After six weeks on the road, I anticipated being tired of having to fetch water. As it happens, when my children were so pleased to discover flush toilets yesterday, I had just thought, “Yes! No boil water advisory! Let’s hear it for drinking water!” I left home with a high end water filter, but in the end I took advantage of our occasional forays into civilization to purchase a decent supply of backup water. That was 4 gallons, and it has lasted us for 4 weeks, through about 9 nights of boil water advisories. We supplemented with a 5 gallon jug which was filled at every opportunity, as well as 3 stainless steel bottles that are filled and emptied just about daily. Let us not forget the other day when I said to a couple I met at the dishwashing station, “I am just partaking in the miracle that is hot water I didn’t have to make.”
You would think that after this, it would be the running water I missed most. But you would be wrong.
You might also guess that it was the internet. It would be a reasonable guess, since I snapped in Chilliwack and upgraded my phone from the 8 year old dinosaur that I found at the bottom of one of my packing boxes… all the way to an Android that is now my magical hot-spot in the internet desert.
But to my astonishment, I find that what I have missed most is my cabinets. The ability to put something away and not have to stash it, remember where it is, pack it for best fit… but to be able to leave it where you intend to use it next, where it will not attract critters? What a luxury! Having lived outside for significant fractions of the last 6 weeks, I have a new appreciation for organization that doesn’t involve stacking. I also have a great love of rooms that have a specific function and don’t have to be converted to something else at the end of the evening.
I will say that I’m glad to have been mostly out of the technology loop for the last month. It was much easier to simply engage with the experience when I was not also trying to process and document. I have some notes, but mostly a slew of snapshots. I spent some time in Chilliwack applying tags to my photos as reminders, but for the most part, I have left the writing for the future. It may lack immediacy, but I hope that it will make up for that in depth. We are winding down the end of a grand scheme, and it would not do to jump out of it too soon.
Suffice it to say that I am amazed by the jumps in technology that allow me to choose suddenly to get a wireless connection in my tent. I don’t have running water, and I don’t have an electrical cord, but I can send the world this update… at least until the laptop runs out of juice. Got about an hour in total, so I’ll leave it at that, set up here in the tiny campground just off the ferry dock on Gabriola Island. (By the way, the Nanaimo end of that ferry run is out of service at the moment, so you have to go to Duke Point. If you were planning on going to Gabriola this week. Ask me how I know.)