The Trappers Cabin- The Flickering Lantern- Part 1

The Trappers Cabin- The Flickering Lantern In The Window- Part 1

Original Post 07/24/2009 

Imagine observing an old trappers cabin. Deep in the woods, miles from nowhere, built to be protected from the cold winds surrounded by spruce trees. Yet close to the lakefront. A canoe onshore, always ready at his calling to go get a moose for winter survival food, or fish when needed. Smoke always coming from the chimney, keeping the inside always a place of warmth and comfort, with coffee or tea always ready just in case of a bush pilot visitor who may fly in unannounced, yet so welcome. Coming to be sure the trapper is alive and well, and tell stories into the night. The trapper walks the winter bush in snow shows, following the lay of the land and entrenched paths from years of knowledge, the intimacy of a true artist. A man at one with his environment. At peace with his environment. One who knows every tree, every leaf, every creek, every animal in his territory, large and small. Every mountain top. Every weather phenomena from an early arriving fall to a late arriving spring. Every break of wave on the lake, every cove, the shallow spots, the deep waters. Where the best fishing is, pointing to the location of the largest trout off that point, the finest arctic grayling in the bay over there. All things reflect his knowing. I am a very fortunate man to have met a few trappers from my days flying out of Ft.St.John, BC. I had the extraordinary opportunity to meet trappers who were very much like this. A very interesting type of person to talk with knowing the limited time you are visiting with them never allows the space for intimacy. I watched a TV show with an outdoor cook who, with a camera crew, pursue places back in the bush from which to cook in nature. The cook had a trapper on his show who took the group on some trails with four wheelers. A short segment was to illustrate being with the trapper on his trap line. Aside from cooking a muskrat fresh from a trap, the trapper told us all, the audience, that the trapping days have changed. It is now a course taken through approved schools. In his words, he suggested that the act of trapping was now secondary to just being in the bush to stay in good shape and enjoy the outdoors. Catching animals is now to be considered incidental and not a prerequisite for being a trapper. Since when is a trapper not a trapper? It sounds like when someone other than yourself tells you what a trapper is and what a trapper is not. A new age trapper vs. the trapper of old. The original trapper depended on catching his limit of winter catch to make a simple living. This set him up for the following years plans to do the same. Today, when you see the cabin from the window of your float plane, you are more likely a tourist arriving to be entertained and dined for an hour, then off to pursue the next grand adventure, only to be back at home in the city by supper, to chat about the experience with wine and steak. A far cry from the wolves calling their howls from deep in the wilderness. Loud enough for the old trapper to know each one by name. Until the next WebLog, GG

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