Everybody Needs To Be A Tourist Once In A While

Quebec
July 1, ‘82

Now this is a campsite! I’m nestled in a pine forest overlooking a
majestic view of the St. Lawrence Seaway. I’m looking down from a
1000-foot cliff, into a horseshoe shaped bay, with an island
consisting of a huge rock just off shore. I’m eating donuts and
drinking hot coffee, with more coffee on the campfire brewing. The
birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and there is no wind. Well if
this is such an ideal place then why am I so upset? Let me tell you!

It’s not the place that bothers me. It’s the idea. After spending a
day with 40 mile per hour winds in my face, I was enthusiastically
anticipating my arrival at the youth hostel in Perce. Biking into
town, the first thing I saw was the incredibly beautiful rock island
out in the bay, and then I saw a sign for the youth hostel. The town
itself was a tourist town. That didn’t bother me. Everybody needs to
be a tourist once in a while. I was dead tired, though, so I followed
the signs–straight up the mountain. The last leg of the hike was on
my tiptoes pushing my bike in front of me. Well, mountaintop
hideaways are one thing, but when you arrive and find no room at the
inn, and then you have to hike all the way back into town to get
supplies, well that is a totally different thing—a bad thing. By the
time I got supplies and climbed back to my tent it was to dark too see.

As I drink my morning coffee under the sunlight streaming through the
pines and gaze out at the quaint little village below me, I want to
think of yesterday’s bad luck as just a bad dream. I want to, but I
can’t because when I load my bike, I will begin my long track down the
mountain, grunting and sweating as I go, pulling my bike back with
each grudging step, careful not to let it become an unguided rocket.
If I had known how difficult it was to get here (a steep grade sign
would have helped) I wouldn’t be here now. Well, it’s time to say
goodbye to this cozy little wooded niche. Split Milk!

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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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2 Responses to Everybody Needs To Be A Tourist Once In A While

  1. eof737 says:

    Especially in terrain like the above… 😉

  2. Aside for doing NOTHING to stop my addiction to coffee and donuts, your blog today took me along with you on a bad day–one that I could enjoy in the telling and with no leg cramps. You are a good writer.

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