Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lowman On The Totem Pole

Well, the camping plans of last week (cancelled by rain – thanks, weather bunny …) finally took place Friday. The network was down at work, so I told my boss I was out. A quick pack-up of the grey ghost, a beer for the road at Le Pub, and I hit the trail. It’s nice to get out of town, away from people, grab a little precious solitude … so of course, the first thing I did after setting up the tent was to ride down 4 miles of washboard, ride up 4 miles of highway 21, sit my ass down and have a beer with Marla.

Marla and her husband built the Haven Hot Springs establishment (restaurant, motel rooms, private hot pools) in 1993. No one else was in there, so we watched some of a Hitchcock movie (starring Paul Newman … wow … RIP, Paul. I suppose Slapshot won’t be available at Blockbuster) and talked about her grandkids and how she drew for a moose this year. A very enjoyable afternoon.

So back at the campsite, I was the only one there. I fired up the grill, cooked a few ears of corn and a couple of steaks, and realized I hadn’t brought a plate. It’s always nice to have options for dinner, and I got to choose between eating right off the picnic table or on some newspapers. The newspaper, while offering a barrier between my meal and the remnants of god knows what had ever happened on that table, tended to shred under the knife and become embroiled in the actual food. While paper does offer some dietary fiber, the fact remains that you’re still EATING GODDAMNED NEWSPAPER. So picnic table it was.

I also didn’t take a flashlight, so when it was time to go to bed, it was an all-in proposition. Once I turned that propane lantern off, I knew there was no way in hell my drunk ass could light that thing again in the middle of the night. But damnit! I’m a grown man! So I administered some animal repellant, which consists of me playing guitar and singing (bears have a very eerie roar of pain – with the first chord, I heard a howl of displeasure that seemed to rapidly fade into the distance), and headed to bed. I’m not really afraid of large animals per se, but some of them are assholes. I know that there’s very little chance that a moose would steal my distributor cap twice in one lifetime, but I do carry a spare now. Fool me once, you know. I hope Marla plugs that moose. Bastard.

The cold wasn’t too bad … mid 30s, probably. There was frost on the propane tanks – a bit of advice: don’t try to thaw them by putting them by the fire. Eyebrows grow back, don’t they?

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