At 4:30 on a moonless forest morning, I squatted some distance from the truck as food debris exited from two body cavities. I slowly cleaned myself and hoped the worst had passed. Yet still the night sky impressed me as I climbed back into the low canopy acting as my recovery room. What illness had I brought along from my Security shift at Disease Central, a.k.a. the hospital?
I thought of the young man who perished in remote Alaska in his converted bus, stranded far from the help he needed. Would Labour Day Weekend campers find this old man stinking up the forest, ruining their last warm outdoor camping adventure? Not at this spot. Gradually sleep blessed me. By noon I felt well enough to drive home.
The slow onset of illness explained why my previous day seemed to run in slow motion. No strength, appetite or desire for coffee were strong indicators I’d ignored. My quest’s optimism helped me overcome the illness to a point. Several weeks ago bursitus cancelled a trip and before that a broken tooth. Damn this aging process. Oh sweet youth, why hast thou forsaken me?
No matter. Time heals all wounds and my enthusiasm has dimmed little over these forty plus adventures. The visual treats I’ve enjoyed will stay with me for decades to come should I be so lucky. Despite moving into another fall season and the impending winter that follows, I have searched so many prime locations there are few possible sites left within a reasonable distance to where the hardware lay hidden. And good weather looms with a stronger body ready to go again…..