18 September 2006

Guns Don't Kill Writers. Bulleted Lists Do.

Me, hanging my fool ass off the side of a mountain.
Crypt Lake trail, Waterton Lakes, Alberta, Canada.


I've been meaning to give you more detail on the vacation I just took, the one that was mostly comprised of backpacking in the Canadian Rockies, also known as the vacation that will go down in history as The Best Freakin' Vacation Ever, Eh?

Since my astoundingly lucrative career as a crudmail writer has compromised every writing skill I ever possessed, I will have to recap (See? I can't even write the word "recapitulate" any more) using bullet points. There's a real funny story about how I wanted to be a famous writer so I made this deal with this one guy. (Featuring: ●CrossroadsDead of nightBanjo stringBlack cat bone ●PLUS - Guy with horns. -Ed.) The upshot is that though I make a load of dough and have literally millions of readers (...no really, he does. Why does no one believe that? -Ed.), nobody knows my name, and all I can write is poopmail that gets promptly deleted. You win some. Then you go to hell. I digress. Onward.

Here are the salient points (Read: ●Bullets. -Ed.) in brief of the places we visited. And by "salient", I mean "filled with salt".

Eastern Washington
● Major Industries: Dust devil farming; Asian automobile modification; shouting epithets from the porches of double-wides
● Major Foodstuffs Produced: Chicken-Fried Steak, Chicken-Fried Steak Substitute
● Ethnic Composition of Population: Bigot-O-'Mericans (Rednecks): 30%, Affluent Bigot-O-'Mericans (Rednecques): 11%, Next-Generation Bigot-O-'Mericans (Red Next): 3%, Mexicans (Voted Most Likely To Be True Americans): 68%.
● Recommended Lodging: My wife's brown-ness prohibited us from staying anywhere.

● Best Feature(s): Doesn't take long to cross going east to west; has trees
● Biggest Boast(s): Great potatoes; fewer Nazis than before
● Dirtiest Children Found Anywhere In The Continental US: Wallace, ID
● Highest Concentration of Crap Merchants Per Square Block: Wallace, ID
● Most Fucking Depressing Place On Earth: Wallace, ID

● Greatest Attribute: It's huge
● Place You'll Think Is Really Nice Because You Haven't Been To Canada Yet: Missoula, MT
● Best Thing To Do While Visiting Glacier National Park: Shoot the guy who runs his gas generator in the campground right after you shoot the guy who cranks his freakin' radio day and night in the campground; ride the bears.

Waterton Lakes, Alberta, Canada
● Do Not Stay At The: Prince of Wales Hotel
● Why Not?: Because despite stunning photo portraits to the contrary, it is rife with shitholiness. And it costs USD$290 per night and you can hear the Kentish couple next door doing their laundry in the bathtub just as plain as day.
● So What Should I Do Instead?: Stay somewhere else. But definitely go on the Crypt Lake hike.
● Whuffo I Wanna Do That Fo'?: Because you have to take a boat, then hike six miles up above the treeline, then a walk a ledge that has a 600-foot dropoff on one side, then scramble through a tunnel in the rock, then grab a cable and toe-hold your way around another rock face (with another dropoff), then freak out when you see now beautiful Crypt Lake is. And there are bears. In short, it's ossum times Fear Factor. I peed all of my pants - every single pair I own.

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
● Definitely Stay At: Deer Lodge.
● People Per Hectare on the Shore of Lake Louise: Over one thousand. No, really, over a thousand. It's gross.
● Best Thing To Do In Lake Louise: Leave and go someplace nice, like...

Skoki Lodge, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
● Talk To Me, Goose: Hike back in the park about 8 miles, go through two mountain passes, gain a shitload of altitude (Shitload: about 8,450 feet. -Ed.), and find yourself at the sweetest backwoods cabin you've ever seen. No electricity, no running water. Wood heat, kerosene lamps, homemade food and the best hiking on earth.
● Who Runs This Joint?: A bunch of very excellent Canadians.
● Why'd Ya Come Back?: That's a very good question. I was thisclose to chucking it all and becoming the Canadian version of Apocalypse Now's Colonel Kurtz.

● Thaddeus

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