June 21, 1999

 

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What's New!!

 

Journal Entry - June 21, 1999 -  (Winnipeg, MB to Kenora, ON)

Update from Kenora, Ontario - 2846.2 Kilometres from Vancouver

The government and media of Winnipeg were mostly indifferent to my
little adventure, but despite them, the city was a highlight of the
trip anyway. I have some new friends. Some new people to miss. Chris
Mager's sister, Jackie, her husband Gord Friesen and their children
Jarrett and Princess Rhianna rescued me from blandness and shared
themselves with me vigorously. I never tire of seeing a loving family
in action. But when they tired of me, they personally escorted me on
the 10k trek to Jackie's brothers' place. Paul and Lea Mager took over
the hospitality baton quite intensely. Gord and Paul dragged me on an
unforgettable tour of Winnipeg that felt like three old friends getting
together for a laugh. Thanks. I needed that.

Gord & Paul reminded me about communicating. We all spoke English, so
we used that. We also knew how to laugh, and we used that too. But
there was more. It was a deeper connecting that I'm sure you can all
relate to. I noticed it because I don't feel it everyday, in my current
lifestyle. It's a sharing between people of like minds. Cherish it when
you get it... I's awesome.

As for the English language, it is limited. It does a good job usually,
but sometimes it falls down. Take the day I left Winnipeg, for
instance:

From a phone booth, I called Q94 Radio to request Mel's new song, "When
I Think Of You" (that's Melanie Dekker, by the way - request it!). I
spoke wih "Dug Joy" who said he'd puy it on in 5 minutes. We got to
talking after he asked why I was in Winnipeg if Melanie was my roommate
in Vancouver. I told him about the run, and he asked if I had been
getting "lonely" (sort of). I said my girlfriend Jane, was visiting me
every province so far, but she's missed Manitoba. He said, "Well,
you're in the right province then!". I said, "What?" and we went on to
something else. I was running out of Winnipeg near the Trans Canada
Highway when I heard the dedication: "This song goes out to Kevin
Thomson, who is running across Canada. He says Melanie Dekker is his
roommate and he'd like to hear her new song. I don't know if I believe
him since he also said his girlfriend is Miss Manitoba, but here it
is..."

I had to stop and laugh as I enjoyed hearing Mel's song for the first
time. Later I thought I should get hold of Miss Manitoba to apologize
or at least contact the DJ again to straighten him out. But
communications are difficult on a trans Canada run. Knowing this, the
universe set into motion a bunch of things to enable Dug Joy and I to
meet in a grocery store 125k east of Winnipeg in Falcon Lake. We
laughed for many reasons and life was a bit sweeter that day for both
of us seeing the universe perform tricks...

Every day, people approach me with the usual questions and every once
in a while someone says something that strikes a chord. This week
someone said out loud about my trip: "I wish I had the time to do
something like that." This got me thinking about our concepts of time.
For me, time is a great treasure. To use it doing anything but exactly
what I want to do would be for me to waste it away. Apparently, others
seem to prefer to do other things. Second choices. Things other than
what they really want to do. Perhaps there are obligations felt that
create that type of thinking, but somewhere these obligations were
chosen. So it's all a matter of choice. Regardless, at the start of
each day, all we have is time. Our very own special time to do what is
most precious to us. We can do "anything" we want. We just cannot do
"everything" we want. That's why we must choose.

Hitting the Ontario border has been a whirlwind tour of beauty and new
friends. The Mager Family continued to exert it's influence on my trip
by setting me up with their good friends, the Jarema's. I spent my
first night in Ontario at their "cottage" at the Lake of the Woods.
When Joe heard that many years ago I had finished a navigation course,
he and his wife Gail took me on a boat tour through a maze of 10
billion islands asking me to point the way...It was a beautiful place
to be lost. What a wonderful evening getting to know them, their
neighbours, and their daughters, Karen and Susan. Even if I had to push
the RoadRunner up some "Big Momma" hills to get there. Nice of them to
help on the way out, the next day...

In another fit of hospitality, Jackie and Gord Friesen arranged for me
to join them on a weekend retreat in a remote camp outside Kenora with
50 other volunteer YMCA aerobics instructors. Just another day in
Paradise. Thanks to Dave & Shaon for allowing me to visit and do a wee
talk about my trip. The bonfire, singing, storytelling, morning lake
plunge, my first ever leg massage, high ropes course, boat cruise and
new friends are more special memories that I will cherish... Those
Friesens, you just gotta love 'em.

As I was relaxing in Kenora, I was visited by the amazing Don Little.
Don was in a car accident in 1985 where he was lucky to survive but
ended up with brain damage. Once a promising student, his life is now
an endless series of everyday challenges just getting by. Last
September, Don rode his bicycle from Kenora to Dryden to raise
awareness of brain damage issues as well as $10,000 for victims of
same. Don has dreams. He's saving up enough money to buy a new bicycle
and wants to do an even longer trip to continue to raise people's
awareness of brain damage. Don can distinguish between fantasies and
dreams, and he taught me about the difference. Dreams are things you
can do something about and if you work hard enough at them, they can
come true. Fantasies are not likely to happen. He says they're just for
fun.

Even though Don talks a bit slower than most people, he still speaks
with wisdom. He's helped me to understand a basic and simple truth and
I know he'll make his dreams come true.

Some people have yet to discover this distinction like Don has. Some
people think they will be happy when their dreams come true, but
they're really not dreams at all. They keep hoping for nothing but
fantasies.

Life is simple: There's plenty of time to do what we really want, as
long as what we really want is not some wild fantasy. Take it from Don
and choose wisely.

Missing you all, from Ontario.

Coyote Kevin

Previous Journal Entries

June 11, 1999 Brandon, MB to Winnipeg, MB
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 Vancouver BC

 

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Last updated: October 30, 2003.