Written by William Butt, reproduced from the Fortune Teller
As the year draws to a close, I look back on the things that have happened in and around Fortune. We have had some good things happen to us over the past year; the Summer Games brought a few things to the town that we never had before; a few new homes were and are being built in our town so a little progress there. We are having a Physiotherapy clinic here some time in the New Year; a start was made on the clinic this year, so things are not all that bad. A start on the water and sewage line to Piercey St., new paving to come in the summer; some improve-ments to the Lake Academy playground are on going; every little bit helps out to the cause of keeping our Town alive.
Do we care? You bet we do. We care in many ways; you take the sick benefit put on by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25. The President who manages the Legion puts on a sick benefit for no one in particular but whenever the need arises he is there on the phone asking for help from the townspeople to donate soup, potato cakes, and sand-wiches. Then the various band players come out to donate their time for a matinee to help out for this worth while cause. Have you ever wondered how much money the Good people of Fortune gives to their fellow townspeople in need? Well here it is in a nut shell: in the past five years the branch fund raisers have reached in the vicinity of $50,000.00 and I think we should all tip our hats to the group of people who attend those dinners on Saturday and buy back their dinner of what they have already give to this worthy cause. Have you looked at the volunteers who serve those meals? They do it because they want to help. There has been two large coffee urns donated by Dawn Piercey in memory of her father Harvey Piercey, a nice gift to the Legion that sure helps out in time like benefits for the sick or needy.
The town of Fortune comes together in a time of need. We are talked about a great deal. Some of you have never heard it, but I can tell you WE ARE NOTICED AS A CARING PEOPLE. Isnít that great?
What a great supper the Lions Club and the Recycled Teenagers Club, headed up by Mr. & Mrs. Ken Bungay Sr, put on again this year. A great deal of planning and preparation goes into a supper like this and they all did a swell job.
As the fall comes into winter a lot of the outdoor actives for seniors will be moved indoors where it is warm and comfy and old bones will not creek from the cold.
At this time I would like to thank all of my readers; and thank you for the kind words & comments on my column. I enjoy doing it & it looks like a lot of you enjoy reading it.
Before I close out the column for the New Year, Hattie and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Take a walk in the great outdoors; the feeling you get is well worth the effort in and around Fortune outdoors.
With the New Year came the frost and snow; all outdoor activities seem to get off on a full run for the country. The trail bikes can be seen in the early morning with their riders bunched together as if in some conference of very important matters, but to the riders it was only a yarn of where the day might take them and how far they could get.
Early morning rides caught the sun just coming up; the glow in the eastern sky tells if itís going to be a good day on the country. The big thing now is outdoor cooking, most every rider and country lover has packed their favourite meal the night before - as one would guess there is sure to be a variety. The thing now, as the day comes on, is to find a good cook up spot in the shelter of the trees to break the wind from the cooking fire; whether it is done from open fire or small Coleman stoves - that too would depend on the type of food you had for dinner.
Most of the day is taken up in visiting cabins along the trail route to see who is in getting their cabins ready for the winter outings. Most cabin owners will invite you in for a hot cup of tea or whatever is on the stoves or table for that matter.
Many of the cabin owners are in to freshen up the place. Some are putting on a new coat of paint to make it look nice and to give it that fresh smell of being a nice place to come to spend the day. The wood stoves are stoked to the brim to ward off that winter chill. As the heat gets around the jackets are off; a day of relaxing work begins to make this winter haven a place to come to if only for a day at a time.
My ride today will take up most of the day as this is the first good day on the trail this year. We will try for Isaacís cabin on the top of the country, Salmonier lookout, one of the highest points between Fortune and the other side of the Peninsula, the towns of Lamaline and Point May. As we guessed; Isaac was there, the kettle was on and a warm up was inviting from the wood stove that was given another couple of junks of dry wood as we got inside. This is outdoor hospitality that you can find only to the true outdoorsy people.
The evening was coming to an end, the sky has taken on a new look of weather; we are a fair distance from home. The ride would take us about an hour to complete - a few pit stops here and there; I do believe the bikes wants to slow down a bit to ease the shock on old bones that are just getting the feel of the first long ride of the winter.
And there on the horizon was a majestic bull moose, horns glistening in the brassy Sun as it shines on the white carpet of snow. The moose stops long enough for all of us to admire the great bells hanging from under his neck, (a mound of hair that looks and is shaped like a bell).
Darkness is just setting in as we reach our destination point of the trail down over the hill towards the town. A great day was had by our group. The fresh air of the day spent on the country will be heard on the pillows tonight, as the snoring takes over the sleep of a tired old trail rider who has spent his day in and around Fortune outdoors.
Fortune Teller readers;
In my last column I wrote that the dinner that was put off for the Seniors was a great effort by the Lions Club and the Seniors Club, I was corrected the next day by one of my lady readers of the Fortune Teller, that it was the Town Council and the Lions Club that put off the Seniors supper My apologies for the error, I was misinformed.
Bill Butt for Fortune outdoors.
Winter weather is not to be played with, yet some of our younger residents feel the need to try their luck at beating old man winter; sometimes we are lucky and sometimes we read about that big storm that took the lives of those who never took the warnings of older people on weather conditions and what it can do.
We were lucky this time that we are not reading about a disaster in our small town. Some of our teens didnít read the winter pattern too well and the end result was a very cold stormy night in the back country with little or no food and a small amount of fuel for the stove to keep them warm. Why? The first things that come to my mind are not stopping to think; not being prepared for the worst of a winter condition; the stress and worry it places on the family who are left home not knowing their whereabouts and if they are safe.
Most of us like the adventure of the outdoors. But we must remember to remind ourselves that family must be told of our plans for our outings and our expected time of return. Failing to do this puts the whole town in a very bad situation of trying to find people who are left to the mercy of the winter storm, not knowing which way to start for a search that can put other people at risk of getting lost in a country thatís unforgiving -on a very dark lonely night in a winter storm.
My experience on the open country is that unless you are a very experienced outdoor person, when darkness or snow storm conditions come into play the whole situation changes; the country takes on a new look, the familiar sites are no longer familiar, the trees look higher, the landscape takes on a new look of shapes you never saw before and now the bad thing happens - panic sets in. Here is my favourite saying: Ďa man alone is poor company.í Even in a group the one you think can take you home or to shelter, may be no wiser than you; but you are lost and now you are grasping at straws; this can and almost always ends in disaster. Be weather wise. It will clear tomorrow and you can enjoy the country then, if not then wait another day,
A pair of snowshoes on your machine is a must. Fresh snow is light, most of us like to walk, in fresh snow thatís knee deep your legs will soon become very tired and heavy. To the most seasoned outdoor person the trek home is a grueling torture on your body. The cost of the shoes is well worth the relief on your legs if you have very far to travel.
The trout fishing season started this month, there was no trouble to tell, all the outdoor people are headed for their favourite ponds to try their luck. As I came upon one pond I could see the snowmobiles and quads lined up around the pond. I new something big was happening, and sure enough; there at most every hole trout were still flicking on the ice, some very good catches from 6 to 15-inch trout was scattered over the pond.
Some different kinds of bait was seen, shrimp, salt pork, worms and anything that could entice the fish to bite. As dinner time came there was a rush for shelter from the wind, and the great outdoor cooks prepared their favourite meal that was shared by all. There were some riders that came from Lords Cove to drop in on us. They had already eaten but they were our guests as we have been in their campsites a number of times.
This is a great way to enjoy Fortune outdoors.