Local Buys: Hike in Style
The line is called One Made Beaver, a reference to the beaver-pelt-backed currency the Hudson’s Bay Company devised to trade with Indigenous peoples.
In her Loops & Lattes series of hiking guides, longtime In The Hills contributor Nicola Ross arms readers with everything they need to know about hiking in Caledon, Dufferin, Halton and the Hamilton area. Now the Belfountain author adds an artisanal element to the mix with walking sticks painted in colourful geometric patterns to brighten your walking gear and/or home décor. Nicola says her newfound process is so organic she never has a finished design in mind. She’ll find herself adding polka dots here or a new colour there, and realize she’s hit upon the right look. “Each stick calls for something different,” she says. “I plan out where to start, but the rest just happens.”
Nicola was first inspired to decorate the sugar cane walking sticks sold near her winter home in Mexico, but she has now turned to the beaver sticks she collects on regular kayak trips in Ontario cottage country. The line is called One Made Beaver, a reference to the beaver-pelt-backed currency the Hudson’s Bay Company devised to trade with Indigenous peoples, and includes beaver facts on its birch bark tags. But there’s still a touch of Mexico in the fun pom-poms swinging from the handles.
If you’d like to create your own, Nicola is offering a walking stick painting workshop November 24 at the Alton Mill. ($75, One Made Beaver)
- One Made Beaver by Nicola Ross, Belfountain. 519-943-5667. nicolaross.ca
Soak up some fascinating local history and stroll the sidewalks of our towns and villages.