There’s a place in the sun
And before my life is done;
I gotta find me a place in the sun.
(Ya know, when times are bad, and you’re feelin’ sad,
I want cha to always remember that)
There’s a place, it’s up in the sun, yeah
And ya know there’s hope, hope for every one;
Where my poor restless heart, it’s gotta run.
’51 Ford Pick-Up Truck
My original plan had been to ride my bike north, turn west high up in the Canadian Rockies, go to Prince Rupert, take a boat, and end up down on Vancouver Island. That would have been about a 900-mile bicycle ride. But it didn’t happen that way because while working at Chief Mountain Service, I wrote a letter to Mike (in South Dakota) telling him my approximate time of departure. When I returned from camping, I found his return letter waiting to be opened. In it, he said he was coming to meet me. He pulled up in a `51 Ford pick-up truck that he bought from a South Dakota’ farmer the day after I got back form Chief Mountain.
It was good to see him. Back in South Dakota,Mike had worked for
five weeks in the Homestake Goldmine. He’d driven a miniature
train 5000 feet underground, and delivered miners to their
job sites. He told me my letter was a Godsend. “Over and over,” he
said, “I met miners who were going to quit, but the mine never lets
go.” I put my bike in the back of the truck (along with Mike’s), and
the two of us headed north. Seventeen miles later, we crossed into Canada.
Mike was proud of his truck; it was in really good shape body-wise.
The farmer had told him to add a quart of oil every five hundred
miles, “Do that,” he’d said, “and this truck will take you all the way
to Alaska.” In the truck, after two hours, we had covered more ground than it would have taken a whole day of bicycling to cover; it was amazing, and well worth the quart of oil that we had to add. “It’s no big deal,” Mike said, “I’ve got a half a case left in the back.” 1