Bear the Tinker

Shaman’s Yurt Workshop @ THO




Tiny House Ontario plans to run a Shaman’s yurt building workshop on May the 5th 2013.

The Shaman’s Yurt is a many skills learning experience where 10 to 14 people will learn to build their own Mongolian yurt from basic materials growing in the forest, sticks and rope. The interests of the group will be the topic of the single day course.

Folklorist Bear The Tinker will be your instructor and host guiding you through the building process of the Yurt’s sacred symbolism. Stories will be shared within the shamanic point of view on subjects of many interests including cryptozoology, the paranormal, parallel universe theory, and other intelligent life form from within and without of this reality.

Attendance at the course will also gain you access to visit the inside of Tiny House Ontario and a day in a natural forest just outside of Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Cost is $100.  Payments to attend will be made via Paypal.  If you are interested please send an email to  I will email you a payment request within a day or two.  After payment is received I will send details.  (A full refund will be given should registration be too low)

Please check out Bear’s website for video to gain understanding about his teachings.

Categories: Bear the Tinker, Kingston, Off Grid, Ontario, Tiny House Ontario | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

Gypsy Caravan

UPDATE:  (June 24, 2013) Bear has sold this caravan.  He is currently building another that can be towed behind a modern vehicle.  I plan on going down to give him a day when the rain slows – I imagine I will learn much.
If you are interested in a caravan, please contact Bear because he is considering taking orders.  Thanks!  Laura
The cook stove darkened from the light of the doorwayThere is a wonderful caravan for sale.
It is a five year old traditionally built utilitarian gypsy caravan. It is 6x 12 feet and built on an original 1905 McLaughlin undercarriage.  The McLaughlin undercarriage is significant, because this was designed specifically to carry glass milk bottles on rough roads.  The ride on this wagon is very smooth and comfortable when compared to other gypsy wagons.
This wagon has ample storage.  It is located under the double bed platform, under the double bench seats and also along the wall there is a shelved cupboard which is pictured below.
There is a hide away table which has a checker/chess board painted on.
The one small contemporary convenience is a small unobtrusive installation of a solar light.
A gypsy wagon is not built to be pulled behind a vehicle. It is designed to go horse speed.  In fact Maurice “Bear” Leger, the man who built this caravan, has lived and traveled thousands of kilometres in this manner. You can read and see more about him and his lifestyle here and here.
The front can be removed so that a team or yoke hook up can be put on the front.  (this means that if you wish to use two horses to pull it or if you want to pull it short distances with a contemporary vehicle you can do so.
If you wish to move it long distances, the wagon can be transported on a flatbed or behind a 1500 (or larger) pound horse.
The covering tarp on the wagon is military grade and therefore should last for tens of years, but like all gypsy wagons this is removable when it comes time for ordinary upkeep.
The wagon has a wood stove, but it is not insulated, rather it is built in the old way with pretty interior panels and a covering tarp.  When the winter comes to those who choose the traditional lifestyle, a field is located, 200 bales of hay are ordered and delivered and when they come they are stuffed under the wagon and piled around it.  Only the front and rear end are left open for the light.  The hay is fed one bale at a time to the horse and by spring… when the insulation and the feed are gone the wagon is pulled away.
This wagon was not used this winter as Bear has had to leave this lifestyle behind; however when we went back to see it on Easter morning it was dry as a bone inside.
The current location of the wagon is between Kingston and Gananoque, Ontario.
The asking price is $6,000  Canadian Dollars.
You can contact Bear here, or you can also leave your details in the comment section below and I will pass a message on to Bear.
You can also look at the listing here and from this link you will find a place to email Bear directly.
Categories: Bear the Tinker, Environmentalism, Off Grid, Simple living, Sustainable living | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

The Oddyssey

Yesterday when I opened my eyes I did not know what the day would bring me.  It turns out that this say was to be epic.  Not exactly the ten year travel of Odysseus, but even so, an interesting day.

I wrote a bit in the morning, washed up and had some coffee and then left THO. My first stop was at Liisa’s.  She is doing the preparation for a family reunion and as such has a lot to do.  I thought I would pop by and see if she wanted my help.  I could have guessed that she would not since she has very specific ways of doing things, but still she did have plans for me, instead she brought me to Gilmore’s Point for a couple of hours.  It was my first visit there, and it is a nice spot.  When I left there I headed back to THO for  my night bike gear just in case anything went wrong, and then hit the road for Murphy’s Point Park near Perth Ontario, because I wanted to hear Bear the Tinker tell stories.  I decided on taking the back roads up through California because the winding roads are wonderful to travel on when you drive a bike.  Before too long, I was on Highway 15, I stopped to gas up in Elgin $3.25 in gas filled me right to the top and I am back on the highway.  Before long, I was just beginning to wonder if I missed something and I had; the crucial turn at Crosby to get to the park was several km behind me.  Still steadfast in my determination, I was going along at a nice clip on a stretch of road just about where # 5 meets #15 to turn to Athens when suddenly without any warning my bike quit.  It was 3:22 in the afternoon.

