Having your gear ready so you can fuck off at a moment's notice is Hockey family policy. You only live once. Not twice. Once. You should be able to pack everything you need for an unanticipated adventure faster than it takes the Canucks to score goals.
We drove through the night. The roads to 69 Mile House are never as bad as you would think. We shared the highway of the night with coked up truck drivers, the occasional drunk, scattered highway patrolmen wondering if rumours of their boss resigning under a cloud of suspicion were true, people running grass up to the oil patch and the usual deer and moose.
Used to be I would smoke about 20 joints as I aimed the big black car through the foggy mountain turns. Whoever thinks you cannot drive as good or better than a fully sober fella with a head full of dope is not in very close touch with reality. Dope is not booze motherfuckers.
I told Sonja, "A big fucking joint would be good right about now."
"So would a whisky and coffee for breakfast," she reminded me. "Just keep your mind on the road and off the beer, Beer."
We pulled into 69 Mile House well before dawn. The town sparkled like a pile of uncut cocaine under the Cariboo moon. I honked the Cadillac's horn as I turned off the ignition in Henrik's driveway and yelled, "Let's fish you hick motherfuckers!" Henrik's neighbours love it when Beer comes to town.
After some coffee, eggs and a big pile of Blonde Lebanese hash browns Henrik and I headed into the wilderness in his rusty 4x4. He asked me, "You sure you're not going to fall asleep on me?" I told him, "Just because I used to over-self-prescribe myself once in a while in the past does not mean I can't still give her today cowboy." After I had a quick cab nap before we left the highway I felt good as new.
It is still early in the winter so we did not have to auger too deep into the ice to find where the hungry fish were. It was only about 20 below and the wind was not real strong so it was comfortable for ice fishing despite the fact we do not use a portable shelter to protect us from the elements. Unless you call whisky a portable shelter. In two hours we had our limit of wild trout, nothing smaller than two pounds.
The Hammer roamed the lake as we piled the trout into the cooler one by one. She thinks she is pretty cool, out of the shit stink city, within whiffing distance of sleeping bears and wolverine.
On our way back to Henrik's place there were few other drivers on the road, just logging trucks hauling beetle killed pine out of the bush fast as they can. This time of year the dead pine looks the same as what few living mature pine trees remain in the woods. They are all white, sparkly and dead as American plans to do anything positive with Iraq.