October! Wow! That month certainly did come around in a hurry this year! And I really don’t know if I am ready for it. Physically, pretty well set these days, with lots of fresh produce from the gardens, but I don’t know if I am really ready for all of the dark and stormy weather that I know will be coming with the months of October and November. My last blog entry was in early August and this part of the country was just getting over a prolonged drought. In September, the falls rains began in earnest here. I got all of the potatoes out of the ground before the worst of it. I harvested about 200 pounds of potatoes, which are now safely stored in my makeshift root cellar. Got the carrots in, also, about sixty pounds. Lots of big Swedes (rutabaga) and cabbage to harvest still. The Brussels sprouts were planted late and may not provide much this year, but they are still growing, as is the broccoli and cabbage.
I spent most of my spare time during the first three weeks of September digging a trench to put my water line down into. This trench is along a pathway through the meadow that I am clearing out to the high garden and it will be planted also. Sort of a strip garden as opposed to a strip mall. It is about three hundred feet from the cabin to the spring where the water originates and there will be an irrigated garden all along the way. Sure have had the water, here, too. About two weeks ago, over 15 inches of rain fell in just a four-day period! More than that in Stewart!
Yes, it’s that time of year when the mushrooms and fungi start popping up all over. I recently photographed a huge up-springing of Amanita mushrooms. They were larger, and there were more in one small area than I had ever before seen. Huge shaggy manes along the mining road, too.
The clouds have been surrounding the cabin lately, but when they do lift or the sky clears part-way, the tops of the mountains are revealed to show fresh snow from the top down, lower down, each week. Another month and I may see snow at my elevation (1700 feet a.s.l.) The peaks surrounding me top out at 6 or 7,000 a.s.l.
I made a quick trip to Stewart on Wednesday, the 23rd of September. Hitchhiked in between rain showers. French Canadian tourists gave me a lift as far as Meziadin. Got an e-mail from my young friend Robyn, from Indiana. She was on her way to visit and expected to be at my place on Wednesday, the 23rd, and here I was in Stewart! She did arrive at my place on Wednesday evening and worked up the courage to hike in on her own following the ribbons that I had put up last month. The trail is very rough in places and yet Robyn climbed over or under all of the treacherous windfalls, down the steepest part of the hill, with no guide. Robyn tells me that until she actually arrived at the cabin and let herself in, she wasn’t even sure that she was on the right trail. But, the maps that I had sent her set her on the correct course.
As I headed out of Stewart on Thursday morning with my supplies, I thought that there just might be a chance that I would meet Robyn coming into Stewart as I was heading out. I got a lift from a grizzly bear hunter up the road as far as Skowill Creek, where he was looking for the bear. I was on the highway for maybe an hour, when Robyn drove up from the south. She had passed me in the Bear Pass and recognized my face through the windshield of the pickup truck that I was in. She did get into Stewart and saw Pat at the liquor store, who assured her that I had probably already left town and that I was on my way home.
So now I have her company for another two weeks or so. We are planning to make a shopping trip to Terrace. I’ll post this then. All is well here in the woods. The old hermit has company for a short time, at least!