A dear friend once told me that God made time so everything wouldn't happen at once. I've found another use for it. When you've done something stupid and hurt yourself, (or others) isn't it a great feature that time hauls you away from the blood and the pain? I'm so happy to announce that I've moved on from the date of surgery by a total of 8 weeks as of this morning!!! Two more and if my amazing orthopoedic surgeon Dr Blachut gives his blessing, I'll be re-joining the ranks of homo erectus and walking upright again instead of rolling on the floor like a wounded seal! Aint time a wonderful thang?
And as the days go by, thoughts of us here in the Yukon turn inevitably to anticipation of warmer times and softer water. Water which allows one to drop a boat or a canoe into the clear cold waters and zip around, looking for...well, whatever is worth finding out there. And since my life is apparently going to change a little with me being on my last leg and all, I'm all the more hopeful of seeing some old and new friends this spring and summer as they travel on past Teslin on their journeys to Alaska or Whitehorse or Dawson City for that matter. It"s often seemed to me that the Yukon is a huge playground for grownups! Its got a desert with real sand dunes, an almost unlimited number of rivers and streams to paddle and explore by whatever means you prefer: canoe, kayak, light boat, or jetboat. The possibilities really are limited only by our imaginations.
In my younger days, when I worked in Jacobs Industries in Whitehorse, a welding shop which still exists, a fellow showed up with a jar of gold nuggets one day. And although I had never been much attracted to the mineral, or its quest, holding that jar in my hand, I had to admit I felt a pull of some kind. Later, a gold mining lady told me that "gold is evil". She was referring to the look which came over those who visited her husbands goldmine when they laid eyes on the stuff. Truly there is something about it. The stories one hears of the sudden deaths of mining partners really make you think about whom you choose to partner.
A number of years ago a man named Robert came into town and since I had met him before we spent a bit of time over a meal. He began trying to talk me into taking my boat to the end of the lake where he said there was a vein of gold exposed. Whether it was the intensity of his gaze or the ponytail or the general appearance of his outfit outside in the parking lot I cannot say, but I declined the opportunity. Later, one of our guests, a German by the first name of Frank, met this same man and had an experience which confirmed my decision as the right one.
Robert promised him a canoe trip if he'd help him with his work at the mine in Dawson City. The deal seemed attractive to Frank but two weeks of the hardest work he had ever done and he was ready for his canoe trip. Robert suggested they take a trip and find a tree from which to make paddles as he had none. They drove a long way past a lot of trees which would have been suitable. Finally Frank became suspicious and asked to stop for a pee. Robert kept grimly driving up the mountainside and Frank jumped from the moving vehicle, now completely afraid for his life. He ran all the way back to the mine and found Robert standing guard over his car with an axe defying Frank to come and get it. Frank ran all the way to Dawson and informed the police.
Frank told us this particular miner had a lot of high quality European camping equipment in his shack and he couldn't help but wonder what had become of the owners. At any rate, this same Robert was later involved in an altercation with another miner and died in the ensuing gun battle. Apparently Frank was right in his character assessment of Robert as well. Strange things done neath the midnight sun! And gold and the lust for it has led to more than a death or two over the decades. And still it calls and I often wonder, if the effort put forth in Dawson was applied to another part of the Yukon, if the results would not be as or even more spectacular.
As for myself, I don't think I'll bother with it much. The last thing I want done to the territory is to have it ripped to bits with roads everywhere and Roberts all over the place killing unwary tourists!