Mounties called in to help solve mystery!
Trip Start May 05, 2010
52Trip End Jul 20, 2011
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Where I stayed
On the side of the road outside Mammoth, Montana, USA
Due in part to the fact that we were expecting a very wet and potentially freezing night, and also because we felt we needed a break from the confines of our mobile accommodation, we stayed at an Hostel in Kananaskis Country between the two previously mentioned Parks. Well instead of freezing we nearly expired in the stifling heat in our room. The end result being, that we would
have gotten more sleep if we had stayed in our mobile ice box, where we at
least have some control over the amount of blankets we need to pile on. We did
however meet some nice locals and learn a little more about our host country
The rain didn't stop 'pissing down’ for four days. In fact it has been the wettest June in Canada for many years resulting in flooding varying from minor to major depending on which part of Alberta you happened to find yourself. We were lucky and were only effected in that we missed out on some scenery. This is one hell of a wet country! It would have been a real
bummer, if it had have rained like it did whilst we were further North between
Jasper and Bannf. If you luck out on the weather here you would see absolutely
Waterton National Park has a drive that is rated as one of the best in the world. It’s called ‘the road going to the sun’ and it is mind blowing. It has to rate as the best scenery of the trip to this point, even though we could only do a portion of the road in one direction, due to recent
heavy and unseasonal snow at the high pass. We did several great short walks in
the area, as the previous bout of wet weather meant that we hadn’t been out of
the truck for several days, and had taken on a hunch like posture common in
long term overlanders stuck behind a steering wheel
After an exhausting day’s walking and a long drive to a camping spot six klm short of the US boarder we were looking forward to a long period of hibernation. Wanting to make sure we weren’t going to be disturbed by others we parked in the area reserved for groups away from the main campground. Probably unnecessary as Canadians are almost unhealthily nice, and
respectful of others needs. All went as planned until about two am when we were awaken by what appeared to be someone calling out for a lost dog. There is no shortage of dickheads on this planet, and I should know being one of them, so I thought this particular dickhead would either, find his mutt or tire and return to his bed. This was not to be the case however.
More time pasted, and after discussions with Gael it was determined that this individual was of the lost in the bush variety. He in fact was not calling a canine friend but was calling for help.
My first attempt at a solution was to push my earplugs as far into my ear canal as I could without causing irreversible brain damage, and continue to get as much sleep as possible before my first of three pees for the night
Yes, you’re right. Just not the thing that the Robert and Gael that you know and love would do!
So, what to do?
The decision was made to drive up the mountain to the US border and alert the authorities to the plight of the person in distress. However, upon our arrival at the border all was in darkness as they work bloody office hours. Anyway, to cut a long story short we managed to get reception on our cell phone and met the representative of the local Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) at the campground entrance. We were surprised that he turned up at all. I mean this place was out in the sticks, and it was about three in the morning.
Luckily, upon arrival back at our campsite the afore mentioned dickhead was still exercising his lungs so we felt confident we had done the right thing.
The Mountie (Ralph) and I (somewhat reluctantly) headed off on foot into the swamp along the edge of the invisible but extremely noisy and obviously very cold, deep and flooded river. The lost soul sounded like he was only ten meters away but he was obviously on the other side of the river so we beat a hasty retreat back to dry terra firma. So that was it for the night! Our lost soul continued to scream himself hoarse, and we tried to get some sleep in the camper. And our Mountie in the front seat of his patrol car.
Things took a strange turn in the morning after our Mountie sounded his siren to reestablish contact. You see, up until this point, the individual in the bush didn’t know who his would be rescuers were! The sound of that siren was not what he wanted to hear. All of a sudden our lost soul wanted to remain lost. It appears all was not as it appeared!
Even after a pretty thorough ground and chopper air search this guy had just evaporated. What we had was a BOARDER JUMPER!!!!!!!! Yes a real criminal.
We left the campsite as Mountie Ralph was waiting for more of his men, and a Chopper with heat seeking capacity to flush the bastard out
And the lessons learned were:
Things are rarely as they first appear (although I think he was really scared shitless out there).
The Canadian bush is pitch black at three in the morning.
The Canadian bush is full of BIG and HUNGRY bears.
The Canadian/US boarder sees a lot of action.
People who want your help one minute may cut your throat and steal your possessions the next.
Always call someone who gets paid to take the risks.
End of lesson!
We are now (24rd June), in Yellowstone National
Park. Stay tuned and enjoy Gaels great snaps.