September 18th, 2010
Jeremy and I decided to drive around Pine Point for another weekend. We wound up driving around back Trails for 8 hours yesterday! There are so many things to see… We explored more of the mine trails and found some interesting rocks. We drove along winding, rocky paths through the forests and actually made our way to the Great Slave Lake through some trails. We commented on how weird it was that we had not seen many animals! We did see several grouse, and at one point, a beaver. When a road was flooded over, we drove through it anyways (wasn’t too deep) but we had to stop mid way to let a beave swim across it. (We told our best ‘why did the beaver swim across the road?’ jokes).
If you have been reading any of my previous blogs, you’ll notice that we have recently come up with a great recipe for mushroom soup using local shaggy mane mushrooms. Well we came across plenty of mushrooms at one point, and decided to stop here for some tea that I had packed. Jeremy went off with our dog Izzy for mushrooms and I ventured off down the road a bit just to look around while I sipped my tea. It was an open area so getting lost was not an issue, and we could still hear eachother, but looking back now I realize that you need to be ‘bush smart’ at all times. Just because you don’t see any animals doesn’t mean they aren’t there…
Jeremy and I met up in about 15 minutes; he had a half of a garbage-bag full of shaggy manes and was pretty excited about it. I had finished my tea and we climbed back in the truck to continue down the road.
Not too far away, we saw something sitting on the path. We were about 100 yards away so we grabbed our binoculars. “It’s a linx!!!” Jeremy said, trying to focus his lens. I grabbed the other pair of bino’s, (the better pair) and told Jeremy “I think it’s a cougar…” We shut the truck off- the diesel engine gets quite loud- and rolled down our windows. We watched the giant, golden cat look at us and sit down. His body was huge and was comparable to the small trees he sat beside. He was not afraid of us in the least bit as he sat and watched us, watching him (from inside the safety of the truck). It was definate- he was a full-grown, mature cougar. We were grabbing for our camera to get a shot of him but we were still pretty far away. Jeremy had the idea to try to take the picture through the lens of our binocular, which he managed to do as the cat get bored of us and turned around to head into the bush- right by where we were gathering mushrooms and sipping tea while letting Izzy roam around. The picture I have posted is of the cougar walking away, we are about 100 yards away from him.
That just goes to show you that when out in the bush, you have to constantly be ‘bush smart’. Never venture off alone, even if it is just barely out of sight of one another. Always bring protection of some sort and never go anywhere without a map or GPS. We bring our GPS with us everywhere we go- we were so far in the woods that we would have been lost without it. It’s also a smart idea to bring food, water, blankets, matches and a pot. In case you are stuck overnight, you will need the blankets in case you run out of gas while idling your vehicle.
Well, I’m off now to go exploring in the bush again with Jeremy and Izzy. I’ll be ‘bush smart’ today, that’s for sure.