Saturday, December 13, 2008

And they said "He is a hobo."

This week and last week I did most of the caching on my own. The good half of goinggone had so many other things on her plate that she had no time to come along.
One of those days I spent in Coquitlam. For one cache I ended up in a small park that was situated right behind an elementary school. Moments after I got there the bell rang for recess and all of a sudden there were more kids than trees in the park. And it did not take long that they spotted me.

"Look, there is a hobo". " A hobo, a hobo. Come look at the hobo!"

The word spread like wildfire. Before long I was being stared at and commented on and analyzed by at least 150 kids, all at a safe distance of at least 80 feet; make that 25m...Some kids found it too scary to stay; they ran. Others took their place. It was an ever shifting group of gawkers and hobophobes! And I, instead of tactfully retreating, just stood there, watching the spectacle with what I am sure was a beatific smile on my weathered face...

But I did get a little scared as it went on. What if the principal or one of the teachers comes out, witnesses the commotion, and phones the police? Not that I had done anything illegal, but sometimes non-illegal people get picked up to tell their story away from those that have been upset by their mere presence.

In addition to that, it is true that I looked probably more like a hobo than a civilized city dweller. My coat had picked up lots of green from wet trees and branches; it would not surprise a lot of people if I told them that I slept in the woods in this garb...Neither is it surprising that people jump to conclusions.

I mean, what does it take anyway? I have a daughter who would regularly proclaim to all in view and within hearing, "I do not know this man. I am not in any way related to him. Quit looking at me. I am someone else, okay...!"

Then a little miracle happens. A boy, say he is ten years old, comes out of the crowd and walks up to me. He does not look scared. My smile had won him over!!!

"Do you live here in the forest?", he asks.
"No", quoth I, "I live in a house just like you."
"Then why are you here?"
"I like the woods, just like you do."

And away he walks and announces clearly to all present,
"He is not a hobo."

I did not really hear any sighs of disappointment, but they were in the air...they kind of wafted among the trees...Now there was no hurrying back inside and tell the teacher; nor wait impatiently for school to end to get home and share the horrible news about the hobo.

The hobo that almost was.

Of sun, snow and caches.

The weather channel had one of those awfully red screens yesterday, warning us that we would get snow! That is a big thing for them, for once or twice they have been caught totally off guard by not predicting snow, and then we would get a dump with all the consequences of that: cars not being able to make it uphill, cars in the median on the freeway, etc. It ain't ever happening again that we have snow and not having been told about it.

You in snow country know how you talk about snow in BC and that we don't know how to drive in the snow, and how we call two inches of snow a lot of snow. But you probably don't know (and it is true, you cannot know everything...) how we sit here in amazement every winter when the news and the weather channel show us all those pictures of cars in ditches and on top of each other and stuck in the city and all that...we say to each other: did you know that so many people from BC moved to the Prairies and Ontario? Poor sods, not knowing how to drive in the snow...not even with all those experts around them, not even with all the practice they get...

Anyway, the weather channel is not ever going to be accused of not predicting snow for this region. So now they will put up the red screen and tell us that we may have severe weather, to wit 2 inches of snow...never mind how likely or unlikely that may be.

We did not get any snow where we live, but they had some in Vancouver and Victoria, so they can proudly say to the folks in those towns: See, we told you so! Ha!

Today it was invigorating but rather windy weather, especially enjoyable inside. But after noon we said, "Shouldn't we go out for a bit? Aren't there any caches left nearby that we have not found?" So we thought of some: on Sumas Mountain. We took the truck, and a good thing we did.

The first cache was at Gate 1, just after we got off the pavement. It was howling up there, and it was a good thing we found the cache rather quickly so we could get back into the truck.

Then we had to go way further up the mountain. The gravel road started to show snow and ice. The driver, she switched into 4wd. The truck, she did just fine!
We got to Gate 2, parked the truck and stepped out into the snow. We took time to take pictures to prove that I am not telling no tales either.

We found also this cache quickly. Good thing!
Then back down the mountain to do one more in the McKee area where it was colder than up on the mountain...more open to the wind, I guess.

In all, it was an invigorating adventure, and we feel great now that our hands have thawed and we have had a warm meal. Who said caching had to be boring, eh?