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Section E - Day 0: A Ruckus By the Creek

On my second day of rest at Saskatchewan River Crossing, I hike out of town for a few Kilometers to camp as I can’t afford two days in the hotel room. Section E will start in earnest the next morning. I camp next to a very old and decrepit log cabin on the banks of Owen Creek. The cabin is too dirty and creepy to camp in, but I’m thankful for the table and the roof overhang outside to do my cooking. I fall asleep early, wanting a good sleep because the next day will be one of the hardest on the whole hike: The longest continuous climb of the whole GDT of 1365 relentless vertical metres on very poor (or nonexistant trail) up Owen creek, followed by more passes, and all of that with 7 days of food on my back.

* * *

Sound of car doors slamming. Bright headlights casting silhouettes of branches against my tent wall. Bleary confusion. Loud voices. The sound of an axe and splintering wood. The whoosh of a fire started too quickly - with the aid of gasoline.

It’s 12:30 am, I’m pulled roughly from my sleep by the sound of a group of partiers arrived on the scene with their truck. I am afraid at first. They sound drunk, and they are very loud. I lay in bed for a couple of minutes waking up and weighing my options. There are maybe 2 or 3 men and I’m relieved to hear one woman’s voice. Though I doubt it will make much of a difference, I decide to get out of the tent and let them know I’m here.

“Hey! Just so you know you aren’t the only people here!” I shout “There are a bunch of us trying to sleep, could you keep it down?” I decide the white lie of multiplying myself is a good idea. I don’t want them to know I’m alone.

They shout some half-hearted reply and of course do not quiet down. For hours I drift in and out of sleep as their shouts push past my earplugs. I feel furious. What kind of people show up at a creek in the mountains at 12:30 am to make a gigantic fire and get drunk? What kind of people stay there when they know people are sleeping there? Is this how people enjoy nature? Are they even aware that they are in nature? Hours later they quiet down and I go back to sleep.

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