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Day 216 - May 4, 2006
I've been very lucky and unlucky the past weeks or so. I met a man named Kent who works for Anadarko Petroleum at at a gas processing plant near mile 132 on the Alaska Highway. He and his felow crewmates run the plant about 21 miles south of the highway. They were kind enough to offer me lodging and free food and showers too. These boys are eating right. Had steak and shrimp one night, chicken Kiev the next. Good breakfasts.etc.... It was fun to be around oil patch men again. Reminded of my youth when I was playing that game. Kent, Tom, Doug and Scott. All fine Canadians, fine men...benevolent. Had my own room and there was so much hot water I never ran out. Did laundry and all that. They kept giving me lots of soap....hmmmmmmmmmmmm?

I'm averaging 20 miles a daynow. Weather has been cool and partly sunny. I have a good tan on my face and arms but I still look like an albino everywhere else. Especially underneath my belly. I can't see it of course, just using my imagination.

Things were going to well in fact. My luck was challenged a bit yesterdaya tho. The 3rd of May. I reached my truck about 6:30 PM and realized I'd lost my key. Have no idea where. I hitched back to where I started and where I had lunch but couldn't find them. I think they fell out of my pocket when I left or entered the truck that gave me a ride in the morning back to my starting point.

I was closest to a place called Bucking Horse River Ranch/Lodge. That's where my luck returned. A wonderful man named Howard and his side kick Ken stopped to help me out along the way. I told them about my project and he offered me a free room at his Inn. I'd originally planned on having Gary Brummet get my duplicate key to the airport in WHSE and fly it to Ft. St. John about 130 miles down the road. I'd hitch to pick them up and hitch back. Howard said to have the Greyhound bus bring it from WHSE. Good Idea. Thanks to Gary Hansen, Gary B, Elaine B and Michael Klensh(spelling?) the duplicate keys were at the Grey hound station within 14 houirs. THe bad news was the bus doesn't get here until 0430 Saturday instead of Friday AM like we originally thought. So, I'm stuck here until then. Unless I break a window I can't get to my insulin or pills but the Pharmicist in J-town says I shouldbe ok for two or three days without the pills. The only bummer is the three month supply of insulin loses it's punch if it's not refrigerated. But, thanks to Skag Air, Jeff Brady and Pat Reece in Whitehorse I'll have a thirty day supply in hand by Tuesday or so of next week. I'll hit the road again Saturday. My feet are happy about the delay of course and the Bucking Horse Lodge is a cool place. There's low forested mountains everywhere. Moose, deer and other critters to see. The weather's been in the mid 50's with overnight lows around 40 or so. Howard, his wife Vel and Ken are truly benevolent people. I'm still there guests. All I have to pay for is food. And that is home cooked every meal. Owoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh! Not bad. This place is smack dab in the middle of the AK highway between Ft. St. John and Ft. Nelson. It's affordable and friendly. If you know of anyone coming this way please let them know some extra nice folks run this little outpost in the wilderness. There fun and caring.

I ran into Nita Nettleton's brother on Wednesday afternoon on the road. I've run in to folks that work at Westmark, Sockeye Cycle, the Red Onion, Presbyterian Church and a ton that work at Street Car. Wish I'd hit the AK Highway sooner. I'm sure I'm seeing the last of the seasonals en route to town. You just don't know how good it is to see poople from your home town. It's a howling experience. Yowser.

Oh, gosh, yesterday was the 4th, the first cruise ship day. Oh gee....I missed it. Oh gee, shucks...gosh...I 'm probably going to miss all but the last week or so of the season. Oh, man I'm crying a river a tears. I mean, this is the first time in over twenty one years that I'haven't been in town for every cruise ship. How will my life change? Will I be able to survive? Maybe I should just end it all right now. Oh sob boo hoo.

So, anyway the season is upon you. I hope to see some of you at Johnson Crossing on the ALCAN early next month . I should get there about the 6th ,7th, 8th or 9th of June. Will probablybe there for two nights prepping for the Johnson to Circle, Alaska part of the trip on the rivers. Even tho I'll be close to home, coming home just doesn't fit in to the schedule. I'm going to have at least two beers while I'm there. So come up if you have the time.

Until next time...

Take care and keep on howling! Buckwheat

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