Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A story from a Real road warrior... Real Laplaine!

My dear friend and fellow explorer is a fantastic storyteller and the author of several books. He is a person who lives life to the fullest. A six pack and a few hours of time is all you need when you are with him. This is a short story about hitchhiking back in the early 70's. The photo is mine. I added it because it was taken in the vicinity he was exploring. Enjoy! And buy his books, they are great!

In 1973 my best friend and I struck out from Toronto and headed north. Our plan was to travel all summer, and get back in time for our final highschool year in September. He had about $300 in his pocket and I had closer to $400. We took a bus to Tobermorey up on the Huron, and after that 6 hour bus ride we got off, our teeth rattling and our noses filled with the stench of bodies in a closed-in space, and we decided there and then, no more buses. The next day we took a ferry across the Huron and landed by the highway, stuck out our thumbs and the adventure began. For two months we hitchhiked through blistering suns in the midwest where the only sound was that of the thousands of miles of wheat billowing in the wind. We survived rain and thunder and lightning storms in a small pup tent made for one, and in spite of all the reasons that the tent (and us) should have blown away, we woke up each morning to a sunny day and a new road. We hitchhiked through country in northern Canada, that even today I have yet to find a place on earth that could match the majesty, the beauty and the overwhelming sense of oneness with that land. One of the most memorable times on that trip was when we hitchhiked out of Dawson City in the Yukon, the home of the Klondike Gold Rush 1898 - only 500 miles from the Arctic Ocean. A truck the size of the Titanic pulled over and picked us up. He drove us towards the border of the Yukon and Alaska, then pulled over, said he had to leave us on this desolate stretch of highway at the top of a mountain and he disappeared down a mining road. We sat on that mountain top for nearly two days and counted the number of cars that passed us in that time, which as I recall was something on the order of 12 or 20, max. We had little to no food, and all we could see were mountain tops stretching as far as the eye could see to the Arctic ocean and southward and all around us was the hugest expanse of blue mountain flowers covering the mountain saids like a blanket and beyond that there was only the sound of whistling wind and countless thousands of bees which were working those flowers. Near the end of the 2nd day, we saw a dust cloud approaching us from that mining road and shortly the Titanic pulled up and the same driver looked down at us with a smile on his face and ordered us back into his rig. Some hours later we pulled into Dawson City Yukon, and logically you would think our first stop would be to find food - but instead we headed for the nearest saloon (yes they have real saloons still in Dawson City) and we ordered a drink. The best time of my life!

Réal Laplaine

Author -
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Réal Laplaine
Marketing Chief Nutrinacks AB
Datavagen 57 A
Askim 436 32 SWEDEN
Tel: (31) 0706-9595
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