I'm sorry that I don't have a nice selection of photographs on the page tonight that make you say, "Ohhh, ahhhh, that's prettier than a $10.00 bill under a stack of trashcans on a Saturday night when they just called in my Visa and Visa said I was over the limit."
I would come in with this long, lame excuse that my dog ate them, but the truth is that I'm attempting to work from, instead of the state of the art Cray supercomputer that I keep at Casa Wilder, but rather I'm attempting to write the best prose ever written from a computer made from a 1953 Philco TV, two aluminum cans, some stone knives, and bearskins. On the bright side, I have beer. While I promise to keep writing, I can't exactly promise that Life in Alaska
will be the most visually stimulating place ever. I think I could cut and past things from MicroSoft WordArt, but, hey, you pay for better production values than that. With that . . . back to our story.
Well, during the passage of The Boy and I on the steepest, ugliest road ever
I had the occasion to be driving behind a Forest Service employee. Despite it saying that we had to stop and pull over for westbound traffic beyond a point ten more miles down the road, said employee took it upon herself to pull over for every oncoming chipmonk.
For a second, let me digress. I had been driving down the road like a crazed NASCAR guy until said Forest Service employee pulled over and blocked the road. It was her stopping that made me lock the brakes and viscerally understand just how close I had come to driving off into clear airspace and beginning a gravity-enforced kinetic morphing between me and a boulder. That still didn't save her from my wrath of having her slow up our trip.
At this point, the trip became a monotonous (or monotonouseoux, for you French people) trip of driving fifty feet, then pulling over behind Forest Service Lady.
The good thing about Forest Service people is that they wear a pretty spiffy uniform and are allowed to carry guns. The bad thing about Forest Service people is that they're absolute sticklers about minor regulations that keep me from enjoying the Forest Service stuff that my tax dollars pay for. How was I do know that I shouldn't stare at a squirrel for more than ten seconds or face a minimum of fourteen years in a Federal Forest Service Prison? Yeah, you didn't either.
Well, rather than spend the rest of my life in a FFS Prison with people who failed to police their campsites, well, I followed the Forest Service Lady for about an hour, which is to say we made it about fifty feet up the road.
The Boy had soon had enough. Stopping every seventeen centimeters (fourteen furlongs) on the road is wearing on a person. We stopped at a rest stop on the road and turned around. This is personally difficult for me. I'm goal-oriented. If we get in a car and are going to, say, Houston, we get in the car and go to Houston. We don't go halfway, and we certainly
don't stop to allow the human frailty of bladder capacity to enter the equation.
For me, stopping was hard. We didn't make it all the way into Wonder Lake, where that famous photographer,
Ansel Adams took a picture of Denali (Mt. McKinley to those of you from Ohio). That was my goal. Seeing a six-year-old on his birthday scream to go home, well, that turned me around. That and the ability to not have to follow Forest Service Lady anymore.
Next: Home and Back Again
Note: If you were worried I'd stop writing, well, don't. I can't
stop. Not done while I'm still breathing, folks.