Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Today I had to run to the post office.
To ship off the remaining boxes, the last of my possessions.

Now, to backtrack a bit, the weather has been in the high 50’s for much of the week. This type of heat does an interesting thing to the solid river that we have depended on for transportation for the past few months.

It makes it melt.

So, what do you do? Travel must still happen. With the post office, store, and airstrip 2 miles down and on the other side of, we still must use the river. In all its’ thawing glory.

So, I hopped on the back of the snow-go and headed off. We (I was not the driver this time, only a passanger) drove down the center of the river. On either side of this narrow passable corridor was water.
At first I was content with the delusion that all that water bordering us was actually just puddles, sitting on the surface of thick sturdy ice.

That comforting illusion was shattered when my driver, turned his head and shouted back,
“See that! It’s all open water.”
We were mere meters from the end of the ice.
Throughout the journey he found it necessary to laughingly point out the rapidly thawing areas.
I saw deep cracks as we sped along.

He drove fast. Bumpy paths bounced me around the back of the machine. With nothing to hold onto it was like riding a bull. My clenched thighs were the only thing holding me on at times.

As we stood at the post office, he started telling me stories.
“That ice out there, if you fall in, the ice will close around on top of you. My dad fell. He couldn’t get out the way he came in. But he had seen an open place. And he got out that way.”
And of course,
“A few snow-goes have gone in lately”
“We went over a few bad spots on the way. I hope we make it back”

He love’s to joke with me. But usually his jokes are the serious kind…

On the way back we stopped for a moment on the ice to adjust the sled.
The “ground” looked like a thousand crystals, growing upward, glittering in the sun.
Peaks of ice stuck out from the water around us, some clear others milky. All shiny.
I really wish I had taken a camera. Maybe tomorrow. (I think I get to go on another ride!)

It’s weird to think that it is the end of May and I am still traveling by snow-go.
Weirder still is the fact that I was uncomfortably warm in a very light jacket while standing on a sheet of ice at least 5 feet thick.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter