Three eagles, an otter family of five, several Rainbow Trouts, countless dead Sockeye Salmon and one squaw fish. That was the tally of wildlife I saw over the past 4 days. Oh yes, and one unfortunate dead deer by the roadside. Apparently it was unusual that I did not see any live ones. However, hunting season opened recently and they may be smarter than we think. Hope they are hiding well and that they escape the bullets aimed toward them.
I spent the last four days and three nights in Mabel Lake about an hour and a half north of Kelowna in B.C. Four days without television, cell phone signal, no gadgets of any kind and not even a radio or newspaper to keep me abreast of the news of the world. It was heaven.
At first it was a bit strange. I repeatedly turned my phone on and off to see if it was really true, but after a few attempts, I could see it was futile and I left it off for the duration. No texts, no calls, no nothing. Once I accepted this was going to be the drill, I started to relax into it. Days and nights consisted of nature walks, fishing, listening to music and a crackling fire, card games and great meals. We even cooked and ate a trout within an hour or two of catching it - our cocktail hour snack. I think my brother has got it right.
He bought this cabin ("cottage" in Ontario) in this beautiful B.C. lake resort two summers ago and this was my first visit. The reason the salmon were dead is because it has been one of the biggest runs up the Shuswap River in a century and after they spawn, they die. The riverbanks are covered with the carcasses and the smell although a bit unpleasant will only last as long as it takes the birds and bears and other carnivores to get rid of them.
Whenever I am in this sort of wilderness setting, it makes me hate the city. Makes me want to turn all Jeremiah Johnson and live in the bush. However, the reality is, after a few months of having to catch my meals and chop wood for the fire, the novelty might wear off a bit.....or maybe not. Hard to say. In this case, the cabin is perfectly comfortable and has all the amenities 0ne would need to survive - indoor plumbing, all the necessary appliances, good beds, an entire film library and stereo equipment. It also helped that the main fridge was stocked with food and the bar fridge was stocked with wine and beer. Let's face it - not exactly roughing it.
As I was a guest, I also did not have to chop the wood, carry it in, or even start the fire (although I do know how!). My brother is the lumberjack in the family and chivalry reigns, so I was well taken care of too. Getting into the forest, boating around in a fresh water lake, observing wildlife in natural habitats - these are the things that remind us we are Canadian. Life in the city does not do this for me.
And, four days was barely enough. Next time, a week at least.
You hearing that bro? Minimum. Thanks, and See ya soon!