First Day On The Job: The North Runs In Family, part two

Lovell Cove.


We get to Lovell Cove and turn around.  Men become the topic of conversation for the next 60 or so kilometers.

I admit I’m not into the dating game anymore. I give up. Instead I would rather just become the man that I was waiting for to come into my life. If I could grow a beard I would. B thinks I have gender issues. “A gentlemen is simply a patient wolf” I tell B. He laughs. He admits that that is very true. 

We run into the grader operator, one of B’s sons. The sun is setting now casting pinks along the tops of the trees, making it look like were driving through some kind of magical pink winter wonderland. It’s cold, all of us are starting to feel hungry again.

Our conversation for the rest of the drive back to town doesn’t get any less interesting. B tells me his story:

“Well, when I was 20, I literally ran away from home in Austria to Canada. I had read a back-roads handbook and heard of two roads I was interested in, the road to Bella Coola and the road to Johanson. I got off the plane in Vancouver and caught a flight to Prince Rupert. From there I hitchhiked to Fort St. James. I showed up at a man’s doorstep inquiring about purchasing a horse from him. I ended up working for him for a time and was given an old horse. I started walking up the north road. My first night I slept not far from where your cabin is now. It took me three weeks to get to Johanson with my horse. I ended up staying in a tiny 10×10 cabin there. I was alone for five weeks. A jeep came along one day and stopped in. They asked if I wanted to camp with them and I said why not. My English was not very good yet. I got in the jeep and Fleetwood Mac’s album,”Rumors” was playing. Like the feeling of drinking water when your beyond thirsty, I couldn’t get enough of Fleetwood Mac. It’s the best thing I’d ever heard in my life.”

“What made you want to walk a horse that far north?” I ask.

“I’m a weirdo like you,” he replies.


We get back to the shop and I start my truck.

“Next shift give me a call and I’ll get someone to come pick you up so you can have this truck!” B shouts as he heads into the shop.

There’s two sides of this job that click well for me.

The first, is that I get to drive a diesel around way north into the woods. I work less so I’ll still have time for this blog and for being a craftivist. It’s being paid to do something I deeply enjoy anyways. Being away from people off the map. Not to mention I work for someone I respect and get along well with.

The second.

Twenty years ago my Dad worked and lived out in camp in the same area I’m working. Drove the same road, called kilometers on the same frequency. Despite our differences I always found the idea of driving out into the woods to work intriguing. My Dad was just about the same age I am now.




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