Saturday, August 08, 2009

Grey Owl


20 Snows ago, by the shores of Clear Lake, Land of Manitou, before the full moon of harvest, old warrior and his grandson, rode out over the hills to Riding Mountain to seek the Medicine Man known far and wide as Grey Owl, He who walks by night.

O.K. so it was 1989, and we were riding mountain bikes instead of horses, but we did go to see Grey Owl. And I will admit we were 54 years late, as he was already dead. But !!!! the cabin was still there.

Relying on my grade 3 experience as I tried to remember it lo these many years later, we set off up the trail through the woods from the trail head marker.

11 miles and about 1 hour later we arrived at the cabin. It was just like I remembered from the black and white movie except there was no lake, no beavers, no under the cabin channel from which the two beavers nick-named Jelly Roll and Rawhide, could access their nest inside the cabin directly from the Lake. We were the only ones there and it was as quiet as a church chapel on Tuesday morning..

The door was open so we went in. Again it was just like in the old film. I asked Ben my grandson to check the floor for a small trap door because I remember the movie had shown one. Sure enough, he discovered it right by the wooden bunk. We sat at the table for a while pondering about the complex man that had built it and what it must have been like for him in this very lonely place.

When he left, the beaver left. When they were gone, the dams they built to create the lake gradually fell into disrepair and the lake water slowly leaked away leaving only a small pond and the dry ground as it was before..Now there was nothing but the cabin it self to remember the strange tale of an even stranger man and his love for the First nations people and the beaver that had transformed them all.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it

Doug G

Thanks Doug

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