John has been on vacation since last week, and we've been having a "staycation". Last week was full of prep work for our annual trip to Fort Erie, where John and Robby took the infantry line as part of the 17th U.S.Infantry during the War of 1812. Jared and Nick from our unit, The King's Company http://www.thekingscompany.ca/TheKingsCompany/Welcome.html . Joining us was our friend Andy and his son Steve, who are part of an American War of Independence unit. Andy wants to be part of the bicentennial of the War, so he'll be along with us for the next two or so years.
We broke with tradition, and went out on Friday afternoon. Most of the official activities didn't take place until Saturday morning, but we had Friday to get set up, and just visit with friends. Since Pooka is now an "only" dog, we packed up his stuff and his cage and took him along. He's never been camping, and we set up his cage in the canvas tent with Katie and me. John and Robby were in a borrowed canvas tent next door.
Katie and I were in charge of meals, and keeping the unit dining area organized. We tried to have a campfire, but we were having trouble lighting a fire due to the wet, damp wood. So we just had a nice chat and were actually in bed early.
Saturday morning, we were woken by the sound of a fife and drum corps at 6.30am. The fort opens at 10am, and we have to be up and ready to meet and greet the civilians. The guys had to be ready to accept the British Surrender at 11am, and get on with the day. Katie was working to complete her internship with the Ontario Visual Heritage Project, this time as a location scout. http://www.visualheritage.ca/ She spent a part of the day behind her camera and making notes on the size of rooms and places in the fort.
The downside was the heat. In the middle of the afternoon, the humidex was 41C/104F. We did get a fire going, and had a great beef stew for dinner. The evening battle is the British forces storming the U.S. held fort, with the culmination of the battle being when the British blow up the powder magazine. In year's past, this was 3 or 4 large fireballs, but this year we only had on ok-looking fireball. What a let-down.
We had some light rain overnight, and got up Sunday morning to heat at 8am, high humidity, and not a breath of air. And this is combined with wool jackets! We had a quick unit meeting over breakfast, and decided to pack up and head for home before the predicted storms rolled in that afternoon.
Pooka was the unit ambassador. Often people will stop by our camp, but will seem hesitant to "interrupt" us. Pooka would start wagging his tail, they would move forward to pet him, and voila, we have the beginning of a conversation. He was wonderful! Most of the area didn't even know that we had a dog anywhere near. He was quiet a night, and during the day only started to bark when a dog would come close, then he'd quiet down very quickly.
In spite of all of this, we had a good time. Lots of fun with friends from other units, with our unit, and as a family. I have some trim work to do on John's wool coatee before our next event on October 1/2 at Fanshawe Pioneer Village in London. (Most of you in the area have already received a facebook invite). We also have a few SCA events coming up that I hope to get to after surgery recovery.
I'm adding some pics, some from this year and one or two from last year. Enjoy the picture show!
|Pooka in his uniform. The men's uniform coats are blue with white, and we're the 17th U.S.|
(the tail is blurred - it seldom stopped wagging)
|Katie as a 1812 hipster.|
|The U. S. campsite.|
|Our tents. John and Robby (far left), Beth and Katie (centre) and Jared (right)|
|The British scaling the wall. The smoke is from the musket fire!|
|This is what our unit shelter looks like. (this picture from 2010)|
|The explosion of the powder magazine (from 2010)|