How I Escaped The Deluge
by Alfred Cool
The year is 1977. Over 7 days in October, this true-story, first person narrative takes place on the central coast of BC. During a record month of storms, the action picks up when the 2 spirited BC boys blitz across hundreds of kms of dangerous back roads to get to the closest cold beer store. Cool withdraws from SFU, broke and cynical, to replenish his funds by returning to logging, finding work on Northern Vancouver Island. After travelling all day Cool arrives at Beaver Cove, a ‘No Booze Allowed’ camp, as gales begin howling during torrential rainfall. Within hours, the rain and the melt-off of higher-elevation snowfall combine to cause floods and slides. Within 2 days they are isolated. Roads close, ferries over-book, planes are grounded and Health Department regulations close all bars, stores and restaurants. Cool has no money for travel or food anyway. Work stops and management leave the camp with little food and no heat, lights or clean drinking water. Cool devises a plan which involves Drake, the other guy left in camp, and his car. Drake has his girlfriends’ broken-down 1964 Vauxhall Viva. That’s enough to get Cool scheming and them moving, giving them an outside chance for self-rescue if they put it all on the line. With only the vague notion of a ‘4x4 back road’ to Campbell River as their map they quit the camp, ‘heading for the barn’. For hours, they negotiate deserted mountain roads and near-deadly detours across raging creeks, down mud-slides and through bogs, running on only fumes and luck. Arriving, finally, at a town amazed at their survival, they discover they’ve popped up at a totally wrong destination. Most of their money goes to gas, oil and beer leaving them no choice but to continue into the night, nursing the car through a further four hours and 250 kms of storming weather. Eventually they arrive, exhausted, back in Vancouver where Drake is turned out by his girlfriend and Cool has to confront unpaid bills and night shift taxi driving. Inspired again, he makes plans to keep the adventure alive and go to the ‘Charlottes. Through the eyes of some of the characters who lived and worked here - before the province we live in today evolved - this fast-paced comedy-quest champions the lure of adventure and the devil-may-care attitude it takes, sometimes, to win against the odds.
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by Alfred Cool
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by Alfred Cool
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by on October 28, 2016
- CreateSpace, August 2012
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