FORT SIMPSON N.W.T XI

1/24/2022 

Todd found himself back in crowded Calgary at the closure of: THE STAMPEDE. This 10-day event brings professional cowboys and city folk wannabes into 1 town for a rodeo extravaganza. As the tourists dusted off their polished spurs and stuck them into their suitcases, the real cowboys took their broken and scarred bodies and painfully slid them into their motorhomes for the long trip home. Fantasy and reality are always separated by uncomfortable experiences, known only to the diehards. As Todd’s plane departed, airline cabins make for great theaters as all aboard become a captive audience. Todd ended up sitting with a bunch of “roadies” who spent the last 10 days erecting and breaking down stage and sound equipment and tolerating pampered entertainers. For some people, fame is the greatest gain 1 can achieve, while others move down a highway of blandness where an energetic puppy, hard work, and a simple burger is all that is needed. Who can judge what dictates success? After 3 hours of non-stop anecdotes from this 6-man group who encountered the greatest musicians the Western World has to offer, 1 of them asked Todd what he went to Calgary for. With 15 minutes of flight left, Todd started out with his rental car excursion into the great boreal forest and his business dealings with a single woman in the land of mosquitoes. He went on about the immenseness of the Great Bear Lake and Carl, the jungle trekking pilot who flew the pair into virgin skies. Todd spoke of contract fishing guides stuck in a remote lodge that worked 9 weeks and were then released like minnows in a trap. He spoke of giant yellow birch that made a rich man richer and about Jerry and his hike into the fantastic Canadian Rockies. No one knows if Jerry and a bear drank those beers together or if the bear ate Jerry and then washed him down with the brew. The roadie who asked Todd the original question about what he was doing in Canada, looked at him and said but 1 word: “DUUUDE!” 

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