I would think that a small, middle aged woman on a Vino, dressed in linen trousers and a yellow flowered blouse should not seem like all that scary but even so, not a single person stopped to see if I was OK.  After the bike did not restart for about 45 minutes (I thought it had just overheated) I called 411 with my stupid phone company (Telus) to get the number for the Yamaha dealer who is in Portland in order to get picked up, but despite the fact that I knew that they are in Portland or within a short distance, that they sell motorbikes, boats, and all sorts of recreational vehicles they could not find them in their system.  I was on the phone with them for about 15 minutes and they were not helpful (are any of them?)

Finally I called my Yamaha people and asked them for the number.  By this time, I am burned to a crisp and it is 4:45 but I get through and they send a truck to pick the bike and I up.

They fix the bike, it turns out that the cable let go from the spark plug.   I have studied the map in the interim and know that I have to double back a bit now, so I go on to Murphy’s Point.  It was about 5:45 by the time I left the bike shop.

I finally hit #14 and take the road which is fun at first because it is winding and smooth but eventually turns into 6 km of new gravel on a dirt road.  Anyone who drives a street bike will appreciate how not fun this kind of terrain is.  None the less, at 6:45 I arrive to see Bear the Tinker and listen to his stories.  It was totally worth the trip!  Bear played a full set of Uileann pipes and told us about the little people, and the big people.  He weaved a brilliant tale that blended mythology, folklore, science, religion, philosophy, and a twinkling eye into his work.  By the end, I am convinced that the entire audience believed that Big foot was in the woods watching us and that better not catch a little person in the corner of their eye.  The man and the story teller is so enchanting; his traditional ways, along with his vivid memory makes for a special time which I wanted to extend into the night, but I did not want to be  on the gravel road after dark and thus at 8:30 I left and faced the road again.

About 1/2 of the way on the paved road before the turn to Murphy’s point, at 9:30, there is a small bridge that crosses the Rideau.  It was so pretty there that I stopped and was greeted by a Kayaker who was just on the last leg of a 15 day trip up the canal.  George had been up to Ottawa and had wonderful stories to tell about his encounters with nature through his beautiful adventure, including a threatening wind and a nasty seagull.  He had a beautiful imagination and presence.  Along with this he has more than just a passing interest in light.  He had wonderful and unique lights which he makes himself from old garden lights and these he brought with him to light the way and they twinkled around us.  He gifted one to me which is a bubbling ball that I now have charging!  I am looking forward to seeing it and believe it will remind me of the moon over the canal every time I see it.  Further to his interest in light, hee is a photographer and had taken many photos and though he did not share them with me, he did share his web address (which sadly I forgot, so I am hoping he will remember THO and remind me of the link).

The moon as I mentioned above, was the nearly full sturgeon moon and just waining slightly.  It shone heavenly orange light over the water and made the sky into a soft grey light.  The big dipper clear as a bell, held it’s contents to the North West, between 2 giant maples.  It was the sort of place and climate that deserves time and attention, I relaxed into the night and before too long, I was leaving far too late.

I did not get back on the road until it was nearing midnight and the road was clear because of the bright moon, but when I got on the highway I realized that there was not one single location to stop and get gas, and I knew that I could not make it home.  Still, there was nothing I could do but push forward.  I kept the bike steady at 75kmph and drove, sticking to the main roads.  Fortunately, the moon made the walk easy and I could see a long way.  I did not feel scared or nervous when the bike finally puttered to a stop. I made it to within a couple of km of my cousin’s place at 12:32 so I pushed the bike to his house and walked on to Liisa’s house because I have a key and it is closer than THO.  I arrived to her place at 1:27 am.  Safe, sound and filled with the days adventure I fell asleep quickly and slept sound.

This morning, I am blistering and bitten and I stand, hoping that today is just as interesting!

Categories: Bear the Tinker, Friendship, Magical, Nature, View | Leave a comment

Bear the Tinker

“People who have no dreams, are poor”  ~ Bear the Tinker

It is two years since I met Bear the Tinker at my cousin’s organic farm.  A Tinker is an travelling tinsmith for those of you who don’t know (I did not).  The Tiny House where he lived and worked out of for many years, and still for much of the year is a Caravan which is drawn from place to place by his lovely horse and companion, Callum.

Meeting Bear stands out in my life as one of the great experiences.  It is hard to describe him, his storytelling, his music his wit and his peace.  The strength of presence of this man, and his connection to the past is something that one must experience to believe.

This is a clip from a great old TV show out of Canada.  Bear the Tinker lives near Kingston Ontario.

If you see him on the road, stop!  Ask him where he is heading next to tell stories and sharpen knifes, I am urging you, make Bear a part of your plan, even if you have to travel far to meet him.  If you must work to arrange it, or travel to be where he is, please do so, treat yourself to this experience.

Here are the links so that you may find him….

Bear the Tinker


News clipping

Here is a tip (just in from Bear).  If you want to meet him, he will be at the Delta Fair for 3 days, and events at Murphy’s Point Park on July 20 and August 3. Also FYI… he offers Yurt Building courses for small groups of 10-12 people. 😀

Categories: Bear the Tinker, Kingston, Magical, Ontario, Open your eyes, Simple living, Sustainable living, Time, Tiny house, View | 5 Comments