I’d rather my hand smell like Mountain Dew.

…than rancid crab juice.

I’d found a claw on the beach and tucked it into my jacket, thinking it’d make a funny photo. It wasn’t funny: I was just high.

The smell didn’t hit me until I’d tossed the claw back on the beach. Usually, crab shells on the beach have been pecked clean by assorted scavengers, but not this one. Rotting crab juice spilled all over my hand with such permeance that rinsing it off with water from my sports bottle had little effect. And plunging my stinky meathooks into icy seawater seemed to lock in the smell.

I needed an artificial means of de-stinking, like alcohol from the spray sanitizer mounted inside the outhouse around our campsite. As soon as the alcohol evaporated, the crab juice was like, “Hello!”

How about wet wipes designed for de-shitting baby behinds? Not even that!

The hand lotion left my hands moisturized yet still fishy.

It wasn’t until the campfire got going that I was able to smoke my hands into oblivion. When I crawled into my tent that night, the only foul odor was that of my shoes tucked into the vestibule. At least that was from my own juices.

The second-biggest failure of this trip was the forgotten plan of stopping at a park somewhere along the Lochside Trail to see whether Nate and I remembered how to do “The Worm.” Stay posted!

Earlier in the year, I’d been ordered to use up my accrued vacation time from 2021 before the end of June. I expected to use a large chunk of these vacation hours towards my cycle tour of the UK, but that’s happening in July. I ended up padding a few weekends with extra days off before then. So, I used my extension of the May long weekend to do an overnighter on Galiano with Nate.

Nate is the ultimate adventure cyclist. Nate moved to Victoria from Ontario by bike last summer (5,000ish km). While I balk at the slightest chance of showers, Nate would ride into a hurricane or at least die trying. The weather forecasted for Tuesday and Wednesday on Galiano wasn’t as warm and sunny as I’d have liked. Rather than dropping the plan, I packed rain gear and mitts. That’s right, MITTS.

I give this trip two well-insulated thumbs-up!

Captivated by the crystal clear shoal of Montague Harbour. I look like an Ewok in Goretex from behind.

It’d been more than a year since I’d done a cycle tour overnighter, and I’d never done one on Ponyboy. I’d forgotten just how much gear is required for a one-night trip! Granted, not much more is needed for multi-day trips.

Old school in the back, new school up front. For those new here: Ponyboy is the name of my bike.

When packing, I like to list the contents as I go so that if I wonder whether I’ve forgotten anything, I can refer to the list. I forgot cutlery, which isn’t as bad as forgetting the fuel canister for my stove like the previous overnighter. At least I could whittle two branches into chopsticks. Nate also offered to loan his spork once he was finished with it. What a gentleman! However, while still on the ferry, I realized I’d forgotten to pack the cutlery before arriving at the campsite. We’d planned on stopping at the grocery store–the only one on the island–for fresh produce. I could pick up some cutlery then. I located their hair dye kits first, as Galiano islanders clearly have different priorities:

Red, black, brown, or blonde?!

Also, I only needed ONE fork. Tragically, I was forced to splurge for a party pack of “extra heavy duty” cutlery. $7! When the total for my party cutlery, apple, and grapes came to $22, I was baffled.

THE GRAPES WERE $14!

“That’s how much my cheese block cost!” Nate exclaimed.

The luxury grapes were worth it, but the block of cheese was the star of the trip.

Pocket cheese.

Or was it the psilocybin gummies I brought? Or the giant bag of weed Nate brought. When I saw Nate’s bag o’ pot, I thought, “Who needs that much weed for just two days?!” Perhaps he was expecting a party? At any rate, the cheese block paired beautifully with the weed and gummies.

600mg each of the gummies was enough for us to become engrossed with the beauty of Montague Harbour for two or so hours. The dosage was also low enough for us to decide that we could still function on our bikes. So, we microdosed the next day right before leaving. It kicked in as we climbed that massive hill out of Montague Harbour (an average grade of 7.6% for 1.5km) and jolted us again as we were on the ferry.

We weren’t sure whether to stay on the ferry when it docked at Mayne Island or transfer to a different one as we had done the previous day. Nate went on deck to seek this information, and when he came back with the answer, he remarked on the snippy attitude the deckhand gave him.

Near the end of our ferry trip from Mayne to Swartz Bay, the cantankerous deckhand appeared in the lounge dragging around his adorable mini shop vacuum, Henry. Nate and I were seated across from each other: the deckhand came in-between us and repeatedly rammed the vacuum head into the radiator as Nate and I held our feet in the air.

Do not laugh… do not laugh…

Henry and the grump disappeared around the corner for some more aggressive aspirating, allowing us some time to reel from the weirdness. Then…

Henry got caught around the corner, looking all coy. The grump just wasn’t having any of it and jerked hard on the hose, dislodging Henry who quickly wheeled across the carpet.

Ok, so maybe the dude was having a bad day. Heck, a bad year? A BAD LIFE, EVEN?! But we were blissfully tripping on psilocybin and started laughing. Flustered by our noises of joy, the grump backtracked to where we were seated. He ordered us down to the deck as the ferry was about to dock at Swartz Bay.

Just as we rode out of the terminal, the absurdity of it all hit me. I just lost it. I was laughing so hard that tears started streaming down my face. Nate must’ve been concerned about whether I could retain my balance while laughing that hard because he pulled up next to me to ask if I was alright.

I wasn’t alright: I was elated. Life should be a fun adventure.

Now, I still have one more bag of those psilocybin gummies AND an undetermined amount of dried Golden Teacher shrooms, obtained yesterday in the most unreal experience of the year.

So far.

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