The hidden years, 146, way up North

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Tuesday 01 September 19:05

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Way up North

Bill had a good time and began singing loudly, North to Alaska and he shone while singing it. He brayed the text with great enthusiasm. ‘You're enjoying yourself, huh?’ I said'. Bill glanced sideways at me, 'you bet, yes, ‘he said,’ like coming home. ‘ I chuckled, Bill's way of thinking was contagious, and I looked outside and saw mile after mile of white ground. ‘Ha,’ said Bill, ‘nothing has changed over the years,’ and then we both laughed our heads off, because how could anything change here, white is white and the cold does not change. ‘Yes,’ Bill said as he glanced at the trip counter, we're almost at the crossing, ‘you really have to be careful that you cross where the rest do, because that will have a reason.’ I understood that he really measured it all out on his trip meter. ‘Look,’ said Bill, ‘the road is going down, we are going to the river no other way about it. I'm going to teach you something, how do you know you have come to the river? ‘I looked at him blankly. ‘If you're driving somewhere and you do not see any trees any more than you know, that you are driving on water. It was simple but of course Bill was right.

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I suddenly realized that we had  not seen trees or bushes for some time and I only saw them far away in the distance, ‘Good lord,’ I cried, we are on water! ‘ Bill laughed to himself, ‘already ten minutes,’ he opined. ‘Tell me what you see and what to look out for.’ I looked with great attention around me. ‘You don’t mean the snow ' I said .'Yes and no,’ Bill replied,' where there is less snow, that is where the road is and now for something important, where there is less snow it has frozen over harder. Where there is snow, the ice is slightly more protected and less thick. I marveled at all the practical facts, I learned new things every second word that Bill spoke. Just before the trees the truck climbed back up and we were on dry land. ‘Now another few miles and we’ll come to the last trading post, then we won’t see one for a long time, and we will swap places again,’ Bill announced. It took a little longer than a moment and I was happy to see a parking lot in the distance after a few hours with parked trucks. We might be able to stretch our legs and see what was inside food and drink wise. The truck slowed down as Bill worked through the reduced gearing and we came in crawling.

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The truck was brought to a halt in front of a power pole and Bill put the gear in: 2 and 2. I walked around the cabin and plugged the plug from under the hood into the socket. Nothing could happen now with our lorry. We were cold to the bone when we stood at the door. Bill pushed the door open and I immediately followed him inside. A burner was throwing heat about.. ‘No !!!’, we heard, ‘Now look who's coming in.’ An old bearded trucker jumped up and walked over to Bill. 'Arctic Bill, old wanker, ‘he exclaimed,’ I thought you were long dead. ‘ Bill hit the oldtimer on his shoulders. ‘Then you have seen everything,’ he bellowed, ‘and then you come to Handy Andy.’ The men were pounding each other like mad and it took time for Andy to notice me. ‘Who is that,’ asked Handy Andy?’ That, ‘said Bill,’is  my new greenhorn.’ Nice to know, I thought, so Bill thinks about me, as an apprentice. ‘We'll baptize you greenboy,’ Andy concluded. ‘Whatever,’ I said and nodded at Handy Andy. 'Come and sit at my table, Andy said to Bill, and when I wanted to sit down he continued, ‘greenie it is okay, okay then, come and sit with the men.

San Daniel 2015

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