Mansfield couple shares memories of trip

By Adrienne Douke
Empire Press Correspondent

Bobbie Huston shares memories of a camping trip from the past with members of the United Protestant Church on March 31. Huston and her husband Ed invited the congregation to their home for brunch, to hear the story and view a slideshow presentation. (Empire Press photo/Adrienne Douke)

Ed and Bobbie Huston of Mansfield have fond memories of a special vacation trip?they took decades ago.

?The camping trip we took with our children and another family was so exciting and fun, the story resonates still?? five decades later,? Bobbie Huston said. ?So we thought we would share it with our church family.?

The Hustons invited members of Mansfield’s?United Protestant Church?to their home on March 31 where they hosted a brunch and then told of their trip. The presentation was done in?an old-fashioned style of storytelling, along with pictures,?which was a popular?way?of recounting ones travels to friends and family back in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

The Huston and Maxwell families took a camping and canoe trip?to Bowron Lake Provincial Park in British Columbia?about 50 years ago.

?The camping trip we took with our children and another family was so exciting and fun,? Huston said.

Each photo gave a deeper meaning to the term “roughing it,” as Huston continued to tell of their adventures.

?We used canvas tents and one of our canoes was homemade,? Huston said. ?We made and packed all of our food supplies for 10 days camping.?

Throughout the trip the families were exposed to the presence of black bears intent on mischief. They got into provisions, tore up gear,?and one gave the Huston’s 15-year-old son Jerry “the fright of his life.”

This first bear experience served as a reminder to keep ?our provisions well protected,? according to Huston.

Braving the elements proved to be the biggest challenge for the campers. It rained every day of?the trip.

Huston described how difficulties were overcome with ingenuity, hard work and humor. The families had to?portage their canoes between lakes and around obstacles.

?It was wet, dirty and sweaty work,??she said.

The next bear encounter occurred?when Jerry Huston was awakened during the night by a bear nearby.?He lie?there in frightened silence until?it left.

Another?encounter happened at an outhouse. It was accepted practice for persons to sing or yell while using?an outhouse to scare wildlife away.

?Apparently, in this case, a bear was attracted to a young lady?s singing and went up the ramp and looked in at the startled camper, who yelled loudly and scared the curious bear away, much to everyone?s relief,? Huston said.

The final bear experience happened on the last day of the trip. ?We were loading our canoes, and saw a young black bear eating berries in the brush,” Huston said.

Ed Huston grabbed his camera but later learned the lens guard hadn’t been removed. “Oh,?the disappointment,??she?added.

?That was wonderful,” Bette Hayes said as the presentation concluded.?”What a great trip, and so exciting. I enjoyed watching it.?

?We really enjoyed the presentation, it was very special that Bobbie and Ed shared their adventures with us,? said Renee Bayless.