A recent convert to the craft and always on the lookout for anything I could find on rug hooking, I'd brought my hooking with me, to work on Navigator's Delight Compass Rose when the guys were in the field. That was back in the day before I hung my shop sign, but it was definitely a bun in the oven. Hubby and I had been out west visiting his parents when this opportunity popped up and I didn't want to be left behind so I asked if I could go along for the ride, the company said yes and I was nominated chief cook and bottle washer.
We rented an RV in Whitehorse and I went to the closest grocery store to stock up on grub which led to a frightening experience in the parking lot. Being from a small town, homeless people weren't that common an occurrence, but I saw plenty hanging around the store asking for handouts from the people emerging with their bags. I'm pretty much an old softy so it broke my heart and I couldn't resist their pleas but one guy was a bit more persistent and kept following me after I'd given him a tin of beans. He made me very nervous. He was filthy, I could smell him at fifty paces and he looked hard, more like alcoholic hard than living on the street hard. I picked up my step and pretty much jogged the cart to the RV, bouncing the crap out of the contents. The guy sped up and matched my stride, even with a gimpy leg. I didn't want to speculate if he was after my purse or the food in the cart, because neither prospect was comforting. I was hauling $300.00 worth of groceries, and who wants to loose a wallet?
Panting, I made it to the RV and he's at my heels, like a dog after a bone. I pounded on the door expecting to be clobbered over the head at any moment. Hubby opens the door and my pursuer stopped dead in his tracks, or so it seemed to the panicked eye. He stood close by as we unloaded the groceries and when the cart was empty he stepped forward and motioned toward it. That's when hubby clued in that the man was after the quarter deposit you pay to unlock the cart, which is returned when you bring it back to the bay; a service the homeless offer so you don't have to walk all the way back to the store but more as an entrepreneurial pursuit that paid quite well. Torn between the fear of an attack and the sadness of the homeless situation, the experience etched a permanent memory o my brain.
All I remember about the drive to Dawson was the devastation of miles and miles of burnt out forest along both sides of the road; char, as far as the eyes could see. A devastating forest fire had ripped through the countryside destroying thousands of hectares in it's wake. Not much to hold your attention so the drive seemed endless.
But, all in all the trip was fun. I can cook and men can eat, a good combination and not a bad exchange for a free holiday. Dawson didn't offer much for me but I got a pair of over priced gold nugget earrings as a memento of my brief stay. The place was smaller than Mahone Bay so I walked and explored the length of the downtown area in minutes and then spent the rest of the time hooking in the RV and preparing meals.
When we arrived in Dawson we found out that it was the peak of hunting season and all the helicopters, bush guides and trackers were engaged, so the only way to get to the X on the map was to rent a couple of four wheelers and tenting gear for their overnight stay. The guys were only gone for half a day when they returned with their insides shaken enough to rearrange internal organs. It was like riding a wild, bucking horse; more than a bumpy ride and not worth beating themselves up on the uneven, rocky landscape. That evening we went out for a bit of music and dancing and headed back home in the morning. That's about it for the memories of the area, although I failed to mention that the scenery was breath taking and the air was crisp and clean. The geology project failed and with the mission aborted, we headed back to BC.
So every time I see the pumpkins on the Market roof I think of Dawson. The scene is a tradition in our town, a reminder of the upcoming Scarecrow Festival and a marker to signify fall has arrived. Soon these shapely canvasses will be carved with personalities and displayed for the festivities, but in the meantime they are front and center adding a splash of orange to the landscape.
Fumiyo was so moved by brilliant orange pumpkins lining a stand at the Mahone Bay Market in Nova Scotia that she decided to capture the moment in wool. A few sketches later, Mahone Bay Market was ready to hook and what an incredible piece of rug hooking art it is.
(Sorry the picture is so blurry, it didn't scan well from the magazine)