Lets step forward 20 years.
My wife and I like to go camping, partly out of enjoyment, partly out of financial restrictions. Unlike my family, we ventured into the great outdoors, almost two hours from home, 40 minutes to a beer store, and the grocery store nearby wasn't open on Sundays ever, the ice cooler at the gas station was usually out of ice, and they didn't even carry my favorite brand of smokes. If the adventures of my previous entry made you queasy, it is time to switch off the computer and go get a sandwich, because things are going to get very uncivilized soon.
We lived during these times in a tent that I could barely stand up in and stretch my arms and the tent was so small it only overflowed the mandatory tent pad on three sides. A raging river stormed by our favorite campsite at the bottom of a fatal 5 foot gorge, Frequently, the roaring gurgle of the river would keep us awake for many minutes before we were able to rest our fears and embrace our future. Once, early in our adventure's I was kept awake for hours by the blood curdling Moo's of a cow at a nearby farm.
There were times, dark times, dark evil times, when I would run out of beer around 5:00 pm on a Saturday evening (during these early days of civilization, beer store's were closed on Sundays) and for the next 42 hours I would have to drink hard liquor with warm pop as the cooler had broken at the local store. We prevailed, we embraced the challenge, and if it got bad enough I would invite the brother-in-law over to visit as he frequently travelled in the company of a dozen cold beer. While his outdoor skills did not equal my own, he understood the basics. There were times during these "vacations" that I would insist on not having a drink of alcohol for 12 hours (if I slept in), just to prove my strength against just such conditions. My wife being of the fairer sex and a weaker moral stance would frequently have to wait days between imbibing to avail her constant fears, but I stood, or leaned strong beside her.
Once we had overcome and defeated all the dangers of this location we ventured into a even more extreme area. For those of you whom are unaware, deep in the dark places of Waterloo there exists a forest so primeval that few would ever guess of its existence. It is named "Laurel Creek", I know it fondly as "Deaths canyon". While the canyon is represented more as a gently sloping hill leading to the lake, there exists such raw force in this location as man has strived to contain Mother nature herself by damming the Laurel creek at this location. While my historical knowledge of this location is sorely lacking (probably because that few survivors remain), I can assure you with clean conscious that to damn such a "creek" would have rivaled the creation of the Great Wall of China, surely, this was a decision between harnessing the raging Niagara and Laurel creek, the latter was chosen due to the availability of a larger immigrant population.
The "Creek of Death" as it will hereby be known, was a lovely place, 3 minutes to a liquor store, 10 minutes to a supermarket (if you made a couple of wrong turns) and this store did not contain a bakery or fresh deli. On one side the land was bordered by a University of Waterloo agriculture research field (where they no doubt bred vampire cow's), two sides with the most nefarious suburbs were even a veteran of Compton would fear to tread and on the forth... nothing, a land so devoid of features it must have been sucked into the great abyss during one of the long dark nights of our vacation.
Together upon this site we would survive, constantly praying that our limited phone, Internet and TV service would continue, failing which we would be stranded a 15 minute stroll to the nearest living human (if the camp was deserted).
These are the trials that steeled us against the future of our lives in the high arctic.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Lets step forward 20 years.