Nov 4, 2011

2457km (or so) to Thunder Bay!!!!

After departing Calgary with a sadness in my heart from my own silly romanticism I headed east and made for the land of the Great lakes. I have only ever been to Ontario once before after returning from a good friends wedding with another good friend the Conehaed. We headed back to Canada on September 10/2011 and were awakened with a mad panic phone call from the friend we just saw "DUDE WE ARE UNDER ATTACK" ...."'s early what are you talking about?" "GO TURN ON THE TV!!!!"

 Well we all know what happened after that...the dynamic of the world changed forever. I'd say our world but for anyone who is hooked up through globalism it was a world changing event period.

 This post isn't about the pod plane people, the no plane people, the bomb people, the US gov't, the saudi's, Saddam, the taliban, Afghanistan, Pakistan, shadow governments or the like....but's always a hot topic and it might get me more hits on the blog  :)

 No...this post is about living in the now and enjoying what I have...and almost more so...what I don't have.

 Here in Thunder Bay the weather has been fantastic. We had a little rain one day but my dad's cousin Harry and I were still out in the rain for a 2hr+ bike ride....That's a little early though...let me give you the run up to Thunder Bay.

 The prairies though didn't catch much of my attention because of the exact opposite....brrr fucking brrr. I had snow outside of Regina and heavy heavy fog in Winnipeg. But the truth is, is that 5 minutes before leaving after visiting a magnificent new baby. propane tank developed a hole in the regulator. So after I patched it I wanted to leave it for 48hrs to make sure I didn't have to patch it again...and that led to two very fucking cold nights where I was piled under blankets in order to survive (of course I exagerate...I had many more layers or hypothermia to go through before any danger was a reality). I have been a lover of cold weather camping for my whole life, when we were kids every birthday of mine the folks would patiently pile me, my friends, my brother and sister and their friends into the van and head for somewhere like Paddy's Flats. We'd play hide and go seek in the pitch black in deep snow...everyone bundled up with layer upon layer. It was so much fun, one of the things  would want to share with my kid if I'mm ever lucky enough to have one. Anyway...the point was that cold weather camping in a bunk with a duvet and blankets is not half as much fun as being in a mummy bag...period.

  So I dealt with the cold and also the issue of my phone battery only holding juice for about 4minutes before feeling like it was going to blow up. That led to the miss on lunch with my friend from Winnipeg and with that I decided it was time to do some exploring before I moved on.

Prairie skies
there's a storm brewing




Hello Winnipeg!!!

masonic deers

The Forks

Human Rights Museum

Lake Winnipeg

On the beach for the sunset







  After Winnipeg drove up to Victoria Beach hoping to spend the night. I had no idea what I'd find there but I loved the thought of being around water again after spending so much time on the west coast and lakes this summer. So low and is a funky little cottage community. Huge signs around talking about "this are is regularly patrolled by no no no no no" was starting to look lik Victoria Beach was a bunch of tight asses. However...I parked anyway (where they said not to)...why? Because not one single light was on there...not a single cottage was being lived in. Now i thought I might just roll into someone's driveway and take my chances but I decided, after watching an amazing sunset and taking a walk on the beach that I'd better not test my luck with the RCMP in MB...and headed on. From Victoria Park  went into Beaujolais and spent the night. Woke up and headed for Ontario.

 Just outside of Bear Lake  rounded a bend and surprised three Bald Eagles (two white capped and one spotted) who were taking a bit of dinner on the side of the road. I stopped and took a walk there, took some shots of the eagles (really wishing I had some sick ass telephototoexpensive type shooter at that point as every time i thought I was just about close enough...they'd fly back another 20ft)

 However it led to a swampy but exhilarating hike down the Bear Lake trail (didn't go much more than 1/2 way due to calf deep bog conditions). I got some great enjoyment out of watching some beavers work but missed them on the cam. Enjoyed a rootbeer (almost my last one) and watched a few trains roll by.

 By that point I was quite worried about my van. It had been making a hell of a squealing noise that I didn't think was a pump but a bearing. I asked a kid in Winnipeg to take a look at it and wouldn't you know it I couldn't get the damn thing to make the squeal again leaving him wondering if  was on crack and me wondering...if I was on crack. However there was something wrong...I was losing antifreeze, losing oil and my carb was sticking at highway speeds (pretty scary to round the bend and half to slam you brakes only to find out your engine is still forcing you to go 95. But...what could be done about it...nada. Just drive until I got somewhere I could work on it.

 So  started back on the road again and decided to make a night in Kenora. I really liked this town, it was quiet, had all the amenities that one could want old fashion butcher. Oh that was a welcome sight and my stomach knew it was a pork chop kind of night. By this time my propane tank had been tested and it was given the green light (by myself) for fridge, furnace and food.

Superior shores


The only snow so far!!!

 After Kenora I started on towards Thunder Bay. Now...Thunder Bay is not very far away from Kenora but it's 500 Km took me two solid days. I stopped at Bee Lake for a paddle in the fog and then again at Raven Lake later in the afternoon. After Ravens Lake I decided to take a nap...and woke up to a savage pinched nerve in my neck. It hurt so much it made me laugh this funky creepy hideous painful laugh that in turn made me laugh even harder due to how nutty it sounded. The truth was though...I was fucked. Almost crippled. I tried my best to shake it loose and know that I needed to keep moving because sitting in the middle of the cold woods wasn't going to help it any. So I headed for Thunder Bay...only a stones through away at that point. I didn't make it body shut down at English River...neck was having spasms and I was unable to check my drivers side mirror without incredible discomfort (more painful laughing). So I wrapped myself in every blanket I had covered up my neck and went to sleep...only sleep didn't come. Pain came...pain...damn does it make you focus on everything but the positive. After a restless night I woke with the dawn and decided there was nothing more to do but get to Thunder Bay where a bed was waiting for me.

 And now I am here. I was so excited to arrive...there were these two mythical figures that my dad talks very highly of that I was going to meet...and on my next post you'll find out why it was so worth it it made me think about looking for work in Thunder Bay.

 That's not happening...but I did think about it! :)

1 comment:

  1. Great story man. Enjoyed the part about Kenora & Thunderbay. When I came out East I passed through there too.


Thank you!