Friday, August 23, 2013

My Cabin 2

In an effort to save money I have devised a method for discovering the cheapest campgrounds in parks; look at the map and locate the campground near slow moving water. This campground will undoubtedly be filled with mosquitos that drive off all but the most thrifty campers. At Banff they’ve saved me the trouble of looking at water sources and have gone ahead and named a campground “Mosquito Creek”. After hiking up to the top of Tunnel Mountain to get a view of the village of Banff I head over to the campground and discover that it is a full $5 cheaper than the ones where the bugs let you keep your blood.
I’m not too picky about sites because I don’t have to worry about setting up a tent, so I pick just about the worst site on the grounds next to the entrance. To access the site you make a sharp turn into a ditch and then up a short hill between two trees that allow about a foot on either side of my car. There’s no way that a full sized camper would be able to fit in this site. I manage the hill with no small effort from my little four cylinder engine and park next to the picnic table. I’m planning to go on a hike up to a glacier after I pay for the site but decide to make some lunch first and relax under the shade of the many trees that are growing in the middle of my campsite. I eat, I procrastinate and finally I put on my shoes and get ready to go. As I back out I’m careful to avoid any trees and as I look through the right side view mirror I see that I’ve got a good three feet between me and the tree on my right as I back down the hill. Then I hear a crunch; but not just a crunch; one of those over the top crashing sounds that are used in movies, like a crane dropping a load of I-beams down a well or a burning fireworks factory being dropped on a warehouse full of bubble wrap. My car jolts to a stop and I hop out to find pieces of my tail light on a tree and pieces of tree in my tail light. 
I just sit and think for a little bit, trying to guess the cost of a replacement through ebay or a junkyard, thinking of how I would receive the part and what to do in the meantime. I really don’t like the look of that red tape that people put over their tail-lights when they get smashed. I’ve got a lot of tools with me so I start pulling things out to see what I can do to fix this. Some pliers, a file, some glue, a roll of postal tape and a few clamps seem like the right tools and I get to work. As shown in the picture from left to right, top to bottom. Me; the other guy; clamping while rejoining the cracked pieces that didn’t break off; popped the light back into place and put the cover for the turn signal back on; holding a bunch of little pieces together while the glue dries; all the pieces back in place; clear tape to seal the cracks from water; the few missing pieces must have turned to a fine red powder that was carried away by a cloud of mosquitos; tape trimmed around the light and all bulbs still working! If I learned one thing from my job over and over, it’s that nothing is ever broken badly enough to be irreparable by a few hours of maddeningly tedious work.

Relieved that I was able to fix the light but still a little irritated that I dented the car I head out to try to enjoy what’s left of the day at Moraine Lake. I’m down at the shore taking a few pictures when a Japanese couple comes up and asks me to take their picture in front of the lake; I then ask them to take my picture and they then ask to have their picture taken with me to commemorate this exchanging of cameras and taking of pictures and this whole ritual cheers me up immensely and I decide to hop across a raft of floating logs and climb up a pile of rock to watch the sun set behind the mountains over the lake.

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