Written by William Butt, reproduced from the Fortune Teller
The snow is down, the day is bright , this is a good day in the country on your favorite winter machine, whether it be skidoo ATV, three wheeler or quad, but have you made your plans for this nice ride that you are about to take? Have you got your cell phone? Do you have extra clothing? Do you have extra food? Are you aware of the thickness of the ice on the ponds? Did you tell anyone where you plan to travel and what time you are planning to be home? Do you know your way in and out of the country?
This sounds like a lot of questions BUT they are very necessary questions that you should be asking of yourself. Those are the things you must do and know before you make such a ride to the country this time of year. The weather is very unpredictable, this time of the year, you may think all is ok with the trip but may not be just that.
By the time you read this the winter trail should be all marked from the farm to Norwest Pond. If you plan to go farther or get off the marked trail you should have someone who knows the country and has a GPS & knows how to use it. There is an old saying ďa man alone is poor company.Ē Unless you have not been lost or donít know your way home the old saying may not mean too much.
I have a sign painted and posted on the marsh on the right side of the winter trail going in the country. It reads WHITE-in & RED-out and thatís exactly what you should know. If you find a block that shows red follow that block and it will take you towards home, if you see a white block you are going into the country. Please observe the markings on your travels; they are there for you to find your way home in a storm, foggy or nighttime travel.
If you see anyone tampering with the markings please let the police know. This is put there to save lives and to prevent people from having to go and look for children who are lost and donít know the way home.
Also we are planning to have markers to show cabins along the trail should someone find that they may have to spend the night in the country due to a severe storm that has come up very quickly. The markings will be yellow to a cabin and green from the cabin to the main trail marker which will show the direction, whether you are going in the country or coming towards home.
Should this ever happen to you, whatever you have to do, please let the cabin owner know as soon as possible that you have used his cabin. And if you had to break a lock or window make sure itís replaced at your expense - not much for a nice dry place in a storm. THANKS
I hope all of your rides will be safe rides, I know you will want to do this again another year, so play it safe. Also be very careful with fires. Make sure your camp fire is out; it may look out, but remember dry twigs that you used to start a fire can also burn after you are gone. Outdoor cooking is fun & of course tasty, but donít leave your garbage behind to mess up the country itís yours keep it clean & green.
Looking forward to seeing some of you on the winter trail in and around Fortune outdoors.
First of all I must make a correction to last monthís column; I said that we would have all the trail markers in by the time the paper was out. However that was not possible, but we did get most of the bad places marked; the weather man was not good to us, storms came on and with the frost we could not get the markers down in the marsh where we wanted to put them. However we have all the necessary markings made and painted ready to be put in as soon as conditions permit, and I do realize that the most of the winter travel will be over, but there is always another time, at any rate I will try to get it done.
I think we had a good winter for the country sports; lots of snow for skidoos sometimes; other times it was good for bikes. There were lots of campfire sites around where the real outdoor people boiled up and ate their favorite lunches , a few campsites even had dried capelin remains left behind; I was there before the birds or foxes got to it, my reason was to see if people are keeping their campsites clean and taking home their garbage. Most people do, I think now that itís become an issue everyone is starting to realize, we might want to come back here again to cook up, so letís keep it tidy and clean for our next trip outdoors.
We had several runs across country but nothing down through the country towards the Golden Sands. We try to make that run every year but we still have some time left yet. It was the 27th of March last year when we got to make our final run; the country was still in good shape for the winter outdoor people,
Trout fishing was not all that great this year. According to reports not many fish were taken up in this part of the country. The question now is did we take too many last year or is it just not the right time and place this year? Itís something to think about, we should look after our trout stocks. I think the DFO has made another mistake on the fishing season for trout. Any good outdoor fisher person will tell you that in the late August season when you clean your trout you get that subconscious feeling that itís a sin to catch those trout that are full of nearly ripe spawn; right away you know that you are doing something wrong. here is next years baby fish being left to the birds as you discard the spawn in the river or pond as you clean your catch of fish,
We all are guilty of this and itís just for the fun of day fishing. We can make a difference if we take a little fry and release only half of what we are allowed, we will always have trout in our ponds and rivers.
The winter carnival was another success story this year. There was a lot of effort put into making it a great success. There were a great many outdoor people that took part in the poker run. it had to be postponed a few times but it got off the ground and everyone had fun at it, plus a nice cash prize was got by a rider who I hear didnít want to share her winnings with her mate. I heard he had to bribe her again - anyhow all in fun of course. Yours truly won the best outdoor photo contest; I must say it was mouth watering to the active outdoor person to look at this photo - sorry people it was my lunch.
Now that winter is winding down, we all think we have had enough snow for one season; so lets enjoy the fond memories of a good winter & look forward to spring & then summer when we can all enjoy that time of the year in & around Fortune outdoors.
With the warmer days of summer just around the corner we are all looking fwd to outdoor things, the barbecue will be fired up & outdoor chefs will try their hand at cooking to help out with the evening meal and to give moms a break from all of that cooking, plus the cleaning of pots and pans that go with it.
It is this time of year that we tend to use lots of paper & Styrofoam plates to eat from, this is a good way to help out but there is a problem that we really donít take care of, most of us donít crush those plates when we put them in the garbage, somehow some of them tend to find their way out only to be blown all over the back yards and into the trees, this makes for an unsightly mess it make our town look untidy. With just a little effort from us this can be controlled.
Another thing we do is pull off the plastic rings that holds the six pack together, we aim them for the garbage but lots of times the get away , the end result is they seem to find their way around young birds and smaller animals necks either choking or starving them to death, I have seen the remains of birds with those rings wrapped so neatly around their bodies one would think a shop keeper had took the time to do it ,they couldnít dive for food so the end result is they died of starvation not a nice way to go .some birds to get caught up in trees because they pick up this stuff to help build their nest not so easy to get rid of once its rapped around the wings the too struggle and die, so lets be little more aware of what we are doing to help out our feather friends who add beauty and songs to our yards in the summer time.
Warmer days want to make you get at your gardens but we all know itís not shirt sleeve weather yet and thatís when gardening is at its best,
I have noticed something that in the early spring when the robins come back to start life over, they never come around to the back yard trees to rebuild nest or start new ones I guess its because the foliage is not there for cover & to keep away the prying eyes of the cats who stalk the yards looking for a quick meal. I guess we will have to wait on our feathered friends to come by and live with us through out the summer.
Our towns people have done a few things to help out the tourist industry a new cafe is opened on the main drag through town , also the convenient store that is in route to the water front traffic is in the progress of putting in a coffee shop with quick snacks for the traveling tourist , the tea room on the water front has made an extension their building they now have lots of room for crafts, it has also a sitting capacity for 32 persons , it has air condition for the comfort of the diners , a nice scenic view of the harbor , it is a plus for the tourist and town folks who would like to visit the tea room to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with a nice selection of baked goods for a snack.
We are looking for lots of tourist dollars in our town, now that our other industry is uncertain we need all the help we can get.
A walk around town will show anyone that our roads are in very poor condition, our tax dollars are low and with little income it will only get worse, a look around town almost every street there is a house or something for sale, our young people are and have to move away to seek employment, things just donít look good in and around Fortune outdoors.