I read a great book about the brave young women who came to Coastal BC in the 60s and 70s to live a simple lifestyle, mostly off the grid. They farmed, homesteaded, fished and worked alongside equally brave and daring young men. The ones who settled on Haida Gwaii (then known as the Queen Charlotte Islands) and in Prince Rupert on the mainland called themselves the Gumboot Girls.
The book Gumboot Girls: Adventure, Love and Survival on British Columbia’s North Coast, a collection of thirty-four of their memoirs, was compiled by Jane Wilde and edited by Lou Allison (Caitlan Press, 2014).
My story starts much later. I guess I'm more brave now than I was as a young woman, but at least my time has come. We started living off the grid part-time in our float cabin in 2001 and then full-time in 2008 when we became Canadian permanent residents.
|Out at Sandy Beach gathering sand and dirt for my garden.|
Wayne had a deciding moment in the process of changing from his city-folk past. It was when he got a chainsaw and started cutting our firewood. My moment came this summer. I bought my first pair of gumboots. Now I wonder what took so long.
Gumboots are rubber boots, but they're much more than rain galoshes. They are heavy and meant for keeping feet dry in damp weather or working conditions. We get lots of those at all times of year here in BC.
Here are my gumboots. They are embarrassing clean and unblemished, but I know pretty soon they'll take on the patina of my off-the-grid lifestyle. Finally I can say I'm a Gumboot Girl too (even at 67). -- Margy