Friday, September 2, 2011

2010 Alaska Sunk - Part 2 of 15

2010 Alaska Sunk
Part 2 of 15

 Rain Rain Go Away

One hour after leaving Ottawa the skies unloaded their torrential rain but I ignored it as best I could. My rainsuit was doing a reasonable job of keeping me more or less dry but the heavy rain affected my load. I felt it beginning to shift to one side due to its increasing weight so I pulled off to the side of the road while I repositioned it to make it more secure. I started to think of what I could possibly get rid of while I continued riding but I needed all I had. Everything I had packed was absolutely essential. I had no extras. I could not realize that early in the trip that I would be rethinking my views on that later on.

Love at First Sight!

Ah! ...a pleasant interlude to take my mind off the rain. After riding north on Highway 17 for about three hours I came across a McDonald's restaurant at Deep River. It was time to get a hamburger. I stepped inside the door and stood still while I removed my helmet, my skull-and-crossbones bandana and my rain jacket. I didn't realize that as I was doing this I was off-loading a sizable pool of rainwater at my feet. The restaurant was full. A kids' birthday party was taking place. A lot of kids were running around like lunatics while one of the mothers was losing her head trying to gain some kind of control over them. She looked disheveled and bedraggled. Coincidentally, our eyes met and she visibly had to restrain herself from laughing out loud at my soggy predicament. At the same time, I felt glad it was she, and not me, trying to get control of those screaming brats. Our eyes locked. Hers on mine, and mine on hers. We connected momentarily and silently and definitely unmistakeably. She so desperately wanted to escape from her lunatic asylum and she said.. . “Please, please take me out of here. Take me with you to wherever you are going.” She was pleading with me to take her out of her turmoil and out into the night. I responded by telling her that, “sorry”, but I hadn't got any room on my bike. Not one word was spoken in this communication but we understood each other perfectly. It was a golden moment in an otherwise trying day. It was a transient moment of restrained love which was suddenly gone as quickly as it appeared – forever.

She went back to cleaning up a fallen ice cream cone off the floor and I lined up for a cheeseburger.

Campfire Music

It was dark when I arrived at Chutes Provincial Park just North of Manitoulin Island at Massey. Fortunately, I knew my way around because I had stayed there many times before. The rain had eased off a bit and I was looking forward to a pleasant night in my pup tent. Everything was damp including my sleeping bag but I was looking forward to listening to my mp3 player which I had uploaded with my very favorite music before I left Ottawa. I had a couple of hours worth of my favourite musical selections; a freshly made submarine sandwich and two cans of cold Coors Light. What more could a guy possibly ask for? I was finally ready to relax. I zipped my tent tight, snapped open a beer, bit into my sub and listened to selections from the Civil War album including the Battle Hymn of the Republic; Palmyra Scottish; Lorena and others and my special favourite from Jerry Fielding's Wild Bunch, El Golonrina. This is what its all about. How wonderful it is. This is what I do.

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