Our Trip to Waskesiu, Day 1: We Didn't Die On a Deconstructed Road In the Woods. That's Something.

This is Aidan taking a photo of a streetlight at night in Waskesiu.

We reserved a rental car weeks ago, but I and several other customers had to wait an extra hour for the rental agency to get it together, because who cares if the handful of people they kept standing around the airport without seating had schedules to keep.

I tried to pick up the cats' usual food so they could eat while we were gone, but the store where we get it was closed, so I drove around looking for it until I eventually gave up and bought them a cheaper brand that makes their poo stink. (Dear catsitter: please don't hate us forever.)

We picked a simple route through a city part way through our trip, but I missed a turn due to heavy traffic, and we had to reorient ourselves and find a new way back to the highway during rush hour.

We stopped for gas at a station with unreasonably short hoses on their pumps, and I ended up pouring gas into my shoe when the nozzle missed the tank.

We chose a slightly longer but more scenic route near the end of our trip, but it turned out that the road was under heavy construction. It was rife with loose gravel and a thick but fine dirt that fishtailed the car, there was no lane definition or even defined shoulders to indicate which areas were properly drivable, and there were no signs visible to tell us when or if this would end so I could release my death grip on the steering wheel. We finally hit a roadblock 20 minutes later just as the road smoothed out and were told by a lone construction worker that we had to turn around and drive through it all over again to get back out to the main highway. It turns out that fishtailing your rental car through several kilometres of thick silt and gravel twice while you literally physically try to hold yourself together gives your abs a decent workout.

When Aidan got out of the car to talk to said construction worker at the roadblock, an angry wasp flew into the car and started slamming his body between my head and the window, because of course he did. The universe decided to show me a piece of mercy, though, because it didn't bite my face.

In the end, we were three hours late for my nephew's fourth birthday, but he stayed up late, so I still got to read him two Curious George stories and eat some of his Ninja Turtles birthday cake. Then he introduced me to his stuffed toys. Julian, a green dinosaur, doesn't speak and likes to be scratched behind his head frill. Monkey is a monkey and is apparently of little consequence.

Now it is one in the morning, and I am lying awake while I listen to drunk people shout below my window. I not-so-secretly hope that the nearby family of black bears is feeling a bit peckish. 

Scratch that part about lying awake. I am now typing this while standing up, balancing the laptop with one hand and typing with the other, because a giant, flying beetle is suddenly attracted to my head. I have knocked him into a small garbage can, but he is rustling through the paper and orange rinds with determination. I must remain vigilant.

The End. (But hopefully not for me.)