INCIDENTS OF My TRAVELS to
NEVER SEEKING ADVENTURE YET ADVENTURE FINDS ME
Arriving at the camp we find unexpected news
“Why did they leave without finishing?” asks Jim as we are inspecting the abandoned equipment
Apparently an accident incapacitated one of the workers over the summer. He had fallen off of a cliff riding the Rokon motorcycle, the same broken motorcycle found at the shore camp. With broken legs (possible back) they had to extract him back to Kodiak City thus leaving this site as is. Ours is the first attempt in returning to finish the job.
We drop our gear and start piling the remaining instruments for inspection and inventory. What is missing is what I will have to hike back the five kilometers to bring back.
Harry indicates that our accommodations were further upstream. A cabin complete with beds and a working kitchen. We were glad to hear this, the trek was long enough it would be good to take off the boots and relax for the night before starting our work in the morning. It was my turn to cook, I fretted on how they would stomach my contraptions.
Crossing the same creek we hike yet another thirty minutes through more trees, following the creek babbling in the background and hidden to us already I memorize some landmark shrubs to deter my losing my way again. I noticed the fact that trees did in fact grow more foliage on its southern side than the north, as Jim indicated on the hike. With more sunlight present, when traversing east to west along the southern range, the photosynthetic feeding was richer on that side. An excellent compass reference. Very useful during days when overcast skies hides the direction of the traveling sun, such as the ones we will surely encounter this late in the year. Jim’s lessons taking hold just like my grandfather’s history tales.
Finally, off to the distance a wooden cabin stood profiled dark against the browning terrain. Though it was hours until the sunset the sun was now hidden behind the towering mountainsides, casting shadows on our location. I was lagging behind with my terrain observations so happily I hasten my pace.
Harry and Jim arrived sooner than I and as I approach they are standing on the steps to the cabin. What is the delay I think to myself? Uh-oh, can they not find the key?
We must return to the work site. Maybe set up a tent there. I hear them saying.
“What’s the problem?” I ask.
Jim passes me a note nailed to the door. The note states that Harry Waterfield and Associates (specifically) is not allowed to access the cabin until accounts are settled with the proprietors.
What does this mean? What accounts? Harry simply waves this off as that they probably did not get the check yet.
“Nothing to worry about.”
But I start wondering, they were here last in the summer, three months’ time has lapsed. Even in the slow delivery system of this back country mail they should have received this payment. Or maybe they received it but failed to return to remove the notice.
Returning to the work site we hastily we set up a two man tent, for the three of us, darkness already setting upon us. Sunset was around seven pm but the valley was already in relative darkness. Temperatures were falling.
We, of course, reluctant in giving up the comforts of the cabin we complied with the notification, in this wild expanse an honor system was paramount. The small nylon enclosure was put on an incline close to the creek; we would lay with our feet toward the running water. This was soon to be realized to be a mistake, for now it seemed sound. It was a typical two man unit where the men were of average size. Both Jim and Harry towered over my being closer to 6 feet tall.
But the other alternative was to hike in the dark all the way back to shore where the only other structure was located in our vicinity. Harry decided against this. The long hike for him every day would take its toll. So we tolerated the nightly discomfort.
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About the Author
I have always ended up in unexpected places. So I present a collection of my tales told over the years. Places that due to circumstances I might never go on my own accord.