July 16

July 16th, 2007

Northern Ontario is truly testing my physical and mental strengths. It was another exhausting day in both aspects.


I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. That’s pretty much the only thing going through my head this morning as I was faced with 2 mammoth sized hills almost immediately. Talk about frustrating. When I reached the top of the first hill, I was anticipating a nice break while I coasted down the other side. Wrong. Who knew that a hill can be on top of another hill?? Fortunately the pavement wasn’t too bad, the wind wasn’t strong and it wasn’t raining. But it was still tiring as hell.


I was cruising along side the beautiful Lake Superior coast line when I came up to a gorgeous area called Rossport. The crisp blue water seemed to be almost embedded into the swirling sand and jagged rocks. The green trees, the islands and the cliffs had seduced me into a hypnotic trance allowing me to forget about the rough start to my morning. Then as I passed Rossport the road swung hard to the right and began a gentle climb. I strained to see around the bend in front of me to try and catch a glimpse of the top of the hill. But the slope started to grow. The bend continued to wind. The hill came out of no where and caught me completely by surprise. It’s incredibly tough to pace yourself when you have no concept of how high the peak of the mountain will be. Not being able to see around the corners made for an excruciating climb. I was breathing hard and my arms were swinging wildly trying to provide some extra momentum. The air was still since I was engulfed in an endless canyon of rock surrounding me. The calmness and the late morning heat made for a perfect breeding ground for the infamous black flies. I had no way to escape the pesky little buggers. I couldn’t go any faster and they were only motivated to attack me more with every hot breath I took. Finally at the top, I was nearly ready to collapse, but I kept my legs moving until I was away from the flies. By the time lunch rolled around, I’d only managed to squeeze in 35 km. But my mom was happy because we stumbled across a patch of amythest. I personally think it’s just another rock, but whatever floats your boat.


It was encouraging to hear that the worst was behind me. Apparently the hills that I had just faced were some of the toughest in Ontario. A few nice down hill slopes helped me reach Nipigon even with my hard morning. I even hit one hill which allowed me to reach a top speed of over 60 km/h! And I didn’t have to push to hit that speed! I actually had to slow myself down at one point. That’s the kind of rush I live for!


As I said, the day was another mental challenge. I’ve been looking forward to getting to Thunder Bay and I’m only one day away now. But the city is starting off exceptionally unresponsive. John Ayearst from the Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal practically hung up on my dad and told us that they get too many “feel good stories” and there was no way they would give me a write up. It’s people like John who impede our progress towards the end of cancer. Without exposure from the media, people won’t know what I’m doing. And if people don’t know, donations won’t be made. Thanks for the support, John.


With any luck, the people of Thunder Bay will see that what I’m doing is unique and donations will be abundant. Ontario has been an incredible province for donations. I’d hate to leave the last major city with a bad taste in my mouth.


We pulled into the only campground in Nipigon and asked if they’d be willing to donate a site for us. The owner looked snidely over her shoulder at us and scoffed. “I’ve already given too much to people like you”. People like me? I was stunned were her lack of empathy. If anyone is coming through the Nipigon area, avoid the Stillwater Campground. There may not be much else in terms of camping in Nipigon, but you don’t have to drive far to find an alternative. We’re just camped at the Husky Truck Stop less than a kilometer from Stillwater, and they were very accepting to have us stay here. The amenities are even cleaner and open 24 hours. Boycott Stillwater Campground!


As I sat here working on my journal, a friendly face popped up beside me in the window. “Have you already been through Marathon?” a voice asked. “Of course he has. He was at the Triathlon,” a second voice chimed in. The men standing beside the RV were the organizers of the Marathon Triathlon that I had watched a couple days ago. The one gentleman missed me in Marathon since he was actually competing. but the other fellow remembered me. We chatted a bit about the road ahead of me but they had to get moving since the sun was setting and they still had a long drive. Great guys and even made a donation. It was a satisfying finish to a draining day.

Posted in Daily Journal | No Comments »


Leave a Reply

 Comment Form