We began our westward trip home to the Pacific side of the continent by taking a 4 hour drive to the homestead of our niece and her family. We stayed there for a few day's rest on the way east. The first day it was raining but the temperature rose to 14 C. so when everybody was off the property I took a shower outside in the rain. The water is hot so it was a sheer delight. Some of the low bushes were starting to turn red at the end of the field.
It was a busy weekend. #1 son drove up with his family, for a visit with cousins and to take in the hike and Farmer's Market and Art in the Forest and a concert one evening with the group Whitehorse. They were all impressed with the music, and I got children to play with all by myself. The first afternoon we were taken on a tour on ATVs around the second, new homestead they bought, and stopped at one of the small chain of lakes to see the wood duck boxes and beaver lodges.
The Art in the Forest walk is always a delight on a sunny Autumn day.
The ruby high-heeled slipper made out of glass beads fascinated Jacklyn.
On Saturday we went to Minden to take in an art installation actually about the 4 horsemen of the Apocolypse, but it started with 4 horse rides for a quarter a turn. We used to ride these as children whenever possible when we went shopping with boring parents.
They even insisted that I do it again and it was good for a laugh. Silly old lady.
Dave and Cheryl led one of the 31 hikes going on around the area that weekend. Their hike took 2 hours and toured only their own two homesteads which are much larger than the original settlers land grants. They have cleared trails with a bush hog as their land is also used by a local dog sledding group and a cross-country ski group. The property has an interesting history for the hikers to stop and talk about. Irish/Scottish/English/European peasants were so happy to be given their own chunk of land to till and keep a cow and fowl to help them survive. Now all that is left of most of them is rock walls between fields, holes where the basements and wells were, and a few implements rotting in the severe weather. It is rocky soil with some field patches and a hardscrabble way to stay alive, even if better than what they left in Europe. Most moved on eventually to the richer soil of the prairies or to jobs in local villages
The next day we drove away with Willie Nelson blasting out our RV windows as we crawled down the gravel drive, "On the Road Again". We camped that night about 5 hours drive away at Nippissing Lake. I captured a rainbow after a rainstorm. I hoped that is a good omen for our trip home.