Monday, November 15, 2004

How I Walked 35 Kilometres to Take a Bath Part the Second: Nature and Number Two

One of the most intimate moments one can have with nature and the forest comes with being caught short far away from any of civilization’s logistical supports for the performance of #2. I was caught short.

Fortunately this big dam was just waiting for me to hide behind it, so I went over the top and started clawing at the ground with a sharp rock. During my platoon commanders’ course I broke the Queen’s Regulations and Orders (QR&O) and skipped the hole digging, but being a civilian now I was determined to take the requisite civilized steps. The rock proved clumsy, so I replaced it with a dead branch and soon had a respectable hole hacked out of the wet earth. During my course I sometimes went a week in the field without washing my hands—at least not in the traditional sense of washing. But, again . . . . This time I was able to thoroughly scrub myself with sand, clay and gravel before rinsing off in the stream for which the dam was made. A job well done is so satisfying!

Bears are crass and vulgar. They just do it out in the middle of the road. I know bear poop when I see it, because I used to encounter it all the time on course. In fact, the bears were probably the ones who had a bad influence on me in the first place.