“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Last year we got a Thousand Trails membership which entitled us to thirty nights of camping within our zones (Pacific Northwest and on down into southern California). We used a bunch of those nights up when we did our trip to Palm Springs over Christmas but we had just over a week’s worth of nights left over, so we decided to book a site at the Thousand Trails at Cultus Lake here in B.C. to use up the stay.
We loaded the good old motorhome and my daughter, her girlfriend and I “camped out” in it for three of those nights. (Lucky for me, my darling husband drove the motorhome out there for me first. Honestly, I shouldn’t be trusted in anything larger than a Mini.)
Anyway, on the road to Cultus Lake is a trail for Teapot Hill (apparently named because a logger found a teapot on the hill), so the girls and I committed to reserving one afternoon for a hike up to the top.
I love hiking, as does my daughter’s friend, so Thursday afternoon, we grabbed our water bottles, parked my car in the lot at the trailhead, and proceeded up the mountain, hoping for a view of the lake from the top.
We got a lot more than that.
About five minutes into the hike, propped up on a fallen log and snuggled into the moss was a teapot.
Why was I surprised? It’s called Teapot Hill for crying out loud! Suddenly our nature walk became a treasure hunt and we combed the woods with our eyes looking for more. Screw nature, we’re here for teapots now (haha, just kidding).
And we weren’t disappointed.
It seems there’s a thing going on in the woods here: bring your own pot. (Teapot, that is). Regrettably, the punks amongst us have taken shots at some of the pots, so there are ceramic fragments where teapots used to be, but for the most part, there are many intact pots!
I love whimsy. And a sense of humour. And I would’ve loved to have been the person who first thought of bringing a teapot to leave there, so kudos to whoever thought of it. There were so many kids and teens on the trail – a couple even toting their own pot made by Grandma (top right hand corner) – so it was great to see that nature was not only being appreciated, but that it was made fun.
Naturally, the girls and I spent some time trying to come up with puns- they groaned when I said I was “bagged” – but the pinnacle pun was “the hike up Teapot Hill was pretty ‘steep,'” courtesy of my daughter.
I don’t know if the pots will be there when we go back next. Apparently a few years back, the parks people cleaned up the forest on the premise that the broken pots were litter (fair enough), and that there was a rare orchid colony growing somewhere in the woods that might be damaged by people looking for pots and going off road to photograph them (um, I plead guilty to this charge. Having said that, in my defense, my childhood was spent in the seventies when it was all “Kumbaya, my lord,” and “Country roads, take me home,” so it’s only natural that I wanted to go off trail and breathe deep the moss and fern and mountain air.).
Cultus is only an hour away from where I live, so we will try to go back again one day. Maybe I’ll bring my own pot with me, and maybe I’ll try to tuck it into a tree that’s fairly close to the trail – just so I don’t damage any of those elusive orchids. And maybe I’ll tuck a note inside of my teapot -you know, like a message in a bottle sort of thing – if for no other reason than to say, “we were here,” although I’m not sure why I feel it’s necessary to leave my mark here. I left my mark on this earth the moment my child breathed her first breath.
Anyway, would love to hear some of your punny tea jokes, if you have any. And hey, maybe that’s what I’ll tuck in my teapot when I go back!