Climbing Into A Wet Gritty Sleeping Bag

Coastal Mountains, British Columbia
July, ’80

The rain did not stop. I spent the entire next day bicycling in the
kind of rain that if you were walking without a raincoat, you would be
soaked in three minutes. That was a long day and an even longer night
because I had to climb into a tent and a sleeping bag that never had
time to dry out from the wet night before. I hated that; I mean
sleeping in gritty, wet conditions with no reprieve to look forward
too. It’s a terrible experience. And, to make it even worse, the
following morning I awoke to find a thorn in my bicycle tire. By the
time I fixed the tire, packed up my wet gear, and headed out, I was
totally depressed, not to mention cold and feeling sick.

It was another day-bike in the rain, which made it hard to make
distance, and be anything but miserable. Around 7 p.m. the rain was
coming down so hard I couldn’t even stop to put up my tent. In that
kind of downpour everything would be soaked before I could get my gear
off my bike. So I just kept slowly moving forward, hoping beyond hope
that I would find shelter. I had managed to break free from the
mountains, and every once in a while I passed what looked like
farmland, so I kept my eyes pealed for a shed, barn, or broken
foundation where I could rig a makeshift roof. Daylight was running
out when I spied an old barn sitting quite a ways off the highway.
There were no roads to it.

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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3 Responses to Climbing Into A Wet Gritty Sleeping Bag

  1. ElizOF says:

    I feel your pain… Hope it gets better! 😦

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