Monday, January 3, 2011
My mountain friends
The upside to being sick is I don't feel so bad when I take the time to dig through my archives of videos from days gone by. This latest clip I remembered fondly and thought I would share it and the lesson that one can take with it.
I was to be the last person transported out of our mountain camp up at Lady Laurier. However as the little bush plane departed with the second to last load, the weather closed in and I knew I was to be on my own for awhile. Up there in the mountains one learns quickly that plans have to be fluid, especially when it comes to travel by air.
The rain, hail and sometimes snow was relentless over a four day period and I was starting to go a little 'bushed' until this little mouse (actually a red-backed vole) showed up in my cabin. The vole looked as though he had been in a one sided fight and was obviously exhausted as he hauled himself under our wood stove. The heat from the stove was probably welcomed and he just lay there, panting and obviously stressed.
Now I know that most would have taken the opportunity to dispatch the rodent as they are the bane of all who live in cabins. They chew the leather on your saddles, they eat your porridge and they poop in the pepper. But I have recently been of the view that I should only kill that which: I can eat, is about to eat me, or is really annoying. I hasten point out that my wife reminds me that the third criteria I mention is not really appropriate and I thank her for filling in for my somewhat faulty social conscience.
So instead of whacking the vole on the head with the frying pan, I offered him up a small piece of cheese. Small to me of course but a veritable mountain to my minute friend. He finally got up the nerve to feed on the cheese and I got a good deal of satisfaction out of watching him chow down.
The vole came back periodically and each day he seem to grow in strength and his offspring are probably still up in that alpine cabin - chewing on saddles, eating porridge and pooping in the pepper.
My plane never did return and I had to ride out on my own through a raging mountain storm, through a valley choked with grizzlies, and then faced with fording a swollen mountain river. You may surmise that I had survived that trip but the truth of the matter is the subject of yet another of my "Amazing Tales form the North."
Posted by Frank Ritcey at 11:50 AM