Thursday, August 18, 2011
(Things) Really Go Bump in the Night
It's dark out here.
For so long, well, since June 1, we've had so much sunlight, that the darkness tonight seems novel, and impenetrable.
But penetrate we must, because my dog Jacob needs to go out.
OK. Let's go. I leash him up and my hand's on the door knob ... Oh. Wait. It's really dark out there.
And we're nearly wilderness camping along the remote 450-mile Cassiar Highway, Route 37. It's a two-lane paved/gravel road flowing down from Yukon into British Columbia with burps of rustic population every 60 to 100 miles.
So we're next to nowhere. The most next to nowhere we've ever been. Really.
And Jacob wants to go out into that menacing dark. Where, in the past few days of driving, we've seen bears, an arctic wolf, a coyote and signs for moose and caribou. And then every half hour or so, we see a car, truck, motorhome or motorcycle.
OK. Now I'm spooked. What's OUT THERE, lurking, salivating for fresh blood? A grizzly, needing to pack on more weight to overwinter? A cannibalistic wolf, lying in wait to savagely destroy my dog? Or maybe a crazed mountainman, really ticked because we disturbed his peace? Maybe all three!!!
Jacob whines. I realize the inevitable. Grab my flashlight. Turn the porch light on. Step out.
What's that beyond the light? There. And over there? I swing the flashlight back and forth like it's a gun, ready to fire at anything that moves. Jacob trots along, gaily. How can he leave the protection of the porch light, where my feet are frozen, and my arms swing that flashlight wildly to save my life?
Hello? What's that sound? If it's an animal, maybe I can scare it away by making lots of noise: "I'm here," I whine. "You stay there. OK. I'm here, no need to come near to me."
I've had enough. We're going to die out here. I must save my dog. And me. I reel Jacob in and we both climb back to safety.
Back to where light wards off all dangers.