Monday, November 11, 2013

Departure Bay - another day hunting - journal

I'm here again. When I lived on the island I was forever here.  Departure Bay.  Waiting. The 3 o clock ferry is full so we're waiting now for the 5 pm ferry.
I just came in off Grafton Main. I had taken some logging road off the Port Alberni road only to come over this awful hill sliding and bouncing on loose rock. Another truck passed me when I was pulled off on a side road trying to figure where I was on the gps and map.  Another fool gave me confidence. Like Waiting for Godot.  I figured there was a way out.  I headed onto the trail through the power lines only to come up at a gate at Grafton Main.  I had the gps and backwoods book so had an idea of where I was. Figured I could drive up Grafton Main to find another way out.
Only trouble on the way up Grafton Main it got really steep then really muddy. I was flooring it and sluicing about on this steep overhang praying to Jesus and worrying Gilbert.  Finally got around the worst and up to a place where I could turn around. The road ahead was steeper and muddier so I was very thankful for this little widening. It was just enough to get the truck cross ways and rock her back and forth till I got around without the wheels going over the edge.  Then I was skiing down the slope and praying aloud some more.  4x4 and first gear and still braking all the way.  I took the power lines out following them till I found an exit after checking out several connectors that went nowhere. I was glad to see paved road again.
Before that I'd been up at dawn, loading the gear, and getting breakfast at MacDonalds' drive through. They're open at 7 am.  Up on the mountain again, Yellow Creek Main, I parked the truck.  I hiked up with Gilbert a mile or so then took a side road in to where I found a knoll I could climb up on and sit.  We were there for an hour or so in the rain and fog.  Gilbert was very attentive. I was fading in and out.  I couldn't see much when the fog came. It would clear then come again.  I was tired from the climb.  Spent some time playing with the gps, taking pictures of Gilbert and texting friends on the satellite phone. After I'd texted friends on the satellite phone, it was a good test, I found I had cellphone connection.  So I texted Hannah. She texted back she liked the picture of Gilbert. After that I sat for another half hour until I was getting really chilled. No deer. Nothing.
Gilbert and I walked down the hill.  I was glad again to see the truck and motorcycle and contents were safe.  We drove around there some then headed out around noon.
I'm fairly tired now. I loaded the guns and ammo better here in the parking area. I also changed from cammo to jeans and tshirt.  The weather is really mild.  Gilbert shared an ice cream cone with me.  Now he's watching other dogs being walked.  A guy who'd been off road motorcycling came by to talk.  I'd met him in the line on the way over.  I told him about 4x4ing the greasy. unintentionally.
It's Veteran's Day and Facebook has a lot of great pictures.  Laura uploaded the one of Dad and Gilbert. I remember Dad best at the epitaph here in Vancouver where he was given a seat of honour with other old guys in wheel chairs. He was walking with his walker and then sat with the other WWII vets. He was proud of his service.  Always loved to talk with other vets.  Told us kids though 'not to volunteer'.  I remember his RCAF uniform when we were young.  Then with Ron, when he was in his 90's, we'd take Dad to the air museum in Ottawa. There  he'd like to look at the old bombers.
Red poppies.  Flanders Fields.
It's been a great weekend outdoors and nice hotel and good company with Gilbert.  I'll be glad when the ferry comes and I'm that much closer to home.  Have to empty the truck at the storage lockers.It needs a wash badly but that will have to wait.  I also have to remember with gratitude, that though I didn't get a deer or grouse, I got to drive around back country, hang out with Gilbert, hike, photography, gps, 4x4, stay in a fine hotel, have a hot tub and swim, watch movies, read Tom Clancy and listen to the racy Diana Gabaldon audiobook.  Thankfully I didn't get stuck, or get maimed or die going over a cliff in the truck.
I used to live in Parksville so I was even in my own 'stomping' grounds remembering how much I loved the Island and my home here when I had it.  It was a pretty laid back existence nearly 20 years ago.  Had I stayed I'd not have had the sailing adventures or Saipan or the city practices.  It would have been different.  In the multiverses there are nodal points when consciousness seems to flow along a particular pathway but it just as easily could have gone along another.  All that was missing was a child or even a woman that shared a dream at the time I was dreaming it. With all the competition, mismatched dreams are a norm these days.  It was only decades back people didn't have the freedom to choose any dream from an ever longer list.  Two or three times now I've gone to the country and hoped to have a family only to return to the barren city.  I always thought it was a better idea to live in the country and work in the city but that was an idea years before it's time.
Now I think about retirement but don't see any hope for the future.  It will be 20 years after we see our last patient that we can escape from threats of law suits and complaints. The law always judges doctors on past deeds with rules made in the future by arts students wearing wigs. Doesn't give a scientist much confidence. Thankfully God is in charge and I'll probably work till I die.  As it is I grab these weekends of time off adding a day to make a 3 day here and there and adding a couple of days travel to a working vacation.
If I wasn't working I'd be out hunting earlier in the year until I got game for the winter larder. I'm thinking next year of taking a couple of weeks up by Fort St. John early Sept so I have time to get a moose. I still might get a deer but it's looking mighty iffy.  There's ducks to be shot and fish to be caught. I've been planning on doing more fishing and nothing like an empty freezer to motivate me.  Something about eating food you've caught yourself. I miss the gardens I've had over the years too.
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