Journal Entry - June 30, 1999 - (Kenora, ON to Ignance,
I'm very lucky. I get up each day and do what I have chosen to do. It
was my choice to go solo and I therfore get to reflect on thousands of
things silently to myself. Some of which I write about in these weekly
updates. I have ample time to give to each thought that comes up and
decide if it's anything interesting. Sometimes I achieve a high level
of verbosity in comparing things on this outing to other aspects of
life, but mostly, I just ramble on, like now, for instance...
It was recently pointed out to me that although some of my thoughts
were thought-provoking or interesting, similar observations could be
made from pursuits other than a Trans Canada journey. Wholeheartedly, I
Jerzy Kozinski's book, "Being There" is about a gardener who relates
the way the world works by explaining how a garden works. People are in
awe of this man's deep wisdom, when all he's talking about is
gardening. Simple gardening. (NOTE: This analogy does not always work
since no one has yet confused Rob Chernenko's love of gardening with
any form of intelligence...)
Please do not confuse my words with any form of wisdom, either. All I
am doing is discussing my journey's highlights and the thoughts that
occur to me along the way. Indeed, it could be interesting to read
about someone's day to day existence in any profession or project if
that person had given some thought to their observations. If a
seamstress was open to receiving signals and paying attention to the
fascinating world around them, he or she could create some wonderful
writing. In fact, I would love to read such material. If anyone reading
these words would consider writing me a weekly update, it would give me
great joy to receive it. Especially if you're a seamstress! But even if
you do not actually write about it, it may serve you well to observe
your world as if you were going to do so. Aha! A challenge for you.
When we look at maps of upcoming destinations, all we see are place
names and distances. When we look at the same map after having visited
those places names and travelled those distances, we have memories. Now
to look at the map, it comes to life in our hands. It is magic.
And so was Kenora. What used to be a place name is now very much alive
as an exciting 3 day tour filled with new friends, new knowledge and a
grand memory of sights and sounds. After my visit in Camp Stephens,
Kenora allowed me to stay in the beautiful Anacinabe park right in
Kenora's navel. Joanne McMillin and the Mayor (Kelvin "Winky" Winkler)
went out of their way to provide me with some superb memories of the
area by presenting me with a dinner cruise on the MS Kenora where there
was a genuine tour guide espousing knowledge and local lore (no
offense, Paul & Gord). As we toured the Lake of the Woods and dined in
elegance, we entered summer officially. A perfect beginning. Special
thanks also to Travelodge's cat, Boots for her superior hospitality
after the cruise.
Then it was a few days of challenges with construction, bugs and heat
to get to Dryden for the sensational Northwest Campsite where Walter
and Eliana Wittner have achieved campground perfection. After an
energetic and enjoyable dinner with two local couples, I experienced
the most unbelievable thunderstorm of my life which caused a state of
emergency back near Kenora. It was a wild night.
The Kenny's and the Saville's from last night's dinner chose to
continue our debating during a fast food breakfast. A crazy bunch of
people that I enjoyed very much. Turns out they know Roland and Edda
Swan with whom I stayed with next in Wabigoon. In fact, there are lots
of strange connections in this neck of the woods. The Swans were
fantastic hosts for two nights as we enjoyed more topics of debate. Am
I destined to argue my way from coast to coast?
The patrons of "Chez Coyote" have got it all worked out. Mosquitoes get
the breakfast shift. They dine on freshly risen Coyote during the
entire ritual of getting packed. Once on the road, the skeeto's hang
back to allow the no-see-ums and black flies to enjoy a long leisurely
brunch, until the giant horseflies come swooping in to feed on the
diners. This goes back and forth in orchestrated precision...until the
Coyote stops to set up camp again. Then it's dinner time for skeeto's
until it's dinner time for Coyote. As soon as the stove gets going, the
deer-fly's shift commences. These flies can eat Coyote ankle meat even
through socks. After dinner and for the rest of the night, the skeeto's
graze casually. (NOTE: this routine is only applicable during a warm
sunny day. Rainy days are the exclusive domain of skeeto's)
But why are they not all dining at the same time? Not that I'm
complaining, but what the heck is going on?
I'm told there are many moose being killed on the highway this year (9
last weekend within 100k of me) because they are trying to get out into
the open spaces to avoid the skeeto's. Don't ask me how someone got to
understand the inside of a moose's brain, but that's what they tell me.
If I see a moose (haven't seen one since BC), I'll ask it what's up.
There's a lot of cyclists crossing Canada right now and one I met from
Australia didn't have the right gear for bugs. He kept his "restaurant"
open too long and the bugs got him vigorously. He had a bad reaction to
the quantity of bites and when I met him near Dryden, he had just got
back on the road after 10 days of recuperation. Ouch.
Because I am a wimp, I have gear for bugs. Thanks to sponsors like the
Running Room, Backpackers Shop, Infinity Sports, Contour Designs,
Ryders Eyewear and Vasque boots, I've got gear to deal with everything
except heat. I know that heat will be the harshest challenge of the
trip. Already I've had a muggy night of 31 degrees in the tent. Yucky
icky, I get sticky...
But all else is well. My body is managing nicely. The orthotics are my
best friends, my New Balance shoes fit me like they were designed for
me so me feet are like new. My muscles and joints seem better than new
and my pulse is strong and infrequent. Everything is "dialled in". My
original goal of 35k per day now seems excessively easy. Some days I
feel like charging ahead to see how I handle it, but then I realize
I'll be way ahead of schedule, and that doesn't always work out
favourably. All I know is I feel best after a long, exhausting day.
Especially if there's a shower nearby!
I'm writing from the Ignace Library where I will enjoy Canada Day with
the local population of about 1500 souls. Wishing you happiness during
this celebration of our incredible country. No matter where you go,
there you are, celebrating.
And if you remember, send me an email with your own weekly update. I'd
love to hear how you are getting through 1999 and getting ready for the
Happy Canada Day!
From Ignace, Ontario.
Previous Journal Entries
|June 21, 1999
||Winnipeg, MB to Kenora, ON
|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