In the lead-up to the release of my debut E.P. I'm going to re-release the emails I was sending back home whilst questing in lands far away. Figure since these adventures were the main driver of the lyrical content in A Few Crumbs I might as well lay out some context, yah?
I've fixed the spelling mistakes, of which there were many. I've also added some additional thinkings and clarifications, these will be in (italics). Some pictures are included and credited where I could. Dates are as close as I could get them. Much upgraded, yes.
They were originally written as emails and facebook messages to let family and friends back home know what I was up to and that I was alright. I was 25, fresh off my first season of treeplanting, and had just paid off my student loans by busking the subways of Toronto and hustling hard at odd jobs.
The plan was to get to Guatemala by land, I really didn't put much more thought into it, so I went into the whole thing pretty open-minded/ragingly naive. I had a few adventures under my belt at this point, but nothing like this.
Anyways, here you go.
September 2, 2009, at 12:07am
Oh hello there.
Some of you got a version of this over email, this one's a little more (less?) detailed...
This is what I've been up to the last month for all of youse who want to know...
The month started off great with a huge drunken jam at my dads trailer-park-boys styled trailer park, a perfect starting to any journey. A ride through Algonquin park, seeing the biggest white pine in Canada, riding on a GT sno-racer tied to the back of a van doing 60 on a gravel road near Levack while my little cousins laughed hysterically.
Slept beside the train tracks in Capreol and woke up covered in slugs (this really happened, it was gnarly, their snaily slime trails stayed on my backpack for several months), then hopped a freight train and rode it with a mixture of fear, excitement, boredom and introspectiveness for 44 hours to Edmonton, which seemed like a bit of a butthole town at 4am on a Wednesday (anyone who has heard the story of me pooping in a small bag on the back of a train and then almost taking the soiled toilet paper in the face after it escaped my grasp and got caught in a vortex of wind, that was during this train ride).
Stayed in Calgary with Slotz and Russ and Jeremy, great hosts, I ate a lot of Slotz's grampa's honey, mmmmmm. Made a homosexual positive joke at an open mic, the room went silent, except for a drunken lady who giggled into her hands. Went to a ghost town in the foothills, home of the largest single sheet curling rink in the world, satisfied our urge to destroy and sneak around creepy abandoned basements, jumped off a cliff into the glacier fed Bow River. Went to Drumheller and saw some hoodoos, I climbed a large hill and got to the top exhausted and there was a rainbow, which made me feel awesome about life.
Camped on an island on river near Golden, BC, kept our beers cold in the river and had a blast trying to beat the current. Went downhill mountain biking and almost lost my life, but it was probably one of the best days in recent memory.
The next day I hitched to Kelowna with a 44 year old art teacher whom I fell in love with, she volunteered at music festivals and rode her bike a lot. Got a ride from a guy who wanted to go to Prince George and pan for gold like an old-school pioneer, I told him to follow his dreams, but I doubt his car would make it. Then got picked up by two beautiful Austrian exchange students, yeeeah! (I don't know why I wrote yeeeah, I sat in the back by myself and probably smelt too bad for kissing, but it was a nice way to enter the Okanagan Valley, we shared fresh peaches I got from a vendor on the side of the road)
I made it to Kelowna and stayed with a friend of Nate Klooster's who put me up and fed me beer and pizza my first night. Thank you Steph. (Steph was amazing, a fantastic human being and a life saver, I will never forget driving around in her black Pontiac Sunfire cranking the Black Eyed Peas within moments of arriving in Kelowna, pretty sure it was this song. I hated the Black Eyed Peas before that, but now I have a sweet spot for that album, hah)
Now I'm living in an apple orchard under a tarp, pruning apple trees and making some cash before the next leg. Apples fall around me all night and today I took one right in the nose, it made me mad, at an apple. Later I felt silly.
Oct 3rd 2009
Soooooooooooooooo..... I broke my arm 2 days ago. My right arm, the dominate one. It probably has something to do with having just had the time of my life mountain biking (also, I was a bit drunk after being peer pressured into having whiskey for breakfast by my new apple picking "friends"), I thought I'd take the skateboard that was offered to me and rip down a hill. I made it 15 feet, fell, rolled, and came up a little bloody and broken.
The doctor at the walk-in clinic wrapped my swollen wrist in a tensor bandage, and I did a sad, slow walk back to the orchard. When I got there I laid down on my bed, which is a couch cushion on a small tarp, and thought about how stupid I was, to break my hand a few days before the season starts.
Just then it started to rain, so using my good hand I slowly pulled the tarp over me and my broken wrist. Then it started to rain a lot harder, and I had to hold the tarp down. I was getting wetter, and sadder, by the second. Then it started to full-on hail. It was one of the lowest moments of my life, in an apple orchard, wet, stuck under a small tarp, with a broken arm, and all my stuff getting soaked. At least with the rain no one could see me cry.
But it did stop eventually, and the sun came up, and with it one of the brightest, most defined double rainbows I've ever seen, and I realized that this will pass, my stuff will dry, and my arm will heal. Until then I'll just pick slowly with my left arm, maybe I'll get a week in at the end with 2 arms, I'll be able to rip then (I did not "rip then"). So it's not so bad.