Languishing Along the River in Dawson City, Yukon

Dear Vi,

Last Friday Sam and walked a well-worn trail along the side of the Yukon River in Dawson City.The city was preparing for the annual Dawson City Music Festival. Facing the river, we could hear the echo of a band bouncing back at us from the opposite shore.. It sounded as though the very rocks and trees were singing.Above the trail is another: a double -decker trail along the top of the dike that protects the town from spring flooding. It boasts some lovely places to sit.Life is slow at the moment… these past weeks…these past months. Here at the top of the world I search out the internet in interesting locations. The library, the airport, parked in my truck before the laundry at a motel down the street.

The internet up here is as slow as I am. It takes several long minutes to load each picture.

I’ve decided it’s time to start querying for an agent to represent Holding Space again.

Like me, it has languished too long. What have you let languish?

Yukon HO!

Dear Vi,

I forgot to tell you that Mr C and I heading out for our annual spring sojourn to the Yukon. We arrived a week ago today. Two months off the grid are in our future. No phone, internet or television, no electricity, running water or indoor plumbing, except when we go to town.

Obviously, I went to town today, because here I am, writing to you from the Whitehorse Public Library.

Our departure date crept up on me like a kitten stalking my shoelaces. One minute I was blithely going about my business and the next I was tripped up by little needle claws in my ankles, causing me to run around making last minute lists and piles of things in doorways and on counter tops.

I did write a couple of blog posts along the way, which I’ll tack onto the end here in case you’re interested:

(May 9, 2017)  Yesterday we turned right off highway 16 onto highway 37, better known to northern locals as the the Stewart Cassiar Highway, and stayed the night at a rest stop just north of Kitwanga. It was a pretty place, and we stopped early enough to enjoy a nice supper and the rest of the evening. 

Have you ever been driving along and said to yourself, “I wonder what’s down there?” when you pass a road you’ve never been down?

Well, we did it today. We turned left at Meziadin Junction (highway 37A) and drove the 65 kilometres to almost-too-tiny-to-call-a-town Stewart, BC.

Stewart is a deep-sea port. It’s neighbour only a kilometre away is Hyder, Alaska. 

Our timing was off. It’s too early in the season, and most everything was closed down. The drive in and out was spectacular, though. Straight through the heart of the soaring Stikine mountains, through a narrow  valley, a narrower gulch, past a spectacular glacier and glacial lake. 

We decided we’ll come back on our return trip. Maybe catch the view when it isn’t shrouded in early spring cloud. When the town is awake and the visitor’s centre, museum, and coffee shops are open. 

(May 10, 2017) We’re pretty far north now, flirting with the Yukon border. It was snowing when we woke up this morning. We’d spent the night at a rest stop with the inauspicious name of Rabid Grizzly, a burbling creek beside us, the long expanse of Dease Lake frozen below.

Historically, Highway 37 has a poor reputation among Yukoners travelling south. It’s always been a pretty rough road, a sure bet for potholes, washboards and washouts, narrow one-lane bridges and never ending rain. 

The highway doesn’t deserve that old reputation anymore. I’m happy to report the highway is in fine shape and we made excellent time. 

It’s a pretty drive. Not jaw-dropping spectacular in the way driving though Muncho Park is, but when the sun decides to burn off the clouds, you’re treated to beautiful views of the Stikine mountains.

And bears. Lots and lots of bears.

I promise to post some pictures next time. I’m a bit limited here on the library computer. IMG_1552

Finally, a quilt for the cabin: Garden Party by Blackbird Designs

I finished this quilt just in time to give it a good test drive during a short camping trip to Jasper National Park last week!

Columbia Ice Fields, Jasper National Park

Columbia Ice Fields, Jasper National Park

It’s so much fun having a quilt to photograph when you’re camping!

Columbia Ice Fields, Jasper National Park

Columbia Ice Fields, Jasper National Park

This particular project was a “Shop your Stash” challenge quilt hosted by the Good Time Quilters, one of the guilds I belong to.

Snaring River, Jasper National Park

Snaring River, Jasper National Park

We paid for the pattern, sight unseen last fall, then had the rest of the year to make something using the pattern as inspiration. The only caveat? You had to shop your stash. And did I ever!

sept-2016-017The pattern is Garden Party by Blackbird Designs. It’s a combination of piecing and applique, with little 3-D flower centers.

And, because I always try to learn something new with every project, I decided this quilt was a good opportunity to try out the quilt as you go method.  This allowed me to use up a whole lot of those small pieces of batting that are too big to throw away (because batting is so damned expensive!) but too small to back anything larger than a place mat. I’m not 100% sold on the method, but at least I’ve tried it. 🙂

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The backing is made up of miscellaneous bits and pieces of green & brown fabrics. What I’d call my ugly fabrics.

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Including this interesting piece:

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Mr. C. actually likes the back better than the front.  I guess there’s no accounting for taste, lol.

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It’s quilted free-motion style on my little Janome 2030 in what’s called the stipple pattern .

Folks, this was my very first attempt ever (ever!) doing free-motion quilting, and I’m pretty darned proud of myself. I didn’t quilt inside the flowers…as a result, they’ve puffed up a bit. I like the effect.

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And you know what? It’s 100% made from my stash. I didn’t buy a single new thing to make this quilt. 🙂 This makes my thrifty heart do a happy dance!

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It’s destiny is to live at our cabin at Fox Lake, in the Yukon, where I plan to spend chilly visits snuggled up in front of the fire for years to come. If you come visit, I’ll share a quilt corner with you.  But you might have to fight Mr. C. for it…

Mr. C. doing his sworn duty to uphold Nita's quilts

Mr. C. doing his sworn duty to uphold Nita’s quilts