Our trek up the mountain began many years ago. Grant and I had been looking for a piece of land out in the country quite seriously for about 3 years. We were looking for a rural location with a southern aspect that would be suitable for organic gardening and farming. A quiet place in the woods where we could live peacefully in nature, learn to be more self sufficient and eventually spend more time doing the things we enjoy – fishing, hunting, gardening, and creating. We visited many properties prospecting for such a place. While we found a few that seemed promising, nothing had materialized.
It was while we were out hunting early one fall morning that we first laid eyes on what would become our Iron Mountain property. It was late in the season, the frost was heavy in the highlands. It was beautiful, the hoar frost clinging to the shrubs and tall grasses, twinkling in the first rays of daylight, the forest so quiet and serene. We had gone up Whycocomagh Mountain at the crack of dawn in pursuit of Ruffed Grouse, or if we were lucky perhaps a deer.
We had noticed that a property had come up for sale on the realtor maps on the mountain behind our existing business and home recently, but hadn’t been too optimistic after looking at the airphotos. It seemed much of the property had been logged and, logging practices being what they are in Nova Scotia, we feared that the land may be very degraded. That morning however, we impulsively pulled into the driveway to take a look. As we entered the drive, fruit bushes tumbled out toward the dirt lane, remnants of the old forest stood out on the horizon and a vibrant young forest was recovering after the last softwood harvesting activities. The lane meandered around a bend and then ended suddenly on top of a rocky hill crest. The land fell away from a little trailer, down to a singing brook. The site commanded an unbelievable view across Whycocomagh Bay, Denys Basin, all the way to Mainland Nova Scotia. It was breath taking. We couldn’t believe the site before us. Suddenly our daydreams, thoughts and wishes for our future came into sharp focus.
I couldn’t help but proclaim to Grant: “This is it. Let’s go for it!”
And that is what we did. What we have been doing, every day since.
To be continued….