I spoke with my ex again last night. He is now staying with my son, Waylon till he gets back into the Army Domiciliary. They're two frigin peas in a pod and I can only pray that time has brought on maturity and the two will stay out of trouble. So far so good.
I was talking to my ex and I think the conversation started when I told him about the pic in the last post and he said,"Well, I rode 'The Polar Bear Express,' don't you remember that one trip..." I decided to look at my site meter. I began to tell him about it and I read him off a couple of names, sites which happened to be Canadian; Whitehorse, Calgary, Alberta, Saskatchewan and on and on. I read on and on at his request. He was so excited as if it were a reunion. The Yukon Territory was calling his name again. He was even more excited and wanted to know about everybody Canadian on my sidebar.
My ex, Sonny is Sioux and French Canadian with very strong roots. He is a Baribeau (my name also),(pronounced as you would Caribou but with a B) to the fullest extent and was raised to think and honor age old traditions and an ingrained Canadian homeland in his heart. His travels to Canada on adventures are actually documented on film, many places, only accessible by Bi-Plane. The hairier it was to get into, the more they liked it. Tales of a mammoth beaver smacking his tail so hard, right next to him in the wee hours of the morn, the canoe rocking, almost tipping or being on the **38th Parallel where all water run North and Black Bear or Grizzlies the size of a small truck, were always fodder for conversation when they all got together. In turn, Sonny passed on that love for the Great Outdoors, at least to my youngest, Waylon.
Sonny's Father, who still spoke with an eclectic UP Michigan and French Canadian accent, was the ring leader and both sons, Sonny and Ron, from a young age were taught to respect and love, to never forget their Canadian roots. Sonny's Grandfather was from Canada and emigrated to America, along with his 15 year old Sioux bride, he'd met on the reservation, after being fancied by the young girls father. She died in childbirth after the last son, Ronald was born. The last of 5 children, Ronald and his brothers were raised by Granddaddy Beau on his own, never to remarry. It was a harsh upbringing in the marshy swamps of UP Michigan. But they were Canadians, they just happened to live in Michigan.
Homage to the Land
Sonny, his brother Ron, who was named after his Uncle Ronald and his Dad, "Big Beau", too many times to count, would pack it up and head to Canada, returning with thicker beards and a smell quite unbecoming to my city slicker nose. Mosquito's the size of Eagle's soared overhead as he retold his tales and exploits in the Yukon. The very last trip, before the death of Sonny's Dad, was the drive across the Dempster Highway and up into the wilderness. They'd planned this thing like you would a climb up Mt.Everest. Extra containers of gas, plan for this, plan for that and this trip was talked up for years. They called it "The Dumpster Highway" because of the tales of people who'd not made it, abandoned their vehicles, opting to be flown out or had been stranded when their car or truck had broken down, due to the unforgiving terrain of the weather, area and highway and would be "Dumped" on the side of the rode. "Those dumb sons a bitches, didn't plan know did they, eh?," was repeated verbatim, every time it was brought up, always in a mocking tone and a clink of the Molsen's among them. They were not gonna be caught with their pants down vulnerable to the elements. This was planned and talked about for so many years I almost thought it was of mythical proportion. But they did it. They went to Ernie Whiting's and ate breakfast like kings every morning, slept better than could be explained, got their dose of that good Canadian air all the while fishing and hunting, a small tribe running amuk in the Yukon. Big Beau died a happy man, not long after.
The stories of the Great Baribeau Hunters will now be passed down from generation to generation with, I'm sure, a little elaboration tied on the tail of the tale!
**I believe this to be true but am not sure if it was the 38th?