On the day my brother took back his computer I was devastated. “How am I going to chat with my friends?” I wailed. He pointed out that we had a computer at the store before leaving with my connection to the world where I wanted to be. It was the only choice open to me and I set about getting online at the store. Now instead of logging on at 11pm, I stayed after work and chatted until 11 before heading home. It was uncomfortable and I was often interrupted by the security guard in the mall, but I didn’t have a choice.
With the onset of spring came the river guides and I opened my house to them and offered them a warm, dry place on the days they weren’t on the river. Most of them didn’t have cars and were dropped off at the barn at the end of the weekend. Then they were either picked up or I took time and drove them the hour out to base camp for the next weekend. On a day when I wasn’t feeling too well, I let one of the guides drive while I relaxed in the passenger seat. As we took the long hill down into Sundre, the guide shifted from 5th into 1st and blew the timing chain on my car’s engine. I was left without a vehicle. My brother drove me back into town and I had to decide what to do. It was a choice of spend money on an old vehicle, or invest in a new one. I left the useless car at the farm and borrowed my mother’s so I could get into the big city for work. Reluctantly I shopped for a new car while my mother fumed over the loss of hers. I couldn’t afford to rent while I waited for my new car and she knew it, but she never let up. They handed me the keys to my new red sporty 2-door on the day she insisted I give her's back. I would have been without a vehicle if they hadn’t been able to deliver that day.
With a new car I decided it was time to take my holidays and drive across Canada to my hometown and visit my girlfriend. My mother didn’t deny me the two weeks I asked for and I told no one of my ultimate plans. I would first meet with Ayns in Wisconsin before heading on to Ottawa and meeting with D. From there I would return to Guelph and spend some time with my girlfriend before heading home again.
There is nothing I enjoy so much as driving long distances and seeing whatever there is to see. Cid was worried about my traveling alone and gave me as many last minute tips as he could think of. My mother told me I better show up on the Monday immediately following my two weeks – or else. Leaving the barn and my cats in the capable hands of my nephew, I set off with great anticipation. In Montana I was so stunned by the sight of a group of guys getting into a car with their beer that I missed the speed limit sign and promptly got a ticket. It was pay up or go to jail. I had just crossed the border and was already $100 out-of-pocket. My new car was fast, but I behaved myself. I drove for long periods of time and stopped in busy rest stations when I needed to. I slept for short periods in the car before continuing to Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Ayns had given me directions to a mall where we would meet and I had done some research before I left for available motels in the same area. On my arrival I checked in and phoned my friend to let him know. I was early enough to have supper with him but he informed me he had to go home to his family but was looking forward to meeting with me the next day as planned. I was so eager to meet him and was disappointed when he chose his family over me. A leisurely bath helped settle me down and I lay on the soft bed and reveled in the luxury after my days on the road. I wanted to look as good as I possibly could the next day and turned in early. I dreamed that Ayns had come to the door and stood outside, torn between knocking and walking away. The next day as I left to make my rendezvous with him, I found his note saying he had been there.