and... Maybe I needed a vacation, a normal regular vacation, with the two kids, 9 year old Alex Jr, 2-1/2 year old Gretchen, in the station wagon. Maybe a trip to Canada, might be just the right thing. Somehow we decided, âLets drive to Banff, in Alberta, Canada.â A Californian thinks the world somehow ends in a proper way at the California borders. Canada to most Californians is a place filled with Mounties, board and bat shacks, Janet MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, singing love songs in the snow. So this would be the most extreme Northern adventure one could imagine.
A How-to-live (in the woods) Book
Nancy found a âfunâ back-to-the-land type book, in the Banff bookstore, to read while we were driving. It turned out to be Vena and Bradford Angierâs âAt Home In The Woodsâ. It fit in with the then current 1970s ideas of âplant a carrot and watch it growâ, and go-back-to-the-land. The book also meshed perfectly with a 1970's back-to-the-land almost guru author Alica Bay Laurelâs question of âdo you want to pay âPG&Eâ (the local San Francisco California Bay Area electric company) or chop wood?â Now some people would rather pay PG&E. However, to Nancy and me it seemed like a lot more fun and excitement to chop wood than pay PG&E.
The book was so thrilling of a discovery that we couldnât stop reading it. It is about a Boston couple who left the city and move to Northern British Columbia and build a log house and thrive. While we were driving in the direction of Hudson Hope where the Author lived, it seemed like we were heading for the Mecca of all of the 70s ideas. As we drove Nancy was reading the book. The California family was venturing deeper and deeper into pure wilderness and getting closer and closer to the wonderfully wild and romantic Northern town of Hudson Hope British Columbia. The author and his back to the land cabin life was getting closer as we read. It was too far to go in a two week vacation. We had already driven from Woodside ( thirty miles South of San Francisco), California to Banff in Alberta, Canada, and now we were going another 1000km or about 600miles further North. We were about fifty miles from Hudson Hope, and Bradford Angierâs perfect life in his book. It was time to turn around and head back to civilization, to get back to work in the nick of time.
That is where Moberly Lake is. If anything has special substance, then this Lake, surrounding area, Wilderness, natural attractions, and climate is it. Geologically it is on the extreme East end of the Canadian Boral Forest. There is the unique Summer sparkle, freshness, with that Sun that never sets, and makes things grow with a burst of life not seen in many places. The Sun is up from four in the morning until eleven at night, you can work a long day, and still enjoy all that there is. In Winter there are short brilliant bright white days, and long dark day-nights of eerie anechoic minus fifty degree Fahrenheit quiet. There is a Joy of the Seasons. There are four, more full, more different, more perfect than common imagination, more like Seasons were meant to be. It is a big lake, about four or five times the size of Walden Pond. ...
not really finally,...
We drove up in our blue Chevy station wagon with our overflowing excitement with Bradford Angierâs book to some how meet Sig Paul. On this little road so far from California we meet. Sig Paul was on his tractor, it seemed so big and mechanical at the time. He was in a small five or ten acre field near his house at the Lake. We told him that we were from the City. As if that wasnât the most obvious thing in the whole world. As if any of us had ever done a day of real farm work or even had any clue what that was. With our book in one hand, I said we want to buy some land to live on, does he know any for sale? Sig Paul said the land at the Lake was for sale, it had âpowerâ, water, sewer and a nice house. We could have it right-away. I explained we wanted land that was out, that didnât have power, phone or house, and we would be back next Spring. We were going to build a log house (according to the plan in our book). There was more than a little skepticism in Sig Paulâs expression. Though he was polite, and continued, I think that he thought that he would never see these City Slicks again.
Sig Paul said âI have some nice land seven miles in on the Boucher Lake Road. Itâs a road that you canât always get thru on. Itâs four miles past the Indian reservation land and there is no power, water, or many people around. And he doesnât actually own it yet. About thirty acres of the Quarter Section (One-Hundred-Sixty acres) is already in hay crop.â This sounded just perfect, just what Bradford Angierâs was talking about in his book.
How much? The government is leasing the land to Sig Paul for about ten dollars a year. If he âproves upâ about sixty-four of the one-hundred-sixty acres, then he can buy it from the Province of British Columbia for eight dollars an acre. That means he would have to pay One-Thousand-Two-Hundred-and-Eighty dollars to the government. He had already âbrokeâ about thirty acres, and rough cleared the remaining thirty-four acres that he thought he needed to complete before he could get title from the government. So he said that we could buy the quarter section for Two-Thousand dollars, if we would prove it up and get the title from the government. We shook hands ...
Enjoy Canada (and America) both great countries - there are also many others! Isn't the world a beautiful place?... We needed life with action, and results, and where the life is flowing in and around, and you are unconscious of even a second of time. Because you are the time, and the action, and in love with all things and all tasks. How does that compare the those lives of quiet desperation?
Letâs try it for a year
Even though it was a perfect plan, and charged the core of our being ...
:haha: :haha: :haha:Cabin Fever said:We wanted a place where peole talked normal. So we picked Minnesota.