I stand at the bottom of my driveway with a garbage bag full of clothes and a bag full of food. Yus is scooping snow up with her face and the sky is pink with the early morning sun. I throw the garbage bag down on the ground and sing loudly to the sky. A pick-up drives by and the passenger looks at me with a question on his face.
Ten minutes later I see B’s truck coming down the road pulling a bright orange trailer. I stand up from my garbage bag lazy boy and watch B fly by me. Snow blows by my face and I flop back down on my make-shift chair. I sit and wait for B to find a spot to turn around and come back for me.
He pulls up to the drive way and we don’t say much. About 30km down the road we start talking. Music. North. Trucks. Machines.
B tells me stories about his life and I listen. Just before we get to Germansen Landing he says, this is God’s country, as the view opens to snow covered mountains and tall, tall trees. It really is God’s country. I’m sure my face didn’t express how excited I actually was (my face always betrays me). This was the place I could have only dreamed of years ago building the cabin. Water, mountains and gold.
We pull up to a lodge and unpack some of our things and get a fire going. I am in awe of the snowy mountains that surround us and B packs us a lunch. We get in the truck and head off to check on a bridge. The bridge isn’t on a road that’s been plowed so the plan is to get there via ski-doo. On the way to where we wanted to unload the sleds I mention something about my hearing. B asks, “I thought it was getting better?” I look at him quizzically and ask if he’s been reading this blog. “I read up to the blood in the boots.. does it make you feel better to write that stuff?” I feel a bit stunned at the question.
We unload the sleds in a pull out and I get dressed and get on my sled. Terror and dread. I have maybe driven a sled six times in my life and this sled had power written all over it. I’m going to die. Hours and hours away from any medical attention. Broken bones and mangled guts all over the trail. I start heading up on the trail following B and I am yelling at myself over the sound of the engine. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! AHHHH!!!! I mean, this is fine.. everything’s fine..” I am very slow and B has to wait for me to catch up. “Your worse than my ex!” He shouts. Fair enough. I am good at many things, being fast on a sled.. is not one of those things.
The trail takes a turn just after I start to relax. I feel like I’m at the top of the world and very lucky to be doing this. To the North! After the trail turns the snow gets significantly deeper, waist to chest height deeper. “Your going to have to pin it!” B shouts. I pin it right into being stuck. He frees the sled and within not even five minutes I’m stuck again.
“I’m going to have to leave you here! Set a timer on your phone for an hour and if I don’t make it back sled back to the truck and get on the radio and call for help. I think the channels 83.”
I listen for a moose to come stomping through the woods to kill me. A wolverine to come brutally murder me. I told this to B later and he asks, “And you call yourself a bush-woman?” Left alone with my over-active imagination I think of what B had said about the blog. Instantly I feel depression weighing heavily on my chest and my heart sinks. What is wrong with me.
I’m afraid to look at my phone for fear of seeing that his time was up and I had to be responsible for a rescue mission. The dog starts barking and a few minutes later I too hear his sled returning. Relief. I think I was just as relieved to not be alone with my thoughts anymore as I was to see him back safely. I eat cookies and he eats pepperoni.
We head back to the truck and I check on a cold, scared Yus. B asks if I want to go to Germansen Lake, 10km from where we are. I hesitate and agree. I put Yus on my lap and struggle to keep her there. I end up stopping, opening my jacket tucking her under my sweater and my sweater into my snow pants. She seems to relax and I fly to catch up to B. The view completely opens up when I catch up to him to the most beautiful view I’ve ever seen.
We head back to the lodge and visit and eat for the rest of the evening. We never seem to run out of things to talk about.
I head to bed around 7:30 and exhaustedly fall asleep with Yus sprawled out next to me.
Now it’s all I can think about.