Chasing the Dream with Caleb Brown: lesson learned

Just last week I was invited to DJ a tree planting company’s year end party out in the woods between Sparwood and Elkford. I played at this camp a few years ago, so I knew some of the crew and there were even a few of my friends working there for the few months that is the planting season so it is always an exciting evening. On their last day a grizzly wandered onto the block where a group was working and treed more than one of them, so to say the least, this was a celebration of all sorts.

I had a hard time finding friends to join me for the evening but ended up convincing one buddy to come, and another friend lent us her 1974 Dodge camper van for the evening. We showed up fashionably late and I set up my turntables in the clouds of mosquitoes, enjoyed the sunset then turned on the music and settled in for a six hour set.

Slowly the people moved from the fire and into the mess tent where I was set up. A dance party ensued and they danced late into the night. After a while the people dissipated and I was finally able to shut down the music and crawl into the van for a few hours sleep before having to get up and drive back to Fernie to go to work at GearHub.

Shortly after we woke I turned the key of the van and it wouldn’t start. I knew there was a trick to it so I popped the hood but everything looked in order so I called Fiona. She laughed and asked me if it was in neutral, which it wasn’t. I tried again and it started. Before I hung up Fiona said that she had an interesting dream the night before. A dream where she was walking the van down the road with a rope, which was something that she felt was a bad sign so she told me to drive carefully.

We came through Hosmer, crossed the bridge and were almost home when Seb asked me if I were to build a cabin where would it be. I started to look towards Mt. Hosmer and as I did I noticed a deer walking through the ditch towards the road. I remember saying “No, don’t do it!” There was a car behind me and I had only a short moment to slow down as the deer ran right out in front of us and I hit him square on, sending the poor animal into the other lane. The van squealed and smoked as I pulled over to the side of the road. Looking back the deer was dead and luckily a Main Road maintenance truck was behind us and pulled over and dragged the deer off the road before we even got out of the van.

I instantly thought about Fiona’s dream. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never killed an animal, or destroyed someones property. It was a hard pill to swallow but having grown up in these parts I am lucky that this was the first time encountering an animal on the road.

So far I have been able to bend the front end of the van back into place and remove the radiator, which hopefully is the only piece that needs to be replaced in order to get the van back up and running. All I know is that I will get that van back on the road, and it was a good lesson and experience which could have been a lot worse.