Every now and then, I drink a beer, or three, and try to impress friends and family with my superhuman strength. A year and a half ago, I illustrated this quality by picking up a log the size of a full-grown man, and tossing it a few feet into a swamp. Everyone who witnessed this event was rather impressed, or at least surprised, and we still talk about it to this day.
Before the Labour Day weekend, my wife and I packed our tent, air mattresses, bikes, kids, and the rest of our camping supplies into our Toyota Sienna and headed west on the Yellowhead Highway. We managed to book a last-minute reservation at Wapiti Campground in Jasper, and though a fire-ban meant no fires, the forecast looked wonderful!
In true, eager-beaver form, we arrived half-an-hour before check-in, set up camp in record time, and proceeded to enjoy the first two beautiful days in Jasper.
Then it happened…
“I think I’m going to have a beer and clam,” I said to Michelle midday Friday. “Better yet… a Caesar! Y’want one?”
It was the perfect TGIF moment: The campsite had cleared out for the start of the Tour of Alberta bicycle race. I had just finished checking my work emails. The kids were biking through our neighbour’s unattended campsites and, apart from our two younger ones crashing regularly, were mostly staying out of trouble.
Later, with a second Caesar in hand, I ventured with the kids to a “secret” river they had found behind some of the adjoining campsites. “Let’s build a beaver-dam!!” I jubilantly declared.
As it turns out… there’s a good reason only beavers can make beaver dams. To impress the kids, I ventured upstream, looking for the biggest rocks and logs I could find to help divert the fifteen-foot pass. “Woah!” the kids would say every time I lifted a boulder to my gut and strategically tossed it in place.
One by one, the kids retreated to the campsite. And after close to an hour, my superhuman Caesar abilities were starting to wear off, and, I too, was questioning the purpose of the dam. Eventually, I also quit, feeling a little less limber as I walked back to camp.
Though I made it through the rest of the day, Saturday morning came with a vengeance! It was as though the river had transformed itself into a Jared Seitz voodoo doll, and each rock I had thrown at it had been an attack upon my lumbar region.
I emerged from the tent, feeling a little like my childhood hero, Fred Penner, crawling through a secret, hollowed-out log.
“You sure did overdo it, hey?” Michelle said sympathetically.
“That’s for dam sure”, I replied, never wanting to miss the opportunity for a good pun.
Throughout my life, I’ve been told that dealing with the big rocks first will help you achieve your dreams… I still believe that to be true. But after last Friday, I also know that big rocks don’t need to be moved for the sake of being moved. You might accomplish something, but, if it’s in vain, you will be left in pain!
Maybe I should get a lower back tattoo with that inscription one day…
On second thought, that sounds like another bad idea.
It’s five days later, and I’m still paying for the dam. Don’t wear white
or lift stupidly-sized rocks
on Labour Day, I suppose…
Good luck wrapping up / starting harvest!! Remember to stretch, stay limber, and only move the big rocks that need to be moved!! Hope to hear from you soon!
Because Farming is Forever,