Five days in the bush and I’m sailing down the road tonight

Though I was trying my best to keep a bright face, the last few days of piddling around Inuvik got to me. It was damned near impossible to feel any real sense of accomplishment when my only daily goals – besides waiting for my bike part – were to find a town pin and sew the butt back into my pants.

Things finally came to a head yesterday, and I marched right down to the North Mart and bought some bread and cheese slices. I was feeling sorry for myself and I needed comfort food. But here’s a valuable lesson from the North – feel sorry for yourself all you want because nobody else cares. Case in point: I neatly unwrapped the cheese slices and turned my back to light a fire when a crow the size of a family dog swooped down. It grabbed all my cheese in one bite and flew across the lake, mocking me all the way.


So, lesson learned. I threw a coat of stiffener on my upper lip and tried to make the best of my predicament. I realized that if someone had asked me a month ago if I’d like to be “stuck” in Inuvik, eating great food, breathing fresh air and getting tons of sleep, I’d have jumped at the chance. No sense in whining about it now.

I guess my change in perspective worked, too, because this morning I woke up to a guy whispering through my tent, “Are you the bike fella?  I’ve got a part for you.” And though these words have never escaped my lips before, I, in my inarticulate relief, blurted out, “Oh thank you, Jesus!”

Thank you, indeed.

Now I’m off. Simple as that. I biked up to the northern edge of the Dempster Highway this morning, snapped a quick photo, had a bit of a cry, and now I’m on my way to who knows what. I feel like a little kid! I’m grinning from ear to ear and nothing, short of lightning bolt aimed at my helmet, can possibly wreck my mood. The next stop is Fort McPherson, about a day’s ride down the highway.

Adios, Inuvik!


6 responses to “Five days in the bush and I’m sailing down the road tonight

  1. I once had a crow steal an entire dozen buns off the table when camping. Hot dogs are really not the same without the bun. Oh, this you will enjoy. A certain nephew of yours asked me if hot dogs were made out of dogs as he gobbled his up this week, not the least bit phased that what the answer could be…

  2. Geez Mike! seems like your adventures are ready for you and not the other way around! I love the way you write, keep it up! I feel like I am right there with you…….

  3. Always keep one eye on birds in the genus Corvidae (which includes ravens and their allies: gray jays, blue jays, Clark’s nutcrackers, American crows, Steller’s jays, scrub jays…). They’re the cleverest of birds and almost seem to seek out opportunities to outwit humans, as if to say, “and you think you’re so smart…”

    Be wary of raccoons and gulls as well.

  4. Mike.

    I love you and your story-telling abilities.
    This is epic buddy. Epic.

    Poe had it spot on when he wrote about the raven. Blech.
    The only good bird is a cooked bird, especially at Christmas or Thanksgiving.

    Have no fear, lightening rarely strikes the same place twice.
    Looking forward to the next installment.


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