Last Sunday we took a family trip to the Sooke potholes. It took many hours; I asked if we were there yet, I also asked for alcohol. I prefer to drink to be social; as small amounts of alcohol tend to make me less like me, which, when locked for hours in a van with me, everyone appreciates. Moderate amounts of alcohol makes me aroused and wanting to get naked. So there is a fine line there.
This was an early morning Mother’s Day hike, so by some rule of etiquette, no drinking. Fine. I also kept telling everyone I saw dead people. Apparently they did too.
I don’t know what the Sooke potholes are exactly except there are trees, a couple cliffs, a big river and four parking lots. There used to be an unfinished resort at the top of the cliff, which had millions of dollars of cut giant beam timber walls, stairs and flooring but no roof. The conservation society took over the property a couple years ago, removed the timber, fenced up the rest and then put in 4 parking lots so we could see something that wasn’t there anymore. Here is a picture of me walking down to the river bank. Notice how other people are staying hundreds of feet away from me; this includes the person taking the picture.
There is a trail on the rocky boulders above the river. “I see dead people.” I told Linda.
“No.” She said, “I’m pretty sure they are just sunbathing.”
“Loot?” I started to move toward the dead people and all their shiny property.
“Why don’t we try another path?” She suggested steering me away from the bodies.
My father was path-finding, which kept him far ahead of us. This is his habit, making sure he is too far away to hear us shouting to stop. He found us a shortcut. Only it ended in a field of the pollen heavy Scottish Broom. My mother is very allergic to Scottish Broom. She might have said something sarcastic if her lungs hadn’t swollen up. After that, my father was demoted to assistant path-finder.
Once we got to the top of the cliff there were two signs. The first sign expressly forbid the consumption of alcohol with stiff penalties. The other sign suggested that people not jump off the cliff (which varied from 60-120 feet high). It gave sensible reasons, on the assumption that the people who want to jump off cliffs were doing so rationally. “It’s nice of them to show the underwater hazards,” my mother said. I wasn’t sure the picture was exactly to scale. We all stared at the sign. It was almost a bonding moment.
On the way back we stopped for sub sandwiches. Mine gave me food poisoning for the next 12 hours. Praying over the toilet reminded me of all the times I was sick growing up. I got sick a lot. I think it was a break for my parents as I stopped asking questions, trying to see the face of God, or starting detective agencies. They didn’t have Prozac or Ritalin back then. My poor parents. Happy Mothers Day.