Journey to Fort William
I am here on the porch of The Factor's House, built in 1846 by The Hudson's Bay Company as a trading post. We are some one hundred miles north of Ottawa (known in those days as Bytown), on an accessible point of the splendid Ottawa River. Here the river appears to be about a mile wide. Only the gentle downstream march of the wavelets crinkling its surface tells one that we are not on the shore of an expansive freshwater lake. It is easy to imagine a flotilla of canoes, laden with furs appearing from behind one of the islands. Their birch bark hulls would scrape onto the sandy beach less than a stone's throw from where I sit. Teepees would be pitched on the grounds behind me. Whiskey, traded for furs would be imbibed. Perhaps the drumming and dancing and bonfires would continue long into the night.
The Sharonator, Marina and Charlie are now down on the Rock beside the beach where the canoes (I imagine) landed. They are drinking coffee (except for Charlie who is a cat, a surprising cat but not one who as far as I know has a cuppa morning java) and yakking and giggling as women will after a hard night of fur trading and firelight whiskey. The Sharonator, along with Pat her husband, are our very dear friends who have been enticing us to make the three and one half hour journey up here for quite some time. Time well spent it turns out as I enjoy a modest hangover, the plashing wavelets and the hummingbirds which dart and hover around the feeders hanging behind the screens to my immediate left. Beyond them, amidst the pine, spruce and birch trees spaced out along the river blue jays raucously go about their morning business. Now Marina is doing Qi Gong by the river and the blue jays go quiet as she is joined by Sharon and Charlie too.