We just came back from a false alarm. The mayor called, wanting me to rush down to the dump. In her words, "some one has torched the dump and it jumped the berm", meaning the woods below town are on fire.
Now for the real story, which is no story at all, beyond me putting on boots, grabbing an axe and driving down to see...no, not a blazing inferno threatening all life as we know it; more like...nothing. One small, inconsequential bag of rubbish, smoldering quietly, right where it belonged. Boring; but a nice boring.
Then there was the case of "The Drifter".
He came from...who knows where? Upriver some place. No wait; he did tell me he put in on the river at Whitehorse. He is kayaking down the river, planning to go all the way to the mouth. I guess he's, maybe, 2/3 of the way done.
He seemed like a nice guy; fairly talkative. His kayak had several cracks and is leaking (sitting in an inch or two of cold river water for hours while paddling may tend to "dampen" the enthusiam needed to complete a journey such as this). I offered him some tape as a means of sealing the cracks.
A trip back to the house provided the tape. By now his ship should be watertight and he's probably back on the water. Or maybe he's down at the bank snoozing; don't really know.
Every year we get "drifters" passing through. They're not as suspicious as the cowpokes in western movies (though often as scruffy) and their "trusty steed" can be a canoe, a kayak, an inflatable, or a rowboat. I've even seen them go by on rafts made of logs or empty barrels. One had a wall tent on it. They come alone, in pairs or in larger groups.
It's not uncommon for them to give up the adventure here and jump on a plane, heading back home. Today's drifter seemed committed to finish, but the leaks, the rainy weather and the floating driftwood (caused by the rising water level) were taking a toll. He may give up tomorrow, or he may go all the way to the Bering Sea. Either way, it seems like an incredibly boring trip to me (but what do I know?)
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