The hidden years in Canada 90, in the bush

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Saturday 11 July 17:21


In the bush

It was a special feeling. I walked out the door of the small town hall as prospector, someone that could search anywhere for minerals. In the back pocket of my jeans I had the photocopy of the area and under my arm I had the gulf oil road map, detailed, where the friendly clerk with a ballpoint pen had circled which were the pending claims in the area. I felt very prepared. In a pocket of my wallet I had the slip of paper with the municipal stamp with the header 'free miner's certificate. Ken had been right at the love in, you could enter any town and you’d come out again as a miner of raw materials. I had a little chuckle at the thought of that night, the girl that had thought she recognized John Fogerty in everyone and finally the advent of the love guru himself. Especially if I had not been at that night  I would now not have been tramping about in a different province in the vicinity of the Dead Horse river, wading through water with a pan and a backpack. If you are alone then you simply have some more time to think things over and I realized that everything had had its usefulness so far in my life .. It went on and on, I realized, if I had not worked in the high-rise buildings, then my colleague would not have invited me to go along to the love-in and then as a consequence I would not have walked here at Dead Horse.

Life is full of crossroads which determine your further life I suddenly realized, I knew it with a deep and sacred conviction. Someone honked loudly and I had to jump aside, in thought I had almost been squashed when crossing the street. Also, this was determined, if I had not worked in the high-rise, I would have never walked on this street. I decided to take a coffee at Jones and then start the real work.

‘Mr. Jones, sir, good morning,’ I said when opening the door, ‘you happen to have some coffee?’ ‘I do young man, as it just so happens’ said the old boss. ‘Have you lost the shock troops again?’ ‘They‘ll  be back but they first need a few more days tat school,’ I laughed. ‘And how about you,’ asked the old man. ‘I am now a free miner.’ ‘I do not know if you should be happy with that,’ Jones laughed as he poured the coffee. ‘There are only a few who get by with something like that in their lives.’ ‘You know,’ I said, ‘it depends on coincidences, if I had not worked in the building trade, I would not be having coffee here with you.’ ‘I do not understand you,’ said the gaffer and he turned to two men who entered. ‘What shall it be gentlemen,’ he shouted.

I missed my friends now, Don would surely have said something or Bev would have just looked at me and in a few words have explained everything which was unclear. She had really become a kind of big sister and mother figure she took care of her boys .. Don of course was closer to the fire, she had adopted him as a friend. I unfolded the map and saw a small road just outside the town almost paralel along the river. I saw when I folded out the municipal photocopy next to the map that everything around Deadhorse was already claimed. I recognized the bend in the river where the beach was where we had fled from the rain. Only beyond that, nothing or almost nothing was claimed. Sporadically, there was a circle drawn around an old claim. I wondered if the impression was really washed away and whether I would find the piece of fur.


I decided if I ‘d pass there to have a look but to be careful not to devote too much time over it. The furry hairs I would bring back. So I left the bar and I decided to stock up on supplies for emergencies. Moments later I drove up the sunlit parking field and parked the old American. It was hard to imagine that we had here spurt away in panic. Everything now looked green and peaceful. The river god had spoken when he his river had been drunk of. I shivered the nonsense thought away, but I took it on me not to follow Don's example. Moments later, I stepped into the cool water.

San Daniel 2015

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