In the spring of 1984, we made a life-changing decision.
We decided to convert our A-frame camp on Wildgoose Lake to a year-round home. We have never regretted that decision, but in 2017, our circumstances changed. We had to prepare to move to Thunder Bay to be closer to health care facilities.
We had moved back to Geraldton in the fall of '70. In the summer of '71, in the course of reacquainting ourselves with the region, we discovered a new bush road. Creelman Creek Road is two kilometres long. The Ministry had surveyed a subdivision of 24 lots on the southwest shore, 18 of which were offered for lease. We lucked into one of the two not spoken for.
Edgar and Rob, our son, plotted a trail from the road to a bench overlooking the lake. Chainsaws and a bulldozer created a road and cleared a place to erect a building. In '72, we found a way to erect enormous Douglas fir beams and close in the structure. Over the years we made some improvements to the camp, but our main priority was to enjoy the camp, winter and summer.
By 1980, our two children, Rob and Laura, were making their own way in the world. After exploring other options, we decided we would live out our days in Geraldton region. We drew up plans to convert our camp into a proper house. It was a big step ̶ the camp had no hydro and no phone. We had to arrange for 1.3 kilometresof road to be regularly plowed. We had to arrange for garbage collection and disposal. But we went for it.
We both loved the idea of living in the bush. Olga saw the opportunity to indulge her love of gardening and her sewing hobby. She turned one second-floor bedroom area into a sewing room with stockpiles of material. Edgar turned two rooms into an office and library and an archive ̶ he could continue his writing and his research into local history. Olga liked the solitude and loved having company. Edgar also liked the solitude and could continue his associations with community work in town.
We started construction in May, and by December 1984 we were prepared for winter. We were the first year-round home on Creelman Creek Road. Hydro connected us in December, and in April 1985 we moved in, before all the finishing touches were completed. That explains the unfinished nature of the interior.
By the fall of '85, we finally got phone service. When we became part of the Municipality of Greenstone. The municipality came into existence on January 1, 2001, and included the incorporated towns of Geraldton, Longlac, Nakina, and Beardmore, and the unincorporated villages of Jellicoe and Caramat, as well as a considerable portion of the unorganized rural area.We received year-round road maintenance and improvement, plowing, and garbage collection and disposal. Every two years, we qualify for a cleaning of the septic tank, at no charge. Today, in our subdivision, we have four neighbours who live on Creelman Creek Road in permanent residences. The dead-end of the road ensures minimal traffic.
We used to have stairs down to the shore leading to a boat dock, but they fell into disuse, so we dismantled them. The stove in the sauna was decommissioned for the same reason, in order to save on insurance.
Edgar gave up bringing in a year's supply of firewood in 2016, and switched out the stand-alone fireplace for a premium-quality wood pellet stove. A local business brings in two pallets of packaged pellets each fall at competitive prices.
Until her health troubles recently, Olga turned the property into a paradise of flowers, as the gallery images can attest. Now the landscape is returning to nature. The bathtub pond has not been used this year, and the scooped-out hole is the location of a proposed pond.
We are resigned to living now in a city environment, but we shall always miss our "cabin" in the woods.