Home > hitchhiking, poetry, travel > Up North Part 7 –

Up North Part 7 –

 Day 3

After sleeping fitfully I was fully awake at 3:00. I had to piss so bad I could taste it but I could not force myself out of the sleeping bag because it was so fucking cold. I lay there miserable for a long time before I promised myself a cigarette if I got up. I pulled on my jacket and boots, pissed, smoked half a cigarette and crawled back in the bag. I was freezing the whole night in spite of sleeping in everything short of jacket and boots and I vowed to put on my second pair of long-johns before tomorrow night.

When I started to get out of the tent in the morning I realized I had not zippered the inside, and the fly over the vestibule was the only thing keeping my heat in and the cold out. I replaced my vow from long-johns to diligence and double checking and started my day. It had rained during the night and it was cold and wet so I skipped pulling together a fire and had a bowl of Count Chocula. Since it was both cold and wet I had another.

I walked West along the lake shore and the waves on Lake Michigan were crashing hard, like the ocean. I was moved by the pristine beauty and saw only  my tracks behind me and the tracks of gulls and a coyote or a dog, too small to be a wolf. There had been a display at the DNR office in Naubinway confirming that last drivers account about them being in the area. I had never seen wolves. I watched terns and the gulls making an honest living plucking critters out of the smooth sands behind the receding waves.

I walked out to Mr. “C”’s Pub and Eatery but it wasn’t open yet. I walked back to camp and made a big fire. I found a whole stack of firewood and a grate in another campsite. The grill fit nicely across the fire pit. I made broccoli and rice with extra veggies and had an instant cappuccino. I attended to the fact that my knee had been hurting bad all day. I was scared thinking of packing out of here in not too long. I couldn’t really figure out the cause of the pain but I feared I had torn some cartilage.

I walked the other way down the beach and watched the waves crash. I finished Circle of Stones and later left it in the john for a future camper. I watched the sunset into the lake. Beautiful but fast, like the ocean. I decided not to stay up to see the stars as I was exhausted from being active in the cold all day and knew I would sleep well, but I knew it was a long time until sunrise.

Day 4

I was up at 2:00 having to piss. I didn’t fight it I just got up and went, had a smoke and back to bed. I zipped up both layers of the tent and I was half-way toasty that night. I could’ve gotten up and started my day if there was anything to do in the cold night. I lay there and toyed with my regrets, hopes, fears, all of that stuff and drifted back to sleep. I woke up in the real morning awake and warm and refreshed so I only had one bowl of Count Chocula.

I walked East on Route 2 about a mile and half to a liquor/smoked fish store. I scored a cup of real coffee and a pack of smokes, no newspaper though. The store guy said the paper guy doesn’t come until 10:30-11:00 on Sundays. The guy did give me an update on the news: “They haven’t blown up the bridge yet. Did shut it down for half an hour with a bomb threat” and the weather, chance of rain tomorrow and the next snow was coming by the weekend, just in time for hunting season.

I lingered waiting for the paper and finished my coffee and smoked a cigarette. I decided to skip it and walked home via the beach. I collected shells on the way and sang a new little piece of song I was trying to work on:

Shells upon shells upon shells upon shells

We’re building up a world of shells

Out of the pretty ones we make a home

A place of safety we can call our own

We’re building up a world of shells

With several false starts a second verse did not come and so I continued towards camp after deciding not to write the words in the sand where the waves would wash it away. I saw an oily looking stain running toward the lake and traced it back to see it was likely oil and such from parking lot run off. Sad. I wrote about it and the rusty pump I’d been getting my water from on the comment section when I registered for the site for that night. I only registered for one night in case it rains and I get wet. My knee was still hurting but I had figured out I had bruised it busting up firewood on the first night’s fire. I vowed not to do that again.

I sat down and read the three scraps of narrative I had written on the road. It looked pretty shitty. I decided to scrap all those openings and I turned to the next full page even though there were only two lines and a word  on page 5 and wrote: “10/21/01 Day one On Thursday morning I had Amee drop me off on what I thought was 27 North, just north of the I-69 loop.” I wrote for a bit ending with “…and praying the world would be gentle to him.” I was pleased with what I’d written because it told more of a story.

I walked to Mr. “C”’s for eggplant Parmesan and a Pepsi. I watched the second quarter of a Lions game. The Lions were actually winning and I was heartened, but not heartened enough to spend my daylight watching commercials to see how the gamed ended, so I walked back to camp and putzed around writing on the narrative and reading Meditation and Kabbalah while I sat on the rocks and watched the lake. The sun again set beautifully into the lake, perhaps more than yesterday. It was much cloudier and the clouds were streaked with soft oranges, pinks, and a robust purple and blue. I felt “ Sunset is the best time of the day”.

Categories: hitchhiking, poetry, travel
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