“We did a report on the West Coast Trail in school a couple years ago. It was carved out of the rainforest, somewhere in the 1900’s, designed as a life-saving route for shipwrecked mariners, right?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“You into hiking, Eilea?” Paul asked curiously.
“Yes, although I’d have to work up to that one. It is a 77 kilometer hike accessible via log bridges, ladders, and cable cars. It is exceedingly popular although it’s by no means amateur. A colleague named Mason goes regularly told me it’s not unusual to find expensive cameras, hiking gear, tents and clothes dropped by hikers unprepared for the ruggedness of the terrain.”
“Wow, that sounds harsh, mom. I’ll stick to the Cape Scott Trail, it’s hiking experience enough for me for now anyway.”
“I hope I have the opportunity of experiencing hiking up your way. Perhaps I can rely on you to show me around, Andrew. I would appreciate an accomplished guide.”
“Sure. Just give me plenty of warning so I can get ready.”
“It’s a deal.”
“Long Beach has been a favourite spot from the moment I set eyes on it, so I can’t wait to walk the beach, sit in front of a roaring fire and visit the art gallery in Uclulet.”
“I’m looking forward to the hot springs. I know they do whale watching cruises, but we’ve already been to Telegraph Cove and it was pretty spectacular. We listened to whale song when they dropped a mike overboard and whales circled our boat,” Andrew remarked.
“Brandon mentioned trying his hand at hang-gliding suggesting he’d like to take Christina along if she’s interested.”
“That sounds cool,” Andrew was excited, “I wouldn’t mind trying it too. What do you think, mom?”
Turning to Paul he asked, “Do you mind if I play some music?”
“Go ahead,” Paul answered.
“Don’t worry, I like a mixture of music, you won’t get stuck with just rap. I bought the CD to Batman thinking it was going to be cool, but it was pretty lame. Mom and I sat and laughed when we heard it. It was kind of disappointing.”
Paul’s attention was suddenly riveted on the rear-view mirror. “Jesus.”
“What is it?” Eilea asked alarmed.
“That ass back there nearly ran the kids off the road.”
“What? Stop the truck, stop the truck!” she beseeched.
Paul waited until it was safe, then slowed the truck, turned around on a dime and went in pursuit, stopping long enough to let Eilea and Andrew out when he drew abreast of the van then sped after the other vehicle.
With a tremble in her voice, Eilea asked, “Is everyone ok? What happened?”
“This dude came racing up behind us and started bumping the van. I slowed down as soon as he tagged us, but he just kept it up, nudging us again and again. I tried pulling off the road but when I did, he hit us again and the van started swerving. I managed to keep it under control and as soon as he saw Paul slow down, he slammed on the breaks and took off.”
“Did you see what he looked like?”
“No. He was wearing a red cap, pulled real low and it hid most of his face and he kept his head down.”
“What about the rest of you, did you notice anything about him or the vehicle?”
“I tried to get the license plate number, but it was so muddy I couldn’t read it!” Theresa offered.
“What kind of vehicle was it, what color?”
“It was an old red GMC truck.”
“When Paul gets backs, he might be able to tell us more.”
“You’re all ok?”
“Thank god for seat belts, “Cliff noted, “otherwise we’d have been thrown all over the place.”