Sunday, November 26, 2017

John Denver's Music and My Love of the Outdoors

I grew up in a Scouting family, hearing stories from my brothers and my dad about camping and great hiking experiences, so it's no surprise that I got bit with the bug when just a little boy.

At first, I did my own adventures with my friends, riding bikes to ravines and patches of bush, where we'd play.  I joined the Wolf Cubs program of Boy Scouts of Canada when I was 10, and almost right away went on a camp in a cabin up on Mount Seymour.  Following this I did a camp at a park called Garibaldi Provincial Park. The southern part of it was separated and renamed Golden Ears Provincial Park soon after.

I"m climbing the flag pole at Camp Garibaldi - this became Golden Ears Park

At 11 years old, I did a linking camp, where older cubs like me got to join a Scout camp (with the big boys).  I went with a couple of my older friends from my pack, 1st Burnaby Southview (we met in Maywood School.)  I remember sitting on the beach on a log, and looking at those gorgeous mountains on the other side of the lake and dreaming of living up there in the trees.

Then, my family moved to Mission, BC when I was 12, late in the year. The following year, as I turned 13, I discovered that if I rode my bike up the hill, I was in those same mountains. There was a small lake that had a raft with a pole you could push it around with.  There were trails and rivers galore! I was in heaven!

About that time, an artist whose music I knew and liked, came out with an album that blew my mind.  It was a live recording of a concert, and it was called an evening with John Denver.  The songs he sang positively screamed what I felt about the mountains, and wildlife, and I fell in love with that music.  I promptly learned a bunch of songs on that album and can still play and sing them.
Me, behind Antoon and Mom in Mission - 13 years old - probably playing John Denver!
When I first went out with her, I used to serenade Loretta with some of his songs! Annie's Song, This Old Guitar, and Hey It's Good To Be Back Home Again" and many others, so these songs have another nostalgic angle for me!  I still sometimes play those songs for her, but haven't for a while...

I was saddened when I heard that he crashed his plane and died back in 1997, but I continue to enjoy his music, thankful for the joy of knowing his music, and growing up to it.


Check out my Christmas Story - an excerpt and links are available here:

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