I’m in hotel in Whitehorse, with the couple I’ve been traveling with and a new ride, a young man from Colorado, he’s got a job on the pipeline, was driving to Anchorage straight from seattle without sleep, almost didn’t stop at all until we told him we’d spring for this hotel room. He was shooting those things that truckers drink, smell like orange and have 25 zillion pounds of B12 in them, come in little plastic bottles, shivering in his shirt sleeves. Sleep, we said. Sleep.
He picked us up today after our craigslist ride from Seattle rolled in the snow bank. We’d been waiting for it to happen, both Meadow and I, could’ve called it a premonition but really it was just plain physics. Ever since BC, the roads coated in ice, temperatures below zero, and our driver, Asaf, speeding eighty down the narrow stretch of gleaming white road, no traffic anywhere but the occasion truck blowing past, spraying bits of gravel, and Asaf holding his camera out at the windshield, click, click, not looking at the road, weaving back and forth towards one cold bank and then the other, always the camera, always pushing the speedometer a little farther. Yesterday I sat up front and all day I waited for it, told him to slow down, told him to stop taking pictures, shouted at him, really, and he didn’t listen, didn’t even acknowledge me, shook his head over the view and took another couple pictures, didn’t give a fuck about our safety.
A little about Asaf- he’s a millionaire, worked in the film and music industry for twenty years, Keanu Reeves calls him on his birthday. He’s moving to Alaska because he wants to be Sarah Palin’s advisor.
And then today I waited again, in the backseat, it was Barry’s turn to sit up front, listen to Asaf’s bullshit. Barry tried to regulate but Asaf didn’t hear it, didn’t listen to a thing we said. The roads were snowier today. At one point I tried to take a nap, curled up in the very back seat of the giant SUV, thing went on and on like a bus. But I couldn’t sleep, I was just too nervous with the belt tight across my legs, head on my coat for a pillow, waiting for it. Meadow tried to nap but couldn’t either. And then, while I was eating a can of beans, it happened. Asaf took a picture of a frozen lake and hit a snowbank going sixty, lost control, slid across the highway and into the snowbank opposite. The can of beans flew from my hand and splattered all over my face, hair, the fabric roof of the car as the car rolled upside down, the trailer stuck like an anchor in the deep snow and the vehicle righted itself, pulled to a dull stop. Barry had been in the back with Meadow, punched out the side window with the top of his head, but swore he was fine. No-one else was hurt. Asaf jumped out, ran to his trailer. His things had spilled out, were lying in the clean white snow bank- a cheap office chair, a broken lamp. MY STUFF! He cried. My things! Oh no, oh no! He didn’t even once ask us how we were, if we were hurt. It was ten degrees below zero, we were in the middle of some stretch of desolate nothing between Fort Nelson and Whitehorse.
Fuck that guy.
We left him and his busted trailer, waved down a car and got this ride to Whitehorse. We’re in a nice hotel room. I ate an orange. Everything is fine.
I’m going to write a longer story about this later, when I get to Alaska. That shit was scary. Meadow and I are going to make T-shirts-
We’re from Alaska and we think you should slow the fuck down.