“Are we there yet?” A smart ass sitting towards the back of the bus asks.
“Soon, soon. A couple more twists, a hill, maybe two.” Dean says.
I can't wait to get off this bus. There is something about the way Dean drives, there is a look in his eyes that tells me that he is just barely in control. I can do without the dangling from a cliff, thank you very much. Dean isn't quite right, I think he might be manic depressed, he is slightly off, heaven help us all.
Dean pulls the bus off the main road onto an adjacent woods road. After a brief jaunt through heavy bush, we roll into a large clearing.
“Home sweet home kids.” Dean says as he slows the bus to a crawl then parks it.
Thank God, we survived that bit, the adventure continues.
“Ok, here is how it is gonna go,” Dean says standing up, facing all of us in the bus. “first I want everyone to find a spot for your tents and set them up. We have a couple hours left of day light, so I want you set up your gear as fast as possible. The plan is to get the kitchen tent, the mess tent and at least one shitter dug and set up. Ready, set, go!”
Gear flew from the Ryder truck; duffle bags, backpacks, tents, boots, flung everywhere. There is one of my bags, there is the second. Where am I gonna set up my tent? I notice Clark and Ed head towards the treeline, I will follow them, they seem to know what they are doing.
“Hey boys, mind if I am a neighbor?” I say, huffing and puffing, overloaded with gear.
“Nah, it's cool.” Says Clark, his tent laid out, fiddling with poles.
“So what's a Maritimer doing way the hell out here in God's country?” Ed asks, attaching a tarp to a tree, shielding his tent from the elements.
“I was promised fame, fortune and treasures. Actually I have come for your buxom womenfolk.” Says I, a glint in my eye, my 50 dollar Canadian Tire tent nearly up. Tarp, ha, who needs a tarp?
“For real? I hear that the trick is simply surviving your first year.” Clark says tossing his bags into his already set up tent.
“Probably, I dunno, I just had to get as far away from Nova Scotia as I could. I guess we should head down towards camp, I wanna get on kitchen tent duty, no way I am digging a shitter.”
“Smart man, I will meet you guys down there, I just wanna blow up my air mattress.” Clark says, dipping into his tent.
Ed and I made are way across camp towards Derek, Dean and Kurt, the orange-vesters, the guys in charge.
“What can we do boys?” Ed asks.
“Why don't you hop into the Ryder? Help Tex unload it.” Derek says.
“Sure thing.” I say, spinning on my heels. Ed and I saddle up to the Ryder, there will be no digging of shitters for Ed and me, nope, not this time.