A Modest Begining

Structure 1

In August 2012, we visited the property for the first time. We pitched a tent in the clearing near the west end and spent a wonderful week getting a feel for the place and feeding the mosquitoes. There is no joy in this life that can match the feel of your own land under your feet, after a lifetime spent as a reluctant nomad.
One of the first necessities for our camp was to gather a quantity of stones for a fire ring. It is amazing how happy it can make you when a simple task is harder than it should be. I could not find a single rock of any size on the property. Not surprising because of the heavy undergrowth, but when I spent an entire hour scouring the road allowance, and only having three small rocks to show for my efforts, I started to giggle with delight. In the end, I had to drive down to the riverbank to obtain the rocks I needed for the fire. When we had first arrived in the area, we saw fields strewn with stones, so the near total lack of stones on our land was a pleasant surprise.
My next duty in establishing our camp was to dig a pit privy. Any wildlife spying on the scene, my poor wife and a puzzled dog were treated to the spectacle of the happy dance I performed across the meadow clutching clods of rich, dark soil. Digging down two feet, I found virtually no rocks, just good soil, sandy enough to be well drained and packed with organic content. I smuggled a couple of kilos of this soil back to Langley with me, and when I need a lift, I spread it out on the floor and run my toes through it.
The temporary camp convenience I built for this trip served its purpose, despite being knocked over in the middle of the night by passing wildlife. When we were ready to leave, I filled in the pit and removed the seat which will be up cycled to the permanent pit privy. The remaining structure was left alongside a trail that passes through the property. It amuses me to speculate about what the locals will make of my “outpost” on the future homestead.

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