The Village 2013, Part 2: Cool Town, Fog In The City


Summer 2013.


Fog and drizzle had arrived sometime during the night, even after the weather was so pleasant right up until we went into the church at some late hour.

Taking our time this morning, my friends occupied themselves by making a delicious & more elaborate breakfast than I would have ever made on my own. With two of them working away on the steps, I was provided with Bailey's coffee and the freedom to walk short distances and soak this in even more.

Trying to actually be helpful, I went down to the Cramalot Inn to collect our alcohol from the night before, finding a surprising amount missing. In accordance with our boat restrictions, we hadn't brought all that much in the first place, so now we were running low after only one night.

(Another surprising thing was the Boston T map thumbtacked to the wall.)

After breakfast, the groups would break up and meander about the town like seagulls about an estuary.

Like I always do, I didn't go right to the west side with its abundance of unexplored land, but rather to the east end, to take additional pictures of the stately, older homes over there.

There was one house tucked off of the main pathways, appearing like a place left vacant after a newer home had been built in the front yard. I walked down the thinner pathway - the village's version of a driveway - towards this place, finding doors a foot or two off the ground, serviced by porches that I wouldn't trust. Gripping the corners of the house, I leaned over and tried the door, finding that it opened, so I clambered up inside without using the porch.

The insides provided hints towards a grandmother's residence, with a handful of pictures of various presumed grandchildren, along with plenty of the typical knickknacks you find about any senior's home.

I jokingly presumed grandmother because I didn't know if this floor construction would support the weight of a grandfather. I found it funny that I had already sized up the floor and made my decision to cross, before returning with another and having her stop me in my tracks to inform me of the thin floor.

There were other intricacies and irregularities to the house too, as this home clearly wasn't ordered from a Sears' catalog. I actually think it was so old that it didn't have plumbing originally, as the bathroom was attached to the bedroom like a battery pack to a child's toy - they couldn't have designed it like that back in the day.

After my description of the porch and the bathroom, I can see these pictures being misleading in painting an overall picture of the house's stability.

The kitchen was rundown like the porch and the mud room to which it lead. It almost seemed as if the kitchen was affixed to the house in the same manner as the bathroom, except that more of the kitchen slanted away from the original foundation.

I walked back outside, but for whatever reason, I didn't manage to take a picture of the outside of this home. I really should have taken an hour out of the 60-something hours I had here, to take exterior pictures of every structure in the village.

I finished up on the east side and crossed the town's dividing bridge, deciding to go all the way over to the wharf and work my way back from the west side. I was happy to see that the oldest home was impenetrable and in good repair, but just beyond that, an entrance wasn't a matter of an open door, but rather an entire missing window on this modest, hunter's red home at the edge of town.

The degree to which this place was a time capsule was remarkable. I always feel such privilege when I'm invited inside to see someone's home, so to see something this untouched, I still felt that privilege.

Even with a missing window, the place was in such condition that one considered covering up the window somehow (although I'm not sure where the heck the missing window went).

Old family photos jammed into the side of a picture frame.

I can't imagine that if this is left behind, that the owners of this home left knowing that they may never return. Although I'm sure it would pain them to see fallen-in windows, maybe a day will come that they come back for at least a few of these keepsakes.

My friend picked up a coffee mug & the bottom informed her that it was Made in Occupied Japan - meaning that it came from Japan between 1945 and 1952, when the Allies occupied Japan and 50% of their exports needed to be marked in this manner.

At the time, I had no idea what the marking meant.

I stayed behind to rest while my friend went back outside. Having never did such Canadian things like sleep beneath a portrait of the Queen, I laid down on the strange bed, with a plastic sheet beneath the comforter, resting my feet on the ancient iron foot rails, easily within reach.

The funny thing was that later on, Christian & Natasha asked if I went in this house, stating that they only lasted a minute or two because of the overwhelming stench of urine. Their faces turning confused and disgusted, after I told them that I actually took a nap in the old home!

The bonuses of having a piss-poor sense of smell I suppose?

Back outside, the hill ahead was dotted with homes after you left the harbourside pathway, each of them seemingly dropped down like rough puzzle pieces, squeezed wherever there was a satisfactory amount of room for a house and a small yard.

Almost everything was gone from this home, save for a pile of torn clothes and a rack of antlers. I admired their fine sun room and moved along.

Then there were some homes where surely they're still in use as cabins for weekend getaways.

I took my shoes off.

Cat pillow.

This house was unique in the fact that there was a short stone fence surrounding the place and a separate workshop out back. In terms of interior design, it might have belonged in the 1970s, but as I'm already pushing the limits with looking around this in-use home, I shouldn't be criticizing as well. (Even though I'm not, only observing.) I recall when I posted the other village I visited, my friend Shadows joking about a need to visit the nearest Ikea - y'know, which is only a 1.5 hour ferry ride, 1 hour drive, 7 hour ferry ride & 5 hour drive away...

Out back, we made it into the workshop, Christian & I gingerly stepping about the rotten floor where all items of interest seemed to have vanished decades ago, seeing as it was so rundown.

Continuing along, I almost thought this village was French because so many things were closed mid-afternoon.

The general store, workshop, motel and school were all closed, leaving me walking the exterior hillsides and through backyards.

I decided to stop in at the town museum, blown away by the interesting artifacts still housed there.

Walking upstairs, the ceiling was low enough to force me into crouching, as I still whacked my head a couple of times on the even shorter doorways. The tiny bedrooms each had their own bed, with very little additional space in the room. The building didn't look that small from the outside, but then again, I'm not sure where else they were hiding open space.

The amazing pattern of the linoleum floor and wallpaper compliments an antique stove in the museum kitchen.

The drizzle had faded and the sun was now trying to make an appearance. No one had joined us in town this entire day, presumably because of the crummy conditions. The four of us reconvened at the church front steps for dinner, all contributing in our own way.

If I can remember right, dinner was some type of chicken salsa thing with cheese and it was delicious.

Also, as one might wonder about the church's interior - it was generally forgettable. I only snapped a few pictures of the small organ, not even thinking to take one of our sleeping bags or exploded backpacks/hockey bags. In deconsecration, they took just about everything except said organ, the plaque for the church's construction & the church bell (which we all gleefully rang throughout the weekend).

A couple of us stood atop a rock on the other side of the village's dividing bridge, drinking back the last bit of Fireball any of us had after last night's round of revelry.

Throughout breakfast, sleeping and cooking dinner, you'd hear the village's prominent waterfalls as background noise, but it was only here, looking at the village in emerging light, that we actually listened to the falls which bisect this community, providing its name and making it relatively famous.

Just behind us stood the Jensens House, one that I had popped into about 3 times by now.

"Take anything you want - it's all free now.

We'd appreciate you leaving the cabin itself in good shape. We may be back someday.

Best wishes and good health.

The Jensens."

Things hit a little closer to home when you have a personal note as a window into the past - it suddenly becomes more than exploring abandoned houses and recounting the weather on some dumb blog.

I felt compelled to utilize something of the Jensens after such an offer, so finding a pair of pants, they kept my legs warmer than the shorts I had been wearing throughout the day.

I would end up trying to scissor over a fence and ripping the crotch, the jackwagon that I am.

Of course I couldn't stand still at sunset, so this time I only went across the town causeway, past the American's house, and up the hill on to the island out in the harbour. A beautiful rainbow stretched from Sandbank Point to the east, over to Duck, Pigeon & White Island south of town.

Looking back towards the village, it was finally glistening after being marinated with fog and rain all day long.

Continue to Part 3.


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