Road to Cloquet, MN – September 4, 2012
“Boss, I’m going to have to ask you who you’re with,” the man said to me.
“With?” I said, unsure what he meant.
“This area’s closed,” he said, shaking his head. “You aren’t supposed to be here.”
“Sorry,” I said. “I’m just trying to go up the river to Floodwood. I’d heard about the road, but I figured the water was fine.”
The man looked at me, then his eyes shifted to the Looksha loaded with dry bags of gear. I’d just dragged it off the water to a small dirt track and we were both coated in mud.
“I’ve got everything I need with me,” I said. “I’m not going to cause any problems, but I gotta get through.”
Time felt very still for a moment as the man stared at me. The river is the only way I knew. If I couldn’t go forward, I wasn’t sure there was anywhere I could go.
The man sighed, stared at me for a moment longer then turned away.
“I never saw you,” he said. “Get outta here fast.”
“Thanks,” I said, but he was already walking away and didn’t say anything back or even look like he could hear my voice.
I crashed over a mud bank, into the water, and disappeared like a ghost.