In the great north woods (part 2)

Day 3
Spread out for as far as I can see on either side of the roads are the endlessly rolling boreal flats, like a computer games' depiction of forest. Because the growing season is so short, the trees, narrow conifers of a uniform height, are a very brilliant green, every needle new and young.
I can't remember the last time I was so tired. On numerous occasions I think I can't possibly make it to the top of the next hill. I start to feel more and more like we are inhabiting Ian McCaffry's 'The Road,� heading south, foraging for food and white gas, trying to stay warm in the rain and dry at night. As we bike, we pass many roadside outposts that have been abandoned, ancient gas pumps rusting into the ground, boarded windows, sagging awnings and painted signs advertising products that have long since vanished from the market. I have, in moments of despair over global warming, thought the only solution may be a less populated planet, but the lack of population here feels lonely and sad. It is not a world I would want to inhabit.
When I was a kid, my family had an atlas with a two-page photographic spread of planet Earth at night � that image where you can see all the little dots of light gathering at the coasts and sprinkled across the continents. Along with the Russian Steppes and the Saharan Desert, Canada�s boreal forest was the only other landmass that remained uncluttered by the glittering sparkle of civilization. Now we are surrounded by that darkness.
Photo: Summit (Isan Brant)

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