Marian’s posts have wonderfully captured these last 4 hiking days. So much to see and to experience. Meanwhile, I have been doing some musings of my own about hiking in Beaver Valley (a misnomer of course – we are not hiking in the valley at all but on the ridge which surrounds it). It’s kind of fun to record the different perspectives. I will begin with my reflections on staying at Maxwell`s Cabin on night two….
Last night – big thunderstorm, pouring rain. In awe, listening, I am snug inside this 1850’s log cabin in Maxwell in the Beaver Valley. I never knew there was a place called Maxwell in Ontario. It’s one of many places I now know. Ravenna. Duncan. Maxwell. Feversham. Those are 4 we just learned about yesterday. Duncan – it’s a dot on the Grey County map, and has its own – bolded – town name. On the road it’s a 1905 Union Church converted to residence and a former general store. “Salute to Duncan,” says Tom, our driver today, as the car speeds past.
Tom is also our B&B host for 2 nights along with his wife Darlene. Our quarters, Maxwell’s Cabin, consists of an original log house converted to an artist studio for Darlene in 2000, and then to a guest house for the summer months in 2008. The little home is uber comfortable and artfully decorated with period furniture and artifacts plus a few of Darlene’s paintings here and there. She has stocked our fridge with food for breakfast and lunch, and they provided a bottle of their home-made wine (“White or red,” they ask. “Shiraz or merlot?”)
The one drawback here is the plumbing. The cabin comes with an outdoor shower and a composting toilet (indoors), both of which are adventures in their own right. There is no plumbing actually inside. Sweaty and tired from our 20k hike, what I am really longing for is a good soak in the bathtub with my Epsom salts, not a primitive stand-in, no matter how appropriate to the spirit of the cabin. Darlene promises that the shower has plenty of hot water. It’s attached to the back of the cabin. She’s even left us each a pair of sanitized flip flops and a robe.
My need to be clean outweighs my apprehension and once we’re left alone I decide to grit my teeth and get it over with. I disrobe in the adjacent bedroom and, naked, I step outside. I am instantly transported. Apart from the privacy frame around the shower, there is nothing between me and the elements. The hot shower streams over my skin, my scalp, and I am one with the trees and the birds and the sky. It is a completely sensual experience. It is like my spirit is released, freed of its clothing, freed of walls, opened up and blessed and kissed and touched, open to be, open. Just open. magdalena