Turns out, Canada is a pretty cool place. And mostly like America in a lot of ways. This is pretty much what I expected from Canada previous to arrival:
--French speaking babes
--Big pine trees
--An abundance of beavers
--My money to be worth more than their money
I was disappointed in all but the big pine trees. They sure had a lot of those.
I decided while packing, that wearing a red flannel long sleeved shirt was probably the best thing that I could do upon arriving in Canada, in order to not appear as a lame tourist. I expected a land of merry lumberjacks, stomping through the streets yelling things like, "Ho there friend!" or "Ho brother! Watch oat fer bairs aye!" Turns out, I was the only asshole walking around in flannel. But I wore that flannel proudly and filthily, 4 out of 5 days backpacking. Which may be why #6 never occurred--the bears could smell that my smelly sweat/smoke saturated vestment wrapped body was something they would rather not shove down their gullets. Or they felt a sense of camaraderie, like I was a flannel bearing illiterate Canadian of old, before they all got into fashion and the metric system.
I sure do like the metric system, even though my brain is too stupid to translate it. I constantly had to convert things to miles/feet/gallons/inefficient in order to figure anything out. "Wait, we have to go 150 kilometers? Shit, wait, how many is that in feet?"
Somehow or another, during the 5 days of our hike (on the Juan de Fuca trail, which occupies about 30 miles ((49 kilometers)) (((it's hard to know how many feet))) of the south-western coast of Victoria island) my trusty calculator watch with the gold band managed to be about an hour and 25 minutes off real time. Which I guess would explain why it seemed like the sun was setting at about 11:30 at night. Which I simply attributed to Canada being weird and way far north. I think towards the end, I finally figured out that my watch was wrong, and I really had no clue what time it was for 5 days. Which was sort of awesome.
One gentleman on our journey forgot deodorant I think. I wasn't previously aware that arm pit stench had the ability to drift upwards of 50 or more feet (like 15 meters ((I'm learning))) through rain forest to penetrate, nay, rape the nostrils of the unfortunate soul (generally me) walking behind. Which is why anytime I was bringing up the rear of our 3 man expedition, I ended up walking a good distance behind, probably setting myself up to be straggling bear meat. Or cougar meat. Which I think would be preferable to being bear meat. I feel like a cougar would probably go straight for the jugular, and end it rather quickly, whereas a bear is probably as likely to start with the crotch as with anything else. Anyways, it was really just an unbelievable stench, worth possibly dying to avoid.
At one point, I found myself trapped for a time in a sleigh bell B.O. sandwich, from whence there was no escape. We passed this weirdo German couple with sleigh bells attached to their walking sticks. Upon passing them, I was unable to maintain my usual 75 foot buffer zone. Which essentially felt like being herded into the stench by a sleigh bell wielding German shepherd (person, not dog.) Wanting to vomit while feeling extremely annoyed is a weird, bothersome combination.
Ripping mussels off of rocks, while getting soaked by cold sea water is rendered a much more disappointing culinary experience when said mussels are subsequently cooked in a Bear Creek minestrone/Santa Fe chipotle chicken soup mix. In other words, minestrone and Santa Fe chipotle chicken are 2 soups that don't combine well, and are not in any way improved by tossing in a couple dozen boiled mussels. Whoelk (that was a puke sound.) I should have stuck with sticking the whole shell in the coals of the fire with my leatherman, and eating them plain. Or maybe just purchased 6 matching soups, rather than 6 different. Idiot.
They (Canada) only give you .95 Canada cents for every American dollar. Which made virtually everything which was already more expensive, more expensive. That problem would fix itself if we would just turn them into a state already.
I saw one beaver, which was simultaneously the happiest and most disappointing moment of my trip. Happiest, because I got to watch a beaver, the literal Frank Lloyd Wright of the animal kingdom, swim around like 2000 centimeters in front of me. But this was basically my last day in Canada, and was the only beaver I saw, which made it disappointing. A bitter sweet moment.
I didn't run into any French speaking babes, but there sure were a lot of beautiful women walking around Vancouver nonetheless. Seriously. There must be something in the water. Get real Beach Boys, Vancouver girls are what you should be wishing for.
After completing the trail, we had to hitchhike the 30 miles back to the trailhead at Port Renfrew. We had the good fortunes to be picked up by the "Mayor" of Port Renfrew--a 63 year old pot smoking Vietnam draft dodging ex-patriot. Here was an excerpt from a conversation:
Adam: "So there is a doctor you visit?"
Mayor: "Ah yeah, but I don't even take none of the shit he gives me."
Adam: "So you are more into holistic medicines?"
Mayor: "I smoke a lot of pot."
Mayor: "The prettiest girl I ever dated was a Mormon. She was always tryin to get me to go to church on Sundays. I was always tryin to get her to do drugs. Neither of us really had much success." It was a fun 30 miles.
Possibly the thing I loved most about Canada, was the Maynard wine gummies. My selection of said gummies had nothing to do with the fact that they were supposedly wine flavors, and everything to do with the consistency. I was hungry on a ferry, and saw a package of gummies. Upon careful examination and after various squeezes of the gummies through the bag, I deduced that I had possibly found a gummy with the perfect consistency. Which proved to be true. And, thankfully, they tasted nothing like wine.
I went on this trip assuming that I would starve for the duration of the backpacking experience, and lose a few pounds. Upon making a visit to my bathroom scale this morning, I found quite the opposite--a slight weight gain. Maybe something to do with eating pizza twice, hamburgers twice, a gigantic Ben and Jerry's ice cream waffle cone, 3 bags of Maynard's, plenty of fries with said hamburgers, more fries with a greasy Po boy tuna sandwich, and virtually zero fruits and veggies. Which, those things combined, are worse than the sum total of the WORST things I have eaten during the last 2 or 3 months. Maybe those were my last burgers. Ever. And my last albacore tuna. Ever.
More to come on that development.