Sunday, 11 December 2011

Beating the cold

We didn't find out what that smell was for some time. What we did discover was the cold. As we had arrived at the beginning of May and it was still freezing at night, so, when we woke up in the early morning the water had frozen and we were shivering.  We had to find a way to stay warm.  The early settlers probably wouldn't have had this problem (at least at this time of year) as they would have brought their wood stoves with them. We hadn't been able to do that.  I did have my stove on order but it wouldn’t arrive for another 2 months. When we had left the coast the weather had been beautiful and we just hadn’t thought it would be so much colder here. 

We did have a small generator and an electric heater so were able to stay warm the next night, however, running the generator used a lot of gas and this wasn’t what we had come here to do. So, we made another trek into town.  What we found was…. nothing.  Oh you can purchase wood heaters but only if you are willing to spend big money.  All we wanted was something very small that would keep us warm at night.  Even a small propane tent heater would have worked but we visited every store and there was nothing.  What to do? We didn’t want to drive three hours to the city but it was looking more and more like we might have to do just that.

We decided to do some serious exploring on our property. There were two very, very old log buildings we were hoping would hold the treasure we were looking for.

This picture wasn't taken at that time but later in the fall

This old cabin looked like it had been made by the very first settlers on this land.  While it is falling down you can see someone had tried to preserve it. It was very short, only just about six feet high at the peek.  I stared in wonder. How these settlers would have stayed warm at 30 below was beyond me. This land is well known for it’s bitterly cold winters. The “walls” were made from the trees on our property and only at the very most 6 inches in diameter.  It would have been drafty and other than the logs there was no insulation. Did they have children? How long did they live here? How did they survive? We take so much of what we have for granted! When you come face to face with the past it is very sobering to think of yourself in the position of those first settlers with only the supplies they could carry in their wagons and the nearest town probably a days drive away.  They had only themselves to rely on no matter what happened.

We found many, many treasures that told, at least in some small part, the story of those who had lived here and led us to believe that this was indeed the home of the first settlers here.  We ended up being grateful to them for leaving so much behind.  It seemed like nothing they ever disposed of had been taken to the community dump.  It was all here!  It gave us a glimpse into the past and wonder of wonders a way to keep warm!

These photo's graciously taken by Mountain Man this morning as I wasn't ready to brave the elements.  Did I tell you I love him? :) 

It was small, it was old, but it was perfect! We can't part with it now. Who knows when it will come in handy again? It kept us wonderfully warm and most days I cooked our breakfast and dinner (or supper as many call it) on it as well. How I wished I could sit down with the people who had used this stove when it was new!  I had so many questions! 

We still had not figured out what was causing that smell.  It was more than the smell that was making us curious by now as every night we heard this creature under the house. Literally under our bed! But try as we might over the next couple days we couldn't get a glimpse of it. We knew we would soon have to find out what it was and were determined that it HAD to go. But for now we were happy and warm.  


  1. isn't it wonderfull what life provides when we need it! .. good score on the stove .. i've just started reading your blog, passed on my a friend, and am only at the beginning .. i share this dream that you're living .. good on you two!

  2. I have enjoyed reading your blog, it is soo amazing! I am living my dreams through you...Reminds me of my childhood exploring my aunt's property, she bought this old farm house back in the early 80's that had over 100 acres, she and her husband sub-lent part of the land to Amish farmers & kept many more acres as woods. During the first weeks of owning the property my sister, father & explored the woods and found so many cool things, like your amazing find on your property.

    They had a wood mill, Ice house- I think it was called or summer house, maple shed think they called it a "sugar house" and it was such an amazing walk filled with discoveries, the early owners, who knows if it was the early settler's house , had a small open, one room shed/building that seemed to have no use and it was further in the wooded property. It was not in as bad of shape and look maintained, we would pretend it was our cabin and we lived back in the olden days.

    I sure wish she had this now, I would love to scavenge for herbs, explore and maybe talk her into letting us put up a Yurt in the back...


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