August 18th 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1
Lilian (or, as she was known then, Chickie)

We woke up really late (as usual) + Steve + Chickie had already disappeared into town, Chickie to go to hospital, Steve to work for the morning.  We decided, mainly with Val pushing, not to waste the morning, so once we’d had breakfast we took the bikes + rode out to Mendenhall Glacier, so that we could complete the trail we’d started on Saturday.  I took the 10-speed, and Val followed on Chickie’s 3-speed, and had quite a pleasant ride out there, about 4 miles.  We hadn’t been able to find a padlock that we could use, but we wrapped Steve’s combination one around the spokes to make it look as if it was serving some purpose – this, of course, was after we arrived at the visitor’s centre.  We shot around the trail pretty quickly – it was really quite an easy one, and not especially notable.  There was a rain-forest that we had to walk thro’, and we did catch a couple of glimpses of the glacier, but we only had one or two shots left on our film, so we had to be rather sparing in our photography.  I also picked up a small egg-shaped rock which I thought was interesting, tho’ I don’t think Val was very impressed.  Val rode the 10-speed back, me pedalling like fury on t’other.  We went to the shop first, to buy some postcards + stamps, film, + a couple of cokes.

Then back to Herbert Place to say hello to one and all.  Chickie’s nephew Christopher was there, and when Steve took him home, he also dropped me off at the stores – I had forgotten that I wanted to buy a tape to make up a mixed tape from their records.  I walked back + checked on the barbecue that Steve had lit, then got on with the tape.  They had a pretty limited selection of records, but I managed to find a sufficiency.  Steve got back + cooked the steaks – tho’ we ate inside.  They were simply the most enormous steaks, and some terrific vegetables.  In the evening, we sat around in the living-room, drinking beer + playing games – backgammon + crib – I lost every time.  Chickie’s cousin Larry was there, + he offered to take me out on his boat the next day (me being substitute, Steve being tied up, since the baby was expected any day.)  Val + I stayed up after everyone else to watch “Bronco Billy” on cable TV, tho’ only b + w.  It was OK, but pretty corny.

I don’t think I have yet mentioned that Chickie was heavily pregnant (though actually she had a very neat bump.)  The other thing of note – mixed tapes!  Recorded from records!  Apologies for the comments on the size of the record collection.  I think I still have that tape (called “Juneau”) and certainly recall at least one track, a version of “Take It Easy” by (I think) Jackson Browne, and very good too.

  1. Pamela J Blair

    I remember how important tapes were when I was traveling through the Middle East. I’d picked up a tape recorder somewhere, and every now and then would find a tape I liked–Sgt. Pepper, Joni Mitchell, Simon and Garfunkel, etc. In Iraq, when we got to a place in the true Mesopotamia (between the two rivers), a young man visited us early one morning and eyed our tape recorder. For some reason I don’t remember now, we invited him into the van for a cup of tea, and I cautiously placed the tape recorder in the front seat, away from him. During our pidgin conversation he asked if we had any guns, to which we said no. When he was ready to go, he set down his cup, quickly reached over the front seat, grabbed the tape recorder and ran off! We had no music until a couple of weeks later, when we were in Kuwait (to give blood). We went to the duty-free market there and bought another. Once again we were back to music and a feeling of home. I get why those tapes were so important to you!

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