A group of seven young people are having breakfast in the cozy dining room. The whirling buzz of a helicopter dampens their conversation. It is their transportation to work for the day. High into the mountain range they will fly landing in remote areas only accessible to birds, even if they are manmade. “A lot of hiking today” one of them says. “This is my first trip out here. I don’t know much longer I want to be a soil scientist”
The group rushes out of the dining room burdened with heavy backs loaded with scientific equipment. The day’s lunch has been dutifully packed by the Bell staff in traditional brown paper bags. The mandatory days water supply is secured in plastic bottles subemerged in overflowing ice filled multi colored coolers. As the whirl off into the morning fog I am alone again walking my way ever so slowly in the general direction of the great State of Florida which by now is only four thousand miles away.
Sadly, at the end of the day, which is also my birthday, I head to the nearest the airport in Smithers, B.C. some 150 miles west. My mom’s health continues to deteriorate. I long to be with her one last time.