While this blog is intended to function as a miniatures diary I really have no place to do long form documentation of other going-ons in my life, and last week had quite a few going-ons.
My last post touched on the gluttony I find my self susceptible to regarding miniatures hoarding. Brooding over a tumor like pile of boxes growing in the closet while barely resisting a deep seated compulsion to continue collecting is a favourite pass time of mine.
It turns out that spending a week in the great Canadian wilderness, and coming face to face with a bear is a great remedy for such neurotic problems.
There will be some more miniature talk near the bottom of this post; I promise.
In early May I received grave news that I would be spending a week in La Tuque with my boss's boss, & 5 other dudes. My job sometimes requires me to trek great distances along clearings called "Right of Ways" through both urban & rural areas.
Each day had us either walking alone or in pairs. To my great relief I would walk with one of the new hires on Monday. Even though we had only met the previous night me & new guy hit it off splendidly. Birds miles away would have been able to hear us chatting with great excitement; it wouldn't last.
About 20 minutes into our walk we came upon our first swamp crossing. By the time we made it out the other side we were absolutely swarmed by black flies. As it was our first day we didn't have the foresight to bring netting of any kind for our faces. We walked 12KM through extremely rough terrain all the while breathing in and choking on little black basterds. This was hands down one of the most harrowing experiences of both of our lives.
Needless to say day 2 saw us equipped with the finest bug netting money can buy.
On the next day I was informed that I would be walking alone. This really had me bummed out because one of the more experienced guys on the trip had seen 2 adult and 2 baby black bears on day one.
Naturally I was pretty spooked walking through the Quebecian forest all alone. Near the beginning of this walk I came upon some flat terrain completely covered in bright green moss.
Turns out you can fall through moss. I suddenly found myself waist deep in muck. Try as I might I simply didn't have the strength to un-stuck myself through the use of my legs. I ended up having to really use my arms and torso to break the moss before me and claw myself out. The whole ordeal took me nearly 10 minutes, and really created a mess of the moss (pictured below).
After this little faux pas with nature my humor graduated from spooked to straight up shaken.
Not 3 KM away from this incident the new hire from day 1 was busy disturbing an adult black bear who was making a meal out of a deer carcass. New Hire theorized that the deer broke their leg in rocky terrain and the poor thing essentially spent the rest of it's life waiting to be eaten to death.
One of the other dudes on the trip fancies himself a photographer. Turns out he's not bad. On day 3 I was walking with this photographer guy and we actually were lucky enough (his words) to spot a black bear! He couldn't believe his luck. I couldn't believe mine either! I had actually remembered to pack an extra pair of underwear.
Luckily for me the bear was actually much farther away than it seems to be in the photo. My walking partner's camera had an unbelievably heavy-duty lense on it. I mean this thing weighed a ton. The zoom range on it was 200-500 for those of you in-the-know. It more closely resembled a telescope than a camera.
In turns out that this fellow is actually really talented and has his own website. He does a lot of hardcore traveling (Africa & the Australian Outback) so if you're into that sort of thing check his stuff out.
We also saw some fresh wolf & moose tracks that day.
The trip was definitely one of those experiences that is hellish while you're in it, but is something great to laugh about afterward. There is definitely more hair on my chest for having done it.
On the last night of the trip the 2 New Hires & myself snuck out of the hotel and caught a cab out to a night of debauchery. The bouncers at Le Temple couldn't have kept us out if they wanted to! (Actually they were tremendous in stature so maybe not).
Day 7 featured a 9km walk through a swamp & an 8 hour drive home. At least I saw a deer!
As I said at the beginning of the post there is nothing quite like a week in the bush to take your mind off of things and refresh your creativity. It is so obvious to me now that the need to buy more miniatures is an illusion.
I can and always will derive more happiness from working on the miniatures that I already own than by starting new grandiose projects. Remembering that fact is the real trick to this whole journey.
Two nights ago I put together another 10 models for my Bakunin force from the backlog. My patience was tested.
Last night I made it out to the local Infinity game night and tested out the list that I'll be bringing this weekend to an ITS event hosted by Lords of War!
My opponent who was playing Yu-Jing offered me up my very first win! When you win a game of Infinity it really does feel like you have accomplished something. Gosh it's a good feeling.
That's all for now folks. Take care!