October 24, 2003

Where are the Mounties when you need them?

Or at least a Park Ranger. I was about a mile an a half into my hike and I got the bejeezus scared out of me. Yes, that's right, I no longer have any bejeezus. I was walking along, admiring the panorama of color all around me when I heard a crash a ways behind me and something big tearing ass right for me through the brush and fallen leaves. I jumped behind a tree just slightly faster than I have ever moved before in my life and whipped around to see what horrid monster of the deep forest was about to disembowel me. Bear? Wolf? Rabid bunny? Nope. Nothing at all. And everything was perfectly quiet. Spooky, freaking quiet. I'm talking Steven King spooky.

My heart was racing at about 200 beats per minute and my whole body was tingling from the most massive adrenaline rush ever survived by man. I sort of slumped against the tree and hugged it for a while to stay upright until my circulatory system decided that it wouldn't explode my heart through my chest after all and all of my limbs worked again.


I resumed my hike without so much as a pale shadow of my earlier tranquility. I kept looking back over my shoulder every couple yards and getting startled by every noise that occured. The frikken squirrels were having a laugh riot at my expense. I'll tell you - once you get a serious spooking like that it takes a freaking loooooong time to return to normalcy.

I got to a portion of the shore that had quite a few cabins and immediately felt better. Civilization! Ahhhhh. Safety. Even if all of the cabins were vacant it was still a Man Place, know what I mean?

I lucked out at the cabins. Three were empty but the last one had occupants. Benny and Gail, two Quebecians who come down every year about this time to experience the autumnal color display in relative isolation. And they were friendly! Quebecians! I shit you not. I try not to fall into patterns of prejudice but I've discovered by hard experience that most Quebecians do not display a lot of warmth towards non-French speakers.

Benny and Gail are a definite exception to the rule. They're sixty-somethings with very outgoing personalities and a pair of wickedly warped senses of humor that had me instantly liking them. As soon as I mentioned the boat problem Benny offered to help. He has one of those bass boats that sits 4 inches out of the water with a motor the size of Michael Moore. No problem to take me up to the marina, happy to help. Gail insisted on having me stay for lunch before Benny took me over to the marina. We sat back in comfy canvas chairs around a goodly sized fire (it's chilly here, did I mention?), ate sandwiches and drank iced tea.

I told them about my scare in the woods on the walk over. Benny said it must have been a raccoon. There aren't any big animals around Mazinaw. I know that he's right but my writer's imagination keeps going back to it and painting a nasty hairy beast of the dark.

Gail asked about my bandaged thumb so I told them about hooking myself. Gail checked it out for me. She said that after 4 kids she was as good as any nurse I'd find. She pronounced it not infected and healing pretty well. Throbbing and swelling are at normal levels and will subside shortly. So all of you who have been following the story so far - tetanus shots do seem to work for the full 10 year period.

We drove over to the marina and found the shop closed. Closed? Yes, closed. Sign on the door said "Gone Fishing, Back in a Bit". Great. Nothing like specifics. Benny didn't want to leave me there in case the proprieter didn't come back today so we hung out there for a bit drinking beers from his cooler (Molsons, not Blues, but I'm nothing if not adaptable) and shooting the shit.

Nobody was there after about an hour so we decided to head back and that Benny would pick me up tomorrow and we'd try again. He invited me for dinner and I tried to beg off but he wouldn't take no for an answer. He's going to pick me up again at around 4. I am going to go try to write a bit now before chow time. Maybe I've had enough excitement to get the creative juices flowing again.

By the way, Bennie didn't hear of any fishkill around here. He said he's been landing lake trout regularly. He thinks the problem is my bait. The fish left after the season are too crafty to be sucked in by worms. Sounds as reasonable as anything else I can think of.

Posted by Charles at October 24, 2003 01:04 PM

I'm happy the boogey-man didn't get you and that your tetnus shot is still in effect....

Posted by: Susie at October 24, 2003 01:53 PM

Thanks, Susie.

I'm more embarassed about that than freaked at this point. It's crazy what the human mind can conjure up out of some squirrel or raccoon running through the forest. But if I can't embarrass myself in front of all of you then who can I do it in front of? Well, besides Benny and Gail that is.

Posted by: Chuck at October 24, 2003 01:59 PM

It might have been a clown. They're both sneaky and scary. But then, you would have noticed a greasepaint smell, huh?

Posted by: LeeAnn at October 24, 2003 03:38 PM

Couldn't have been a clown. Nobody escapes from a clown. [shudder]

Posted by: Chuck at October 24, 2003 05:12 PM

A motor the size of Michael Moore? You owe me a keyboard.

Posted by: King of Fools at October 26, 2003 09:30 PM
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