Stewart-Cassiar Highway

Haines

The man who is on the road is still bestowed. While he undergoes lots of attempts to struggle with the temptation of the apostles and in many spots he would like to put up his tent on a permanent basis. But ultimately he knows that everything that creator and nature shows him is a free gift. And all these things and possessions do not belong to anyone, and he must not seize them, because the price he would pay for it, would be the loss of freedom. Kazimerz Mrówka

Iskut. Stewart-Cassiar Highway. I’m sitting at a table in a separate part of the store dedicated to consuming bought-in-the-shop products. A scent of coffee and hot sausages permeates the air. I can not afford a hot dog here, it is nearly half of my daily budget, but I can make my own – there is still a lot of bread and half a kilo of sausages in the panniers (producer wrote that the sausages are made of chicken, with a trace of scraps of other animals). I buy a cup of coffee and ask if I could sit and eat my own stocks. Saleswoman seems to be very confused at first, but finally says that perhaps yes, but she has to call the boss and ask him.

I don’t know what the boss said, but I sat down near a very serious-looking man and started eating my sandwich. It could have happened that I was staring too intensely, or perhaps not in a way I should have, or maybe a man took something into his head, but at some point he said:

– Normally I do not eat like a barbarian, but here they do not have cutlery.

At first, I did not understand, but apparently he meant that he ate a chicken leg with his hands.

– Oh, no, I do not think that you’re eating like a barbarian. I was just looking at you because I wondered that you could come here easily with guns, because I’ve seen signs saying that in British Columbia it is forbidden.

– I ‘m from Oklahoma. I was on the hunt and did not have time to get changed, anyway, what I am, criminal, or what? Is that your bike outside? Yes? Watch out for bears and do not take antlers from the road.

I said that I have a bear-spray and that I see a few bears every day, especially in the evenings. A man stopped eating for a moment.

– If I were you I would not trust this bear-sprey, because with a grizzly you would have to use three of them. And with blacks you will have to fight anyway.

I’m saying that two years ago I saw a mom with two small cubs.

– Oh, so you were damn lucky – he says. – She must have been fed, and you did not look as a tasty prey. It would be best for you to carry a gun. Here you do not buy it, but when you get to Stewart, there is a twin town Hyder, Alaska, and there you may buy a small Colt. Oh, and do not take antlers from the road.

Two years ago, a Japanese cyclist rode with antlers he collected from the road and some road hunters spotted him (ie those that do not want to get into forest to look for the pray, they just go on the way in their jeeps sipping beer, and smoking joints, watching for moose on the road, and when they see the moose they shoot). So, once those road hunters took the rider as a moose and shot him. I think that even if I found the antlers, it still would not carry them on the bike. As for the Colt, I said, that I would think about it.

In the United States there are 270 million pistols, rifles and carbines in the hands of civilians. Americans represent 5 % of the population of the globe, and have at their disposal 40% of civilian firearms. M. Wałkuski

There are many reasons why Americans are so attached to the weapons. Apart from practical considerations, an admiration for shooting and some cultural factors, weapons and the right to its possession are also associated with American values ​​- above all, equality. [ … ] The American ideal of equality was reflected in the archetype of the hero of the Wild West – cowboy. Unlike European knight or Japanese samurai, cowboy is not the representative of the upper class, but an ordinary American with a Colt – a gun that has been known as “great Equalizer ” and became a symbol of equality. [ … ] As the inhabitants of the Wild West would say: ” God created a man but Colonel Samuel Colt introduced the equality”.

The weapon is also an element of American individualism. Since the beginning of the country, Americans have to rely on themselves and this tradition has survived to this day – especially in the provinces. People living there do not trust the government and are happy to take matters into their own hands, including safety issues. The use of weapons against a person who commits or intends to commit a serious crime, is legal in all 50 states. Everywhere a citizen may arrest the offender caught red-handed, or fleeing from the scene. [ … ]

Another states introduce a “castle doctrine” which says that in his home (also in the yard, in the car or in the office), the citizen is covered by special protection against attack and can kill the intruder, when he only has a “reasonable belief” (” reasonable suspicion ” is not enough) that the attacker intends to cause death or serious injury to persons residing in a particular place. This is a pretty loose standard, almost always leading to the acquittal of someone who shot a burglar. What’s more, in some states, the person staying in your home can kill anyone who barged into the premises, and does not even have to prove that feared for their safety. M. Wałkuski

In Mezidian Junction I put up my tent near the barracks of road workers, and in the morning I got a huge portion of breakfast – bacon, eggs, toast, fruit and plastic bag to eat on the way. It is difficult to express the gratitude, especially after a long day of cycling, in more and more winter conditions.

I got to Hyder, but did not buy a weapon. I’m going with a bear-spray instead, with hope that bears won’t eat me. I’m too skinny:) 

Stewart-Cassiar (15)

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