Changing Scenery Brings on the Writer’s Muse

I played hooky from writing for a couple of days to head into the backcountry with my trail crew girl – and what a blast!

Too much fun! (Photo: M.Kopp)

We hiked and talked and climbed and talked and worked (okay… all I had to do was belay her while she cleaned the backcountry cabin chimney, but I did carry the rope, harness, caribiners and climbing shoes!).

After the chimney we strolled up to the camping area, I watched as she cleaned the outhouse, checked the bear bins for stashes of garbage left by lazy hikers, and removed a couple of random firepits. She wouldn’t let me lift a finger.

We sat up at the lake and enjoyed the glow of evening light before heading back to the cabin, where she filled out the cabin log and I started jotting down a few blog/article ideas. Two pages later, I was done.

Playing hooky is positively inspiring!

Kayaking Desolation Sound

“Just embrace it,” the staff member said as he ran through the requisite kayaking safety pointers. “If you reach that point where you know you’re going over, don’t fight it, just embrace it. It’s going to happen.”

Packed for five days! (Photo: M.Kopp)

It never happened, but it did become our favourite saying over the next five days in Desolation Sound off B.C.’s Sunshine Coast. Yachters taking dogs through our kitchen for pee breaks – just embrace it. Stove that won’t start after a dunking in ocean water – don’t worry, just… have a lot of patience. Snakes in what we nicknamed “Snake Cove” – okay, I’m working on that one.

A sea full of life. (Photo: M.Kopp)

From seals to starfish, moonlight to sunshine, ocean swims to laughter shared with good friends – I embraced it all and find myself wanting more!

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think,
All the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read,
And all the friends I want to see.”  – John Burroughs

The Milky Way and Other Galaxies

I love getting presents!

Latest Capstone book arrived yesterday, in a small box tucked neatly in between the screen and front door. There’s something akin to Christmas when you unpack a plain cardboard box labelled author complimentary copies – it never grows old.

Latest book! (Photo: M.Kopp)

And that’s one of my favourite things about being a freelancer in general – the work never grows old. One day I’m writing a travel piece about Italy, the next I’m working on an outdoor blog post, the following I’m off on a sea kayaking trip building up new story ideas.

Life – as a freelance writer – is pretty sweet!

“Never tell me the sky’s the limit,
When there are footprints on the moon.”
– Unknown

Unexpected returns from slacking off!

Summer’s charging ahead with very little time for writing beyond the Brooks-Range blog – but that’s as it should be, all play and little work in this short period of warmth. Flowers blooming, sun shining, insects buzzing, feet moving, bears roaming – all sounds good to me. Yup, even the bears. 

Enjoying the open alpine of Yoho's Kindersley Pass. (Photo: M.Kopp)

Hiked Kindersley Pass in Yoho National Park this past week and met a grizzly bear on the way. It appeared disinterested in us as we backed off and peered around the trunk of a large tree. Quietly it moved off the trail, ghosting into the woods before our eyes.

Safety off the bear spray, canister in hand, we yelled our approach for the next kilometer or so, kept eyes open for any movement in the trees and heaved a big sigh of relief when we reached the alpine – open – slopes of the pass. Most memorable piece of wooded trail I’ve hiked in a long time.

My mind started racing with a couple of article ideas as we walked. See that’s the great thing about not working, stories can unfold even as you are out enjoying life.

What stories are you experiencing this summer?

“If one advances confidently in the directions of his dreams,
And endeavours to live a life which he has imagined,
He will meet a success unexpected in common hours.”
–          Henry David Thoreau