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meziadin lake

I arrive late and hungry at Meziadin Junction and decide to camp at the provincial camp-ground. Although I generally I prefer wild-camping, there are many aspects of staying in designated camp grounds that are quite appealing, the possibility of a shower being the one that is currently uppermost on my mind. Provincial park campgrounds are, generally, in very beautiful locations. However, they seem to be run as a private business enterprise by the park operators – I presume on some sort of leasehold arrangement from the State – and so they vary considerably in feel.

I select a site and my first thought is dinner, which I cook and eat efficiently. I am tidying up when the camp operators pull-up in a pick-up truck. The camp operators at the Meziadin Lake provincial park, a late middle-aged couple, are clearly entrepreneurial, with what seems a fairly lucrative sideline in telecommunications. Access to the internet is $5 dollars and it costs $2 dollars to plug in a computer to the mains. I’ve just handed them my last $15 cash and clearly look crestfallen. After a brief internal struggle, the woman scribbles the password on the back of my receipt, muttering darkly about performing good deeds and informing me that I have 45 minutes before they disconnect the connection for the night.

I am just turning on my computer when a woman passes by to ask me if I need anything. Food, of course, but I just eaten recently and I want make the most of my 45 minutes of free Internet. After a short discussion, we agree on breakfast and she goes off.

A wind rises as I pack away my computer – it is already dark. A young couple approach. They stand and ask me questions, as I start to pitch the tent, which I answer as best I can while I wrestle with poles, pegs and a tent fly in the windy dark. Things go better after they realise that I am struggling, offer assistance and the tent goes up.

They go their way but, not long after, as I am trying to find my way to the tap in pitch darkness (these park operators seem too profit driven to provide any lighting the camp) to do my dishes I run into the girl who is coming to invite me for a drink in their RV. I accept and we chat over beer, chips and cookies. I leave a little drunk and stumble back in the pitch dark to my tent. Next morning I make my way to the woman’s camp site and she cooks me scrambled eggs and sends me on my way with a packed lunch of a couple of sandwiches and an apple.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Gary | August 28, 2009 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Hi Anna…This is your bus driver from way back when in Denali. Just wanted you to know that I have been following your posts voraciously. They are wonderfully composed and oh so evocative. Best of more good days ahead. Gary

  2. Mike, aka The Boy ;) | August 29, 2009 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Hi Anna!

    Glad to hear your trip is still going well! Where are you these days?

    A sincere apology for being such a grump near Dease, by the way. The cold and rain soured my mood, mostly because my rain gear is, well, absent. My own fault.

    Thanks again for the ride together. All the best!

  3. anna | September 1, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi Gary – great to hear from you! Thanks for following the blog.

    Hi Mike (or The Boy) – you’ve blown your anonymity now. Grumpy is OK – I didn’t mind, I enjoyed the ride together. Hope your trip is going well.

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