Me And De (the same De in the picture with Eddy in the previous post) last stop on my 1977 Atlantic Coast Bicycle Trip
Vancouver Island, B.C.
Alive in mystery, I swoon once again
to the powerful rhythms
of churning greens,
and whitewater wisps.
I move in your presence and light.
Okay, so what’s new! The above poem is not going to get written right now.
It took two and half hours just to get this far and it certainly
isn’t the fault of my surroundings. I’m sitting on a rock overlooking
the larger falls in Little Qualicum Park. I really love this place. I
took a day off just to bicycle here. Thirty miles out of my way
and all I’ve got is this unfinished poem to show for it. In a very
short time I will be heading back to spend $5.50 for a place to camp
and a shower. As I breathe deep and look around, though, I guess
I’m pretty happy to be here.
It was a two-hour ferry ride over to Victoria from Port Angles and fortunately the
rain let up some on the way over. To avoid getting wet, I set up
camp in the woods (it was almost dark) and, wouldn’t you know it, a park
ranger spied my tent through the trees and paid me a visit. He told me
the campground was three miles down the road, and I could
camp there. Just what I needed, a command to tear down my wet tent and
ride three miles just so I could re-erect my slimy, dirty, tent in the
dark, and for what,– to satisfy this asshole ranger who wants to throw
his weight around. As I was rolling up my sleeping bag, the guy came
back and offered me a ride to the campground. I declined his invitation. When
he drove away, I found another spot to camp, only this time it was definitely
out of sight of the highway—hidden by the wet, black, darkness.
Having survived the night, but not very well, I tried not to think
about Ranger Right. Biking in the morning rain, I vowed to get a
hotel room at the end of the day. In Nanimo, some forty miles down
the road, I looked for a room, but it was tourist season, and they were
all full. By the time I reached Parksville, another twenty miles, my wet
clothes had pretty much dried out. Upon entering a hotel, I went straight to the bar.
The sun had tried, but failed, to poke its head out of the clouds, and by
the time I had finished my third beer, I had pretty much forgot what
the old boy looked like. Outside, I decided to push on. Not far from
Parksville, I found a spot for my tent and was able to let it dry out
before I called it a night.