My name is Rick, and I have a story telling addiction. A bunch of friends (those being my mom, 30% of my aunts, 1 brother, and some people pretending to be my friend so I’ll give them fishing locations) have been suggesting for years (days) that I start a blog. So here goes. If all goes well, I’ll crack two digits of readers.
Basically I’m doing this to make myself laugh. I don’t really read anyone elses blog (except for this biker chick I know) so not sure how these things are supposed to go. If it goes the way I think, I’ll just dredge up stories from my past that I find amusing, or fun, or worth wasting some time typing about. On the off chance the reader has personal knowledge of the event (read-my wife, friend, or other relative) please do not waste your time telling me how I don’t have the facts right. I don’t care. Unless the facts make the story better, in which case I do care. My memory really sucks for detail, and I have absolutely no issue filling in the blanks to move the narrative along. In other words, I have a very loose relationship with the truth. I won’t lie to you on purpose, but I’m perfectly comfortable lying to you on accident.
I might drop the odd political observation in from time to time, but I promise to really, really try to not push any position. Just stuff I find ironic, like how both political parties in my home country have a looser relationship with the truth than I do. But I promise to limit the political crap. So expect fishing stories, parent stories, no wife stories (they get me in trouble), folk fest stories, hiking stories, skiing stories and just shit I find funny stories.
Since it’s lunchtime here at work I’ll start with a hiking story cuz it’s short. It stars my wife (breaking a rule 10 seconds in, that’ll be a tough record to beat) and my attempt to turn her life story into “The English Patient” (her line, to give credit where it is due).
A couple of years ago we were vacationing at our condo in Panorama, BC. We found a hike about a 30 minute drive on what I consider some really good forestry roads, though my definition of good road might be a bit looser than most. The hike itself was to an old abandoned mine. It was to be about 4 hours or so long up the road they used to haul stuff in and out of the mine with. The road was absolutely perfect for hiking-same grade for the vast majority of the hike and we absolutely tore up the 1000 or so meters of elevation gain.
Unfortunately, between the time our hiking guide was written (90s) and the time of our hike, there had been a couple of flooding events which left a nice little cliff to walk across (with a wife who is a little afraid of heights) and a couple of really big gullies. We get through the cliff section with a minimum of Jackie swearing at me, and get to the 1st gully. We hike down and try to figure out a path up. It’s about 15-20 feet high, and there is no obvious path. So I make a couple of attempts at maneuvering up only to be stymied each time. On my third attempt the “path” Im on peters out-and I’m halfway up the gully wall and can’t figure out how I’m going to turn around. Then I make the absolutely fatal mistake of saying “I might be in a bit of trouble here.” Jackie later told me later that the hike officially ended for her at that moment. She didn’t tell me that at that immediately or all the funny (funny now, maybe not so much then) shit that I’m about to tell you about wouldn’t have happened.
Anyway, I look around some more and figured out a way to get up and out of the gully. Once I did, I walk around a bit, find a better path and show Jackie. She questions my sanity, creatively I might add. To paraphrase. “There is no way I’m climbing that hill and you are a silly man if you think I am.” She used different words. Use your imagination. She recommends I just finish the hike myself. Seeing that for the utter passive/aggressive trap it was, I plead and cajole and call her courage into question (guys, bad idea that). I learn a whole new string of nouns and decide the cause is lost. I sigh dramatically and start the climb down.
At which point I dislodge a rock the size of a football. I glance down and Jackie is about 15-20 feet below me and a bit to my left, so not in the fall line. Whew. Until the rock does it’s first bounce and I realize that “down” was a little left of where I thought it was. I yell “look out” just as the rock hits her square in the back. Hard. Like HARD. To my dying day I will never understand how she didn’t even move. Or make the slightest sound. I mean seriously, she made no physical manifestation of the big ass rock travelling at near terminal velocity hitting her. I honestly thought that it was going to hit her in the head and I would have to tell the police “I swear officer, it really was an accident. The big ass rock just fell on her head. Hey, what’s with the handcuffs?” I sheepishly ask “you ok” to which she replies (not paraphrasing here) “that’s the least of my fucking problems.” (“uh oh” goes the voice in my head).
Did I mention the ice shelf? On the side of the gully she is on there is a big ice shelf about 20 feet long and 3 or 4 feet high. Shaded from the sun, so still there in July. As I’m climbing down, Jackie decides to climb up the other side to get out and far away from the gully. I hear a THUMP and the ground literally shakes. I look down and the ice shelf is now on the ground right next to her. Not kidding, a couple of tons of ice. “Did the ice shelf fall?” master of the obvious asks? “Yeah, I just put my finger on it and it fell!” If it would have hit her, best case would have been a broken bone. Worst case was wife trapped under ice shelf. Pretty close call number 2.
Anyway, we figure out a way out, make it back to the cliff where she swears at me some more as we cross a final time, and find a nice flat rock to sit on for lunch before we start the track down. I bring up the ice shelf and she says “I really thought you were going to have to leave me with a sandwich and some bear spray while you hiked down to find help. I’d have been just like Catherine in the English Patient”. I’ve never seen it, but I guess Catherine got left in a cave to die or something. I think she’s being dramatic honestly. I mean if the rock didn’t kill her, what’s a little ice shelf gonna do? Being the optimist I say “we’ll try this again next year and I’ll figure out a way to get to the mine.” Jackies reply “God will show me the mine when I get to heaven.”
So that’s the end of that story. If you liked it, great. If not, this probably ain’t the place for you. I hope to put something up every few days. Probably won’t, but I’ll try. Next week I’m at the Edmonton Folk Fest. I can promise some entertaining stories from there. At least they will entertain me!