Mar 01 2006

A cold day in hail

Posted by J. Craig Canada in camping, Genealogy, greenway, web publishing

When I got to my tent last night it had been pulled down, by the ranger I presume. The front flap was unzipped and the poles popped. It was lying flat.

Everything would have been dry if the ranger hadn’t scuttled my tent.

My sleeping bag and blanket were soaked, just at the bottom where the front flap had been unzipped. Everything would have been dry if the ranger hadn’t pulled it down.

I unzipped the bag and wrapped it around me, and (perhaps) slept with my clothes on: my shoes and socks, my belt – with my feet sticking out to avoid the bottom foot or so of the sleeping bag, which was soaked. My blanket was soaked even worse.

Everything would have been dry and cozy if the ranger hadn’t unzipped the front, and pulled the poles, and scuttled my tent. But thanks to them, the end of the blanket was in a pool of water on the waterproof floor of the tent, and the fibers of the blanket drew the water into the entire blanket.

I screamed my rage in the night.

I spent the next night in the alcove of a store on main street and then went to the motel and got them to rent me a room for a week and wait till Friday (the next day) to charge me – as I didn’t get my money till Friday.

I never went back for the tent and sleeping bag. I couldn’t bring myself to lug the soaked mess an hour or longer into town to a laundrymat (you have to sign up a week in advance to use the laundry facilities at the shelter).

I was only going to spend a week in the motel, and then get a sleeping bag I guess and ‘rough it’. But one storm after another has been coming in. Last Friday it hailed for at least half an hour. About the size of English Peas, with some the size of small grapes. A tent wouldn’t have survived that hail. And it was COLD. The next day hail was visible on the roofs of the houses nearby at noon.

I’m actually finishing this on the 15th. I haven’t been able to access my website for almost two weeks. Every time I try to upload a revision of my genealogy report (nearly 9,000 individuals at this point) my webhost (Yahoo) panics and locks me out for several days. I guess it took me nearly two weeks to upload the entire 9,000 pages.

The first time I called their customer support they told me they run into this occassionally and they couldn’t give me any estimate as to how long it would be before I could access my site again…

Tonight is my last night indoors, and now I don’t have a blanket, much less a sleeping bag, much less a tent. Nor do I have any warm clothes. I’ve spent and borrowed every cent I can and I still haven’t paid the phone bill. I don’t have money for cigarettes, or food.

On my birthday I couldn’t take it anymore and went to the pot-shop, where they were very nice to me and apologized about the last time and gave me at least a half ounce of very nice bud. It could have been an ounce (I don’t have any way to weigh it), but I think it was probably a half ounce. So my birthday wasn’t all bad. Though I did feel like a jerk because I didn’t purchase anything. But I really couldn’t afford it. My driver’s liscense was up for renewal on my birthday, and I couldn’t afford to renew it.

The last time I saw Charlie (at the library, the day after I discovered my tent scuttled) he was trying to sell his body for dissection (after he’s dead, he said they put a tattoo on your foot). He said you can get $5,000 for it from a medical school. That’s how he was utilizing the library’s free daily hour of computer time.

David said he’s having a ball and sleeping all the time at Page Smith, and he has another year to go there. I saw him the same day. He had just bought a PDA for $300 and was about to buy another car.

I would be there, and have my debts paid off now, except my medicine isn’t a pill manufactured by a pharmaceutical company.

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