Today is moving day, meaning that our entire company is packing up and moving from Williams Lake to a new camp just outside of Fort St. James.
In the morning, my crew was responsible for tearing down the mess tent before we went off to the block. We planted until 6:00, and drove back hurriedly, hoping to make it all the way to Prince George by that evening. We collected all of our personal belongings, took down our little tents and packed everything into vehicles. I managed to do this very quickly, and walked down to the campground shower to clean up before the four-hour drive.
There is a mobile home between my old tent spot and the showers, which are themselves half way between my tent and my old crew. Along my half finished journeys, I had often played with a friendly cat that lives here. Today, there were four Indian children outside, between the ages of three and five. As I walked past they all started to follow me, teasing me in unison as kids will do on playgrounds, by calling me "poopy-pants".
'POOPY PANTS POOPY PANTS POOPY PANTS POOPY PANTS'
I walked into the showers, laughing. My pants are covered with mud. I have worn them every day of what has been a long and hard five-day shift. All of my planting clothes are possessed of a sweaty, soily, body grime that covers me and makes me stick to my sleeping bag at night. My tent smells like a hockey bag. Everything is slightly damp.
I got into the shower, which felt good. I had no soap, so I just stood under the showerhead rubbing brown dirt off of my hands and face, taking care of what was visible. We don't have a day off between these two contracts, so I am not sure if I will be able to do my laundry and wash my sleeping bag out before I begin what will be another five-day shift. I really hope so.
When I got out, I had the feeling that my body had been waxed. The kids were waiting for me outside. They began with the Poopy-pants thing again.