ADVENTURE JOURNAL - CAPE BRETON WINTERS
Some years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to write a guest journal entry about my beloved Cape Breton winters for Field & Forest, a thoughtful adventure journal based in the west. Since then I have spent more winters getting lost in Cape Breton and while my photos might have changed, my feelings haven't, so I'll take this opportunity to share these old words alongside some of my favourite photos from the past three years.
The mornings here start early. The house my grandfather built has large windows through which the morning light filters in quickly while sound moves easily throughout the house. The sounds of floors creaking, dogs stretching as they wake, a fresh fire being started and the kettle whistling, familiar sounds, warm sounds. Once one person is awake, everyone else is fast behind them.
Waking up, the day stretches out open and waiting. In this place the days are all the same yet different; the same in their unplanned nature, different in how they unfold. One day, the sighting of a beautiful doe on a walk through the woods on my family’s scenic property, the next driving aimlessly on winding back roads to wherever they might lead, the next watching the hounds brave the Atlantic Ocean in the dead of winter. And then there are days that are still and quiet, where it’s just me and the outdoors and everything is as it should always be.
Home calls my name when my feet and fingers start getting too cold or the sun sinks low in the sky. The night is much like the morning, unraveling with simple food, good company and always plenty of storytelling. Outside the milky way spans the sky, its stars are luminous and stay up long after I fall asleep.
Inevitably, the day comes when the car has to be packed up. Days worth of books, magazines, sweaters and wool socks get piled into the trunk and the dogs are always as reluctant to leave as their people are. The three hour drive home is more like a drift and my thoughts always circle around how I wish I could stay lost for longer and more importantly, how i’ll make my next escape.