Journal Entry - June 11, 1999 - (Brandon, Manitoba to
Week 12 - Update from Winnipeg at 2600k
One third of the way to St. John's!
There's nothing wrong with a town or city being uninterested in someone
running across Canada who is trumpeting happiness about our country's
future. But it's a lot more fun for everyone when the alternative
approach is taken by actually joining in the celebration.
Brandon has made a special impact on me. I will forever remember it as
"the city that chose to celebrate". Through the efforts of Maureen
Bonar in City Parks & Recreation, I feel even more justified and
jubilant about the purpose of Running Into 2000. I come bringing joy
and I leave with more of it than I began with.
Just west of Brandon, Maureen escorted Mayor Reg Atkinson out to
welcome me, then arranged for a group of elementary school kids to run
into town with me. They're training for the Manitoba Marathon (in
Winnipeg) as relay teams under Evelyn's guidance. And what an
inspiration she is. We all reach their school (King George Elementary)
and I unleash the fury of my optimism upon them, They are most
Maureen arranged media and 3 other school visits the following day in
addition to providing transportation, a city hall tour and
introductions to her counterparts. Her enthusiasm will carry me for
thousands of kilometres and I will always be grateful. (If you follow
Canadian curling, you may even recognize her name. She is a shy
Also in Brandon, I got to spend a couple of evenings with the
Archambault Family. Elisabeth & I met on the internet and as a result
of our time together, I am pleased to call her a special friend. It's
magical to meet people who touch you deeply. Funny how there are so
many wonderful people around. No one needs to feel lonely if you open
yourself up to meeting new friends.
As I continue to explore Canada in my own way, back in Vancouver,
unbelievabley, things still go on without me! My friends are still
hiking every now and again. Ted's book just went Canadian Best Seller.
Mikey's on his way to climbing Mount McKinley in Alaska. Bill continues
to produce G-Spots (that's bicycles, people), the Carpe Demons
Dragonboat Team won a race (but who cares, they're having fun!).
Melanie has a song in the Top 10 across Canada and is signing a
recording deal. Kay & Rory are getting married and for some reason
Xenia is still interested in marrying Ron. I already miss all these
people and I'm going to miss a lot of celebrations, but someday, I'll
be back home and we'll have a big party. Right?
If you're very, very busy, you don't have time to "miss" people.
"Missing" them takes up time. My current schedule allows me to miss a
lot of people. Even people I haven't missed in a long time. I finally
have time to miss them properly. I am getting very good at missing
people. I even miss people I've recently met! Confound you all for
being so missable.
So my new schedule is a bit silly. I'm up very early and done very
early. My running progress is way better than I had anticipated, so
I've got all this free time on my hands. So I tour. I read. I write. I
talk. I visit. I miss people. Sometimes I sit and think. Other times I
I've found a great activity for taking up time: Trying to avoid
mosquitoes. With their hatching levels up 5000% (yes, five thousand
percent) avoiding them can be a challenging pastime. But very worthy.
As bad as 5000% seems, it's manageable. Only the girls bite, so it's
only a 2500% increase in bitting possibilities. That's like every time
you used to see a girl mosquito, now you see 25 of them looking at your
veins and licking their little mosquito lips (actually you see 50 in
total, but the 25 boys are only there to bug you). Winnipeg has taken
action against them. They're doing "fogging" which is currently a
mystery to me. But they're excited about it. They're also excited about
the PanAm Games happening here this summer.
It's a beautiful city full of wonderful people. Just like everywhere in
Canada, but uniquely Winnipeg. It's hard to explain, but each town or
city has a feeling about it that words will not help in conveying. You
all know what I'm trying to say. You'll never know Paris until you're
in Paris. Same for every place in the world. And each visitor receives
something unique from having been there. Winnipeg waved to me as I went
through, but Brandon hugged me. Manitoba has overall been tremendous.
The prairies are pretty much behind me now. The trees and rolling
terrain are here. Manitoba is the gateway to undulation among many
other things of course...
The blackbirds were circling me the other day. 10 of them on the power
line. One would come down, do a loop over my head, singing like crazy,
then go back to the power line, then the next one did the same. All the
while cribbaging their way down the line, following me. I think they're
bored. They used to have to hunt for food, but now they just fly for
100 metres with their mouth open and they're chock-a-block full. So
they need stuff to do. And they end up escorting me. Singing for me.
Maybe it's the "Our Bellies Are Full" song or something.
So it's a couple of days rest now in Winnipeg, then back on to my
friend the Trans Canada Highway. I'll be in Ontario soon, for goodness
sakes. Vancouer to Winnipeg is one third of the trip. Winnipeg to
Ottawa is the next third. And I'll still be in Ontario! What surprises
does Ontario have for me in the next 3 months? What surprises await you
in the next 3 months? Isn't it great when we don't know exactly what
will happen? Doesn't that make life worth living? If you're finding
your life predictable, you are sheltering yourself (successfully) from
the most exciting aspects of life itself. Why would predictability be
appealling? We're not lab rats. We are exciting souls embarking on the
journey of a lifetime. Let's live it fully. GO explore your world and
find a you that excites you and speaks of who you are. Go out there and
seize the day.
Get out there. Live your life.
Find some more people to miss.
Previous Journal Entries
|June 3, 1999
||Regina SK to Brandon, MB
|May 21, 1999
||Gull Lack SK to Regina SK
|May 11, 1999
||Medicine Hat AB to Gull Lake SK
|May 4, 1999
||Fort Macleod AB to Medicine Hat AB
|April 23, 1999
||Cranbrook BC to Fort Macleod AB
|April 15, 1999
||Grand Forks BC to Cranbrook BC
|April 4, 1999
||Osoyoos BC to Grand Forks BC
|March 28, 1999
||Hope BC to Osoyoos BC
|March 21, 1999
||Vancouver BC to Hope BC
|Pre-Trip - Jan 26 - March 15