Monday, 13 September 2010


In Vancouver I had sold my first gun, never having had an occasion to use it, and I was scared of the thing anyway. On my way north this time, however, the incessant panic talk had stampeded me into buying a gross and unwieldy shotgun - a "Savage," so it said on the barrel.
To learn something more about the weapon, I took it to the local gun expert, which in this land populated with nothing but gun experts happened to be the assistant postmaster. He confirmed my worst fears: "It's factory-flawed. You've got one shot and then you might as well chuck it." We agreed that one shot would probably only enrage several hundred pounds of bear and all but guarantee for me a swift and messy exit from this life.
Fortunately, I chanced to meet a man named Leach, chairman of the Yukon Trappers Association. "I've been in the bush for getting on thirty years," he said, "and never have I seen anything I didn't want to see."
"Well, what did you carry?"
"A bell." He then added, almost defiantly, "You won't need a bloody gun!" That did it. I happily abandoned the Savage.
Beyond the small settlement of Upper Liard, I came upon a herd of horses grazing beside the road. They eyed me and my pinging bell, for they, too, wore bells, partly for the same reason. It was an odd musical confrontation as our different notes momentarily mingled on that cool spring day.
From The Longest Walk by George Meegan

Distance walked since last post: 36.2km
Total distance walked since Koshu Kaido training began: 298.9km
Days left until departure: 4


Mark T said...

Is there a bell on your gear list?

Walking fool said...