Part 1: Off the beaten path

Hello folks!

I have quite a tale to tell you, and it is not tall, nor short! It did end well, with different perspectives! As there are many parts to this tale, I’m dividing it up. A play-by-play sort of thing!

It started last Wednesday, the first full day of school for my boys.

It was a bright sunny noon hour when I took my power chair and zoom to pick up prescriptions, an errand. I was heading west to the drug store on St. John’s and Moray in Port Moody.

This is a sidebar to the actual events: On the northeast side of that intersection, there is a fire hydrant, right in the middle of the sidewalk.

As you can see there is a steep, 60 foot if the sky is blue, drop, without any barriers or protection for pedestrians, motorized or footed. Yes, I contacted my city operations already on this matter. Nonetheless, it remains unfixed, caution must be used when passing.

Just thinking about that drop and the repercussions of such a fall stuck to me like mosquitoes at a Winnipeg camp!

On with the story at hand; I crossed the street, heading to the drug store, there were no hassle picking up these pills.

I zoom outside, no plans on this stunningly beautiful afternoon in early September. I just missed a bus, I can’t think of anything pressing to do. So, maybe I’ll check out the other second hand store, that was my only motivation as the zoomed east.

My power chair allows me to venture near and far, off the beaten (ugh) track, to take roads less travelled by me. It also allows me to go about in dignity without falling over, looking drunk, stumbling, falling, etc.

And so, with that sense of exploration, I set out after picking up prescriptions, with no real plan other a tiny smidgen of a thought to go to a second hand store on the south side of Barnet highway. No, not Value Village, but opposite that…

I zoomed on the sidewalk on the south side of Barnet, until it ended. With a beaten trail, a dusty rut replaced it. This rut was dry,, loosely packed dirt, some gravel, I guess. Carved out of millions of pairs of wayward shoes, boots…

I decided, foolhardily, to continue motoring along this narrow path. On one side there was a curb and the highway, and on the other was a steel incline. To what? I didn’t know, at the time. It was then, as I ventured down that path, when I briefly flashed back to the fire hydrant… 8

Now this is where my story unfolds, actually it took a turn for the worst.

On the sidewalk, I was going fast, but once I hit the path, and determined I couldn’t do a u-turn, I slowed down! I couldn’t go back, I could only go forward, either that or jump the curb and drive on the side of the highway, Onward!

I believe I was doing pretty good, keeping the chair in the centre of this rut. “I’m half-way there!” I thought! Then, as I approached a shrub jutting out to almost reaching the curb, I said a silent prayer. I had to slightly swerve towards the curb, to avoid getting tangled in the shrubbery.

“Hallelujah,”. I would have gushed, instead I found myself eating weeds!

Suddenly I was there, on a rutted trail eastbound on Barnet, then I was gone! Vanquished!

Yet, this was no Houdini-esque disappearance! I had crashed my power chair into a six foot (I found this out later) ditch with blackberry coverage!

If you didn’t see me careen off the trail, you’d never find me!

Looking back, I know that after clearly that shrub, I straightened out, and I eased up the throttle a tiny bit. Which one caused CJ-3 to hurl itself to the bottom of the ditch, I’ll never know.

Part two: There is life in the void…

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