The first time we saw Phil we had a good idea that he was a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman. He and his wife decided to do the West Coast Trail hike with us a number of years ago. He was tall and very imposing. If you had three guesses at what he did for a living, you would have certainly have selected “cop” as one of them.
While hiking along the trail, it is not uncommon to meet fellow hikers heading in your direction or passing you in the other. We had stopped to rest when two young fellows, probably in their twenties, joined us. Talk almost always turns to questions about the trail, where hikers are from, and a good campsite for the evening. Before they resumed their hike, we all agreed to see each other that evening at the same campsite.
When our group arrived at the campsite, we saw that the young fellows were already there and comfortably situated. After setting up camp, I went over to their tent and invited them to join us for coffee and conversation after dinner.
Later that evening they came over to our campfire and made themselves comfortable. We all exchanged conversation. Then it happened! One young fellow went into his pocket and came out with a small metallic container – looked like rolled cigarettes. But the smell? It quickly brought up memories of my university days – cannabis. They lit up and graciously offered it among our group. All heads and eyes turned to the RCMP member. Were we to witness the first West Coast Trail arrest ever? When the reefer was extended to the cop, he turned to the young man and thanked him for his generosity but declined.
The young men stayed with us for some time and enjoyed two or three additional reefers. After they left, we turned to the mountie and asked about his non-action. “I’m on holidays.” Fortunately this announcement did not result in any member of our group entertaining an illegal escapades.
The next morning the young men came by to wish us the best during our hike, never the wiser that they had offered marijuana to a cop. We didn’t see them again.