Boy, oh boy, Dad was mad that night. He arrived home in the dark as per his MO. He was back early from his trip because a Grizzly had damaged his trapper’s cabin.
He spent a week down in the basement building a snare and talked about what the hide would fetch at the fur auction. It seems it was the insult as much as the damage done and it seemed personal. The Grizzly had come in through the roof, destroyed everything, and, without consideration of the time it would take to fix the place, left through the window.
Dad took some consolation in the one can of beans that the Grizzly missed in his rage/romp. We have an old cooking pot on the wall of the shop with teeth holes in it that dad brought home to show us the power of his new pal on the trapline.
My dad had a trapline from North Creek to Meager Creek. I think he started it around 1949, when he came back from the war. Trapping was a pretty common way to make money back in those days in Pemberton, and farming was real tough. He would walk in on snowshoes for 17 miles, spend about a month trapping and skinning, then walk out with the pelts. Once the pelts were safe at home, he would head out and do it again. Usually one of his nephews would meet him on the trail and help pack out. One nephew was eager to show his strength but after dad split the load in half, couldn’t carry the weight. My dad was pretty strong.
Most of my trips to Dad’s Cabin were as a teenager on spring fishing trips.We would walk the crust and fish for Dollies. One time I took two of my nephews fishing up there and had to crawl a mile out because the snow had weakened the crust and I crashed through every step. They were light enough to scoot along on top and found it pretty amusing.
He used to piggy-back me on all the slippery river crossings. When I was about sixteen or so, I shakily carried him across, and was pretty proud of myself. We weren’t real huggers, our family, so it was wrestling and river crossings, and it was wonderful.
It’s all great-but that last line packs a punch of emotion.
I’m 100% with you on that, Connie.
Thanks Bruce, I like reading your stories about Grandpa!