Sunday, February 14, 2016
The Kindness of Strangers
The time I hitchhiked to visit friends on the Bruce Peninsula northwest of Toronto (in January), they gave me a gallon of water to bathe with. They had a cistern in their kitchen (they'd felled the trees and built the log cabin themselves) that collected snow melt from the roof and although there was plenty of snow I guess water was hard to come by.
Since then I've become extravagant. But when I realized I'd left Las Vegas (it was a tad distracting) without water and was now ensconced somewhere on the edge of Charleston Peak Wilderness, I knew I was gonna have to make due.
It'd been four days since a bath so I did the bird thing and came out, if not sparkling, confident someone could be downwind and not wonder if something had died. So when the rancher stopped to see how I was doing I was up to the challenge. Still, I was surprised when I asked about water and he invited me up.
The road followed the dry wash for about three miles
before climbing up into a small valley complete with it's own lake with ducks, child-size paddle boats, a pier and comfortable-looking chairs nestled under the shady oaks; a true idyll.
The two houses were modest, the horses were sleek and healthy in the generous pasture.
He said the water wasn't the best in the world, but it tastes it to me...a bit like snow melt. And now, with ten gallons, I can do my feet!