The hidden years in Canada 157, the icy hours

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Thursday 03 September 19:01


Icy hours

There was no end to it. The slippery lake, went almost on endlessly. Hour after hour the machine growled forward and we were past the conversation. The view did not change really, I could imagine how hard it was for people to drive alone, so that your diversion was changing gears going up and leaving the lake. It was monotonous. You heard that the motor cycle had a regular drone to it and it became part of you, it filled your head and your being. ‘You know,’ Bill began, just to say something, I guess, ‘we have never found the wreck back.’ I jumped out of my hypnotised staring. ‘What do you mean,’ I asked? ‘We once took a detour to empty the truck,’ said Bill, ‘on the way to a load with the idea to take some of Earney's cargo, say like beachcombing. But it is clear, had it not been for the smoke signal from him we would have never located him in the first place and later when the thaw set in, the comby must have sank through the ice and come to rest on the bottom of the lake. ‘

‘A shame , hey,’ I filled in 'and it is probably not the only one here somewhere at the bottom of a lake. ‘ Talks on long distances become associative and so we went from Inca treasures in lakes to Nazi gold in Switzerland. There was another silence that I interrupted just to block out the monotonous growl of the diesel. I realized how difficult it must be to drive without a 2nd driver, you became, without wanting it, somewhat eccentric. ‘Bill,’ I began, ‘you remember that survival package that we received from the Moose man '? Bill now startled out empty musings. ‘That was Beardy,’ he corrected me, ‘I chuckled, 'whatever' I said, 'Why do you call that air filter meals?’ ‘Because that is what they are,’ said Bill surprised. So typically Bill, I thought. 'Okay, but it must have a reason that you call it that?‘ ‘Yes,’ replied BiIll, ‘there is. In that package is raw moose meat with butter and some vegetables and some potatoes, that will take 2 hours until it’s tender. If you like it well done, a little longer. ‘


‘I understand every word you say but I do not get what you are saying,’ I replied, ‘it can’t cook it self?’ ‘You can see big mother, you just do not know some things,’ laughed Bill. ‘If you want to eat a warm meal and that is very pleasant if you get stranded somewhere, you keep the engine running otherwise you have no heating. The hood opens and you put the foil packet on the air filter and the heat of the engine cooks your meal. ‘ There was indeed a lot that I did not know and I said, 'that is genius. ‘ ‘Oh,’ Americans have been doing that for years at great distances, ‘Bill went on,’ there are entire cookbooks about such dishes, like  the guide to trucker's airfilter meals, hopefully we won’t  have need to try them out. It is nice when you occasionally are amongs people to eat together and not stand stranded in the snow with an air filter meal’. He glanced at the day counter, ‘you can’ and he pointed to a mountain that towered above others, ‘aim for the highest mountain there and then you'll see that there is a slight rise in the road where you leave the lake again. ‘ Sure enough the road rose a bit and occasionally you saw a stray pine. Bill, drove on the trip meter and fixed landmarks, I would still have to do a great deal of rides just to match any of Bill’s. 'If you see somewhere a place where you like to park this monster then do so, ‘Bill said,’ because then I'll take it over, the last part to the mines is rather poor. So I shoved over a little later on and felt a pain between my shoulder blades, I had been too long in one position holding the wheel. Bill was in his element and just plowed with the combination over a long road that no longer deserved that name.

San Daniel 2015

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