort. The winters were slack at first but have really picked up.
There’s fishing and hunting of course but mostly people come for the recreational pursuits.  There were mountain bikers out today.   It’s a photographer’s heaven.
I like the ease and wish I had a week to just hang out.  I’ve been 4x4 ing but I would gladly just walk these hills as well.  Gilbert loves it here.  He was out with the three other dogs in the fenced area out back. First they played then he barked plaintively to return to his special human status as my companion.
He probably could smell what I was up to while he was outside. I was eating a superb lamb roast and moroccan soup.  Chris and I had discussed Moosewood Cookbook and our times as vegetarians.  His stopped when they began farming and started a local 4h club for the children.  Mine stopped when I was an intern and the hospital food was so bad I was languishing because I couldn’t get out to eat.  Thankfully the East Indian restaurant opened next to the Winnipeg General. That and my return to chicken and fish brought me back to health despite the long hours and constant contact with disease.  Then I returned to hunting with Dad. There’s been no looking back.
I loved Chris’ lamb sauce.  After two nights of  remarkable meals I appreciate what a splendid chef he truly is.
"This is a long way from teaching math,” I said. “It surely is,” he said, smiling.

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