Yellowhead: Highway to Homestead

I was cleaning out lodge rooms for the new season at Tekarra Lodge when I first laid eyes on Mount Robson. It was my first job out West, coming from Northern Ontario, and my first time in the mountains. I hadn’t been an avid hiker just yet, but laying eyes on this mystical mountain inspired me start taking it into serious consideration. The photo I had found was to be discarded due to ageing and an outdated frame, so I asked to keep the picture and decided to place it on my altar.

Manifest. Manifest.

Though I would not see many hikes in 2017, by August of 2018, I experienced my first back country camping trip with some colleagues/roommates, and instantly knew that this activity was a long lost lover in desperate need of attention… along with that I knew that hiking the Berg Lake Trail was something I deeply desired to accomplish. Within two weeks of making this a future goal, I met a man who I would fall madly and deeply in love with – who turns out, would be a Berg Lake Ranger, and who would help train me to hike in the back country, and who would inevitably take me up to the Berg Ranger Cabin once I felt comfortable enough to hike the biggest mountain in the Canadian Rockies.

The brief of meeting Curt and hiking Berg. The in-between, the magic of our life, introduced to me in the night, sixteen hours after I first jumped in Curts truck. Into the dark woods of British Columbia (my first time crossing the border was this drive) along the great divide; I would not meet my surroundings until morning, when I would then fall into mother earth’s embrace, with still water reflecting Fitzy in the purple morning glow… my home, what is now known as Yellowhead Homestead. Our little off-grid cabin perched gently under cedar, fir, and the seven sisters.

Have you ever thought to do it? No running water. No power – no lights, no chargers. No switch or dial for instant heat. Axe, mauls, and splitters; sometimes you’re up every two hours. Stoking fires. Boiling water for coffee. Boiling water for baths. Have you ever thought to do it? The best sleep you could ever have. Silence. Mother’s morning whisper through song bird and waking waters. Floating, easy and gentle, running the red boat down her wave, coating the surface in water color dreams. There is a happening that occurs in the symphonic silence of Nature: it calls, it rumbles something blissfully deep within you and you come running out, grinning, feeling it inch by inch. There is nothing to lose and everything to love. Have you ever thought to do it? I bet you could do it, too.

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