July 09, 2006

Mind Yer Metrics.

Rachelle and Peter are visiting from Victoria, and we've been busy. Yesterday, we paddled the Takhini River from Kusawa Lake to Mendenhall Landing, and today, we paddled to a geocache on Chadburn Lake.

Fawn decided to stay home, so I was soloing in the canoe, kept company by Nanuq. It was a nice paddle, except for a bit of rain on the way back. Fortunately, my poncho kept me comfortable and dry. I can't say the same for Nanuq, but he wasn't complaining about the rain. The only thing that he was complaining about was not being closer to Peter and Rachelle. He kept looking at them and whining and whimpering, wanting to be in their canoe for some reason.

When we were loading the canoes onto my car, a man from Michigan walked towards us and asked, "Excuse me, but if I keep going down this road, will it take me back to a major road?"

Given that the way he was pointing led to, well, nowhere, I replied in the negative.

"Where do you want to go?" I asked.

"Back to the Alaska Highway."

Yup, he's lost, I thought to myself. I offered to lead him back to the Alaska Highway and he warned me that he would be slow driving his motor home on the gravel road.

He wasn't kidding. I thought slow might be 30 or 45 km/h, but when I was doing 10km/h and was still leaving him behind, I pulled off the road and decided to try a new strategy.

I got out of the car and waited for him to pull up. I explained to him that by going so slow, he was hitting every bump and that it was bad for the suspension on his motor home. "What you should be doing," I explained, "is go at about 30 or 40, so you're gliding over the washboard and ruts." At this, he and his wife gave me incredulous looks. "I've been driving on gravel roads since before I was old enough to get my license. Trust me on this one. I'll follow you to the intersetion, and you try it. If you aren't convinced, then slow back down."

He agreed to try it, and pulled ahead. I hopped back into the car and explained to Peter and Rachelle what I had told them.

I pulled out and started following him, but he wasn't doing 30 or 40. He was doing 60 km/h or more.

Wow! I thought, he sure seems convinced! Rachelle and Peter were impressed also.

Then Rachelle asked, "Did you say 30 to 40 kilometers or 30 to 40 miles per hour?"

"Hmm..." I replied, "That might explain the incredulous look they gave me when I suggested it to them."

At the end of the road, I pulled up beside them and apologized for not specifying kilometers instead of miles.

And the man's response? With a smile on his face, he stated, "Well, it sure got us here a lot faster!"

No comments: