The Mighty Fraser River, Where I Get Inspiration!

When I get writers block...

I love going for walks with my dogs, Cleo and Patti, two boxers, mother and daughter. On one sunny beautiful day...

I found an abandoned beach on the Fraser River near my house.  I've been coming here for over ten years now. 
It's located between a scrap metal recycling depot and a dry wall manufacturer that's gone out of business, the main building empty and ready to be torn down. The complete opposite for the metal recycling business, it's a going concern. Metal against metal, clashing and clanging as the huge electro-magnets pick up scrap to pile on huge barges destined for some far off industrial nation, like China or Korea and Japan. Torches crackling and hissing, sparks flying as the workmen dismantle the large slabs of metal, cutting them into manageable size pieces.

I spotted this tug boat, floating out with the tide. It's prow majestically high out of the water as if proud.

I had to film it.

At this point in the Fraser River, the ocean tide backs up as it comes in, shortening the width of the beach daily, before washing away, leaving a sandy beach that drops down into a muddy guck. The dogs go mad in it and I let them. 

Logs float down the river, alone, as if knowing where they're going. Geese are now forming in V formations, signs of winter, yellow and red leaves on the north shore.

The beach is littered with metal scrap, sharp objects.  The dogs have never hurt themselves learning how to manoeuvre around the metal to collect the sticks that have washed to shore. No paws have ever been cut which is a wonder considering all the dangers; wild coyotes that roam the area, the current that would pull a cow under, the busy train track which we have to cross.

Luckily, Cleo and Patti can't swim. For some reason the length of the bones in the front legs prevent them from doing the dog paddle. They just slap at the water. So, they don't go in over their knees.

It's beautiful down there on a sunny day.
When you have nothing to do, and lots of time.

Just me, the dogs and the Tugs.


This is where the seed for my book.

 a ghost story

sprouted it little head.

Available soon @

Dog Brindle


Suzan St Maur said...

Sounds idyllic. My parents (when we lived in Ontario) used to breed boxers and I think until I was about 3 or 4 years old I thought I was a boxer, too. Lovely breed, if somewhat hyper... You're lucky to be near that mighty Fraser River. It's a major landmark in Canadian geography, which I follow avidly thanks to my uncle having subscribed me to Canadian Geographic magazine. I may live most of the year in Europe, but my heart belongs to Canada.

Michael Estey said...

Great to hear. Thanks for sharing.

Rea de Miranda said...

Oh Michael this sounds like such a great place to be. Thanks to that lovely spot I could read your book!

Sassy said...

It is awesome to hear that sound again.....the water lapping against the tugs is music to my ears....I used to sit down on the pier below the old Gastown and love the sights and sounds.

Freya Pickard said...

really interesting to discover where the ideas for your books came from!