July 13

July 14th, 2007

Lucky be a lady tonight, cuz it’s Friday the 13th! Good thing I’m not superstitious. I think I should be just fine today. Knock on wood.


The morning started with a nice donation from the girl working at the campground. I hadn’t even put my skates on yet, and already I’d pulled in more donations than yesterday! See what I mean. No need to worry about Friday the 13th.


I set out to conquer the remaining 15 kilometers of Lake Superior Provincial Park. I was face with a couple early hills. Nothing like Montreal River Hill, though. However, it seemed too early in the day to be working so hard. I don’t usually need a break within the first 10 km of my day, but I decided I should take it easy since I had a great day yesterday and I still have a lot of Northern Ontario in front of me.


The break and snack was a good idea because I felt refreshed and rolled into Wawa just after 10 am. We stopped for a few pictures of the Giant Canadian Goose and met some great people from Calgary. One thing we’ve learned about heading into Northern Ontario is to fill your gas tank whenever you see a gas station, and get groceries wherever possible. So we did just that. I also took advantage of the internet connection we had briefly and fired of some e-mails that had been building up in my inbox. By the time we’d run all the chores in Wawa, it was nearly 12 o’clock. So I made the decision to have lunch here before heading towards White River.


While shoveling my face with food a woman came up to the RV. She was a local reporter and wanted an interview. As I talked to her, I learned that she had recently interviewed the man who is running, biking and blading across Canada for MS. I crossed his path in the Soo. I didn’t know too much about him but I discovered some interesting things. I asked the reporter how the man determines whether he runs, bikes or blades each day. Well, he has the luxury of alternating depending on the weather or terrain. I wish him and his team of 5 publicists all the best and I hope they raise a lot of money for MS. I have no choice but to keep my rollerblades on my feet regardless of the conditions, struggles and adversity I face. It is my belief that those suffering from cancer do not have the option to change their disease to make it easier on themselves. So why should I be able to take my skates off just to make it easier on myself?


Not long after leaving Wawa I encounter a perfect example of a challenge that I had to overcome on my skates. A construction zone provided a slight detour off the pavement and across a gravel section. Rather than removing my skates or getting in the motor home, I skated to the edge of the gravel to survey the situation. There were no alternatives available. I began staggering through the dirt, mud and stones. Not wanting to hold traffic back, I was careful to keep to the edge of the cement barrier which divided the gravel road from the construction site. And just to make sure I wasn’t in the way, I actually climbed over the wall and tip-toed my way through the muck and rocks on the construction side. There was no one working, so I was not in any danger from heavy machinery. I did, however, have to climb across several muddy logs to get to the other side. There’s a first for everything, and hiking through this mess was definitely a first.


Being so far north, I don’t see too many American license plates passing me. But today I did see one. I know there are a few American’s lurking on my side and following my progress (Big shout out to all the peeps at Hostway US! And Hi to cousin Rachel, as well as the rest of the Ralph Posse, and all the crew on your ship!), so I thought it would be important to let y’all know that the vehicle from the States slowed down and handed a donation to my Dad as they passed. Cancer sees no boundaries, and neither will the research that I am raising money for. So it was great to see that even our neighbors to the South see the urgency for help. I hope everyone reading this has made a small contribution in some way. Every dollar is another stride towards the end of cancer.


My afternoon was winding down when another car pulled over in front of me. The man who got out to greet me turned out to be Rick Harrington. He worked for Joe FM in Kingston and wa now on his way to Thunder Bay to start a new job with another radio station. It was a complete coincidence that he stopped to donate. He had no idea we were from Kingston. But I’m sure glad he did! Hopefully he’ll working on creating a buzz in Thunder Bay over the next few days before I arrive.


The early evening wind was starting to wear me down. I was very close to hitting 100 km when I decided I’d had enough for the day. Not only was the wind frustrating me, but it seems that drivers begin to get more careless and inconsiderate later in the day. I read through Terry Fox’s journal and now know how he felt. Today I had my first encounter with a trucker who was so heartless that he actually ran me off the road onto the gravel shoulder. Maybe he didn’t see the giant ‘Slow’ sign on our RV. Or maybe he didn’t see our flashing lights. Or perhaps he missed the 25 red flags flapping from our rear. Whatever the case, he came flying past us with his horn blowing and cut close enough to me that I was forced to step of the edge of the concrete. Fortunately I wasn’t carrying a lot of speed so I had no trouble holding my balance, but I could feel my blood pressure rising as I cursed at him and threw my arms up in disgust. I’m becoming a regular guest on a Nation-wide trucker radio station and I’ll be sure to let them know about today’s situation.


I like to try to end on a positive note, so we headed back to a campground that we had passed a few kilometers ago. They once again generously donated a site for us. Some of the other campers even made donations. I’m now only about 30 kilometers South of White River, Ontario. I don’t think I’ll quite make it to Marathon tomorrow, but I’ll give it a shot!

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