Slave Lake, Alberta – Adult games in the woods

We are going playing in the woods today. That is somehow like children doing, but toys are bigger. We are going with one of Archie’s Hägglunds into the mountains, his brother Ron with wife Helen are bringing their own, with it a lot of solid and liquid catering to survive the strenuous day. Hägglunds are double-cabin caterpillar vehicles from the Swedish army that after rejection, restoring, and technical improvement are usually used in difficult terrain where otherwise only helicopters have access. It’s a kind of tank driving, just not armed. In Canada, Alaska or Russia Hägglunds are used for instance for control and maintenance of oil and gas pipelines, but for hunting, getting wood, or simply for fun as well. Archie is one of the main dealers for Hägglunds in Canada. We are starting on an ordinary gravel road, taking a forest path then and stepping up to a cross-woods drive. You just drive through rivers. If a pond is accidentally too deep, no matter, the thing swims as well. The amphibian vehicle is also driven by its tracks in the water. Only once a brook has carved too deep into its bed and created a cliff that seems to be invincible even for a tracked vehicle. A couple of logs remedy things and fill the brook bed to make a kind of bridge. You simply driver over laying logs; standing birches up to four, five metres height aren’t a problem at all, you take them in the middle and drive them over. In the rare event that a taller specimen inevitably blocks the way a chainsaw helps. Probably there are still enough trees left in Canada, but possibly we are leaving a lane of devastation. From now on I will include the god of the trees to my evening prayer. We are dismaying a deer without purpose, startling a couple of grouse and chasing away two clover eating black bears. We don’t see other animals today; no wonder due to the noise me are making. For today, this doesn’t matter.

At midnight, the last evening glow is fluttering over the sky like our campfire that’s going out. The North is calling.

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