Been there, done that

Absolutely the Wrong Forest Road, a few miles north of Wonowon, British Columbia, Canada
We walk into the woods this morning with the pups, no one around so they get to play off leash. It's a glorious morning, leaves diving from tree-tops to the ground, mosquitoes sleeping off last night's feast. Mosquitoes in these cold lands don't carry disease, and once we found that out we were much less likely to stay up until two am hunting down the very last one in the van...

We head further south, down the Alaskan Highway (all blissfully paved, thank the Goddess). It's gorgeous, again, but we're starting to see towns every hundred miles or so. Sigh. Civilization. Strange to be back. We see a McDonald's today, and gas stations with corporate names.

Today is just one of those driving days, where we don't seem to stop a lot, feel the pressure of all those miles before us (and a serious temporal deadline now, got to be in Reno on a specific day). We drive, we eat, we drive some more. We're making really good time, but we're really tired of this. And very particular not to let on, to take it out on each other.

A couple of hours before we plan to stop for the night it starts to rain, and we see rainbows. Aghh, good signs. Good things. Everything is going to be okay.

And then we stop for the night. We take a narrow, grassy road deep into the woods, raindrops plunking on the roof of the van, dogs whining for a walk. We've tried several campsites so far and none of them worked. Too close to the road, big signs urging campers to stay away because of poison gas, that one worked. We're close to exhaustion, ready to be camped, out of the rain, sleeping, please!

We keep going down this road, hoping for a place to turn around, weeds and bushes and baby trees scraping the side of the van. If it keeps up, we'll have to back out, and we've gone a half mile. 3/4 of a mile. Downhill, too, it seems now. Down, down, into the forest. Until the grassy track before us turns into a bog. A swamp. We're from Florida, so we recognize this. Knee-high muddy water, marsh grasses growing taller than us. No gators or snakes, thank goddess, in these cold lands.

So we back out. The wheels go round and round in the mud/clay. (It's been raining for days here, we'll find out tomorrow, and the clay under the grass is the slipperiest substance known to British Columbian man.) We end up digging out the wheels, chopping up wood to place under them, jacking up the van until the jack misfunctions, taking everything with weight out of the van, tethering the dogs to the marsh reeds, and repeating the futile jacking and digging and fortifying until we are wet with rain and sweat, near tears, and ready to give up.

We sleep on an insane incline this night, the two of us and Cassidy rolled into a corner of the bed, two of us laughing our asses off at our predicament. At least we're together, not fighting. No one yelled, we worked together perfectly. No one got snake-bit. No grizzlies ate us or the dogs. And we can still laugh at ourselves, laugh ourselves right to sleep.


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