After a bit of a delay my final report for the 3rd annual NABBR raising funds for Community Care is finally finished. As was the case with my previous two events this one proved to be quite interesting also. I had scheduled this year's walk from my home to the LCBO in Buckhorn for Saturday, April 14th. However, when I saw the weather forecast for the weekend I decided to move it to Friday, April 13th. This turned out to be a good decision as that was the weekend of that terrible late winter storm.
Friday morning was perfect for the walk. The sun was shining, there was little highway traffic and there were no spectators making fun of that " crazy old man walking along the roadway". I felt so good that I decided to continue on past the LCBO to the Buckhorn Community Care office located in the lower level of St.Matthew/St.Aidan Church knowing that being a Friday the office would be open. After a short break I began my trek home.
As I did the previous year when I got to the Snowmobile Clubhouse I decided to take the old Oregon Trail which runs parallel to County Rd.36 and come out from behind Buckhorn Small Engines then on to my house. As you may recall from last year's summary there's a lot of local history and folk lore with the Trail. Although the weather was changing it wasn't yet threatening enough to dissuade me from a leisurely stroll through the forest.
After walking about a half Km enjoying the wondrous sounds of nature, from off in the distance come a unique sound normally not heard in the forest. It actually sounded like a musical instrument. There was a side path leading in the direction of the sound so I decided to investigate. As I got closer I could clearly hear the sound of what appeared to be that of a fiddle.
I came upon a clearing and there to my surprise was this old timer sitting in a chair in front of what must be his residence playing a fiddle. He was playing "Lord Of The Dance", a well known American Shaker Melody and one of my favourites.(photo 1)
He stopped playing when he saw and asked where I came from. I told him what I was up to and how I discovered him. He told me he was the "Buckhorn Fiddler" and in response to my question about how long he had lived here, his response was, "since Moses was a basket case" and he broke into hysterical laughter, a point which was lost on me. He did admit he wasn't sure how long he'd lived in the bush. It had been so long but he did appreciate some company as he couldn't recall the last time he had a visitor. When he asked if William Lyon Mackenzie King was still Prime Minister I knew he'd been here a while.
He asked if I was interested in spending some time with him and that I could stay in his guest house(photo 2). I respectfully declined but he did offer to take me on a walk to show me some of the little known gems of Buckhorn.
I indicated I would as over the years I'd heard stories of the little known secret gems of the Buckhorn area. One such story was that of the Buckhorn Lookout, the highest point in the region where one could get an awesome panoramic view of the area. That is the first place we visited, it was truly amazing (photo 3), especially the mountain glacier.
He asked me if I'd ever heard of or seen the Mississauga Waterfalls. I'd heard of them but never seen them so off through the bush we went. As we neared I could hear the roar of the falls. When we arrived I couldn't believe it, they were spectacular (photo 4). He went there every week for his shower.
I was curious as to how he remained so healthy and what he did for food. Well he fished the Mississauga River, collected a variety of berries and hunted reindeer on the Buckhorn Plains. The Buckhorn Plains? I asked. "Come with me", he said, so off we went. About a hour later we came upon a vast open area and to my surprise there was a herd of reindeer (photo 5).
When we returned to his place he wanted to know more about my fundraiser. I told him all about my walk and how the money raised goes toward providing programs and services for seniors and adults with physical challenges living in our community, empowering them to live at home.
I told him the first year with the support of sponsors we raised $2450, the next year $3060 and this year $4100 for a three year total of $9610. He said that I must have some extremely generous and wonderful people supporting the fundraiser and I assured him I did.
As I was leaving he said I was welcome back any time but he would appreciate my not telling anyone where he lives nor the location of the Buckhorn gems he showed as he wouldn't want those places overrun with tourists. I assured him his secrets were safe with me.
When I got home I decided to measure the distance I walked from my house to the office and back and it was exactly 10 Kms, which will now be my new distance so it will definitely not be a Buckhorn beer run. It has been suggested since the distance walked was increased by 1 Km that there should be a corresponding percentage increase in contribution from sponsors. In fairness I don't believe in making such an adjustment retroactive. It might be something to consider for the 4th annual NABBR. So, as a guide for you, my accountant has calculated the percentage increase to be 19%, which to me seems a bit high but after all he is an accountant.
This year's winner of the draw for maple syrup was Elisabeth Stammbach.
Once again thanks to all for your generous support of Community Care and a special welcome to our 10 new sponsors.