July 21

July 21st, 2007

It’s always nice to be somewhere with internet access so I can check my e-mails in the morning before skating. But today I was swamped by a plethora of messages in my inbox. Normally I’d give a sigh and work relentlessly to answer each of them. But today was different. I half expected to see them. Thank you to everyone who remembered. And thank you to Facebook for reminding everyone else who wouldn’t have known. 🙂


If you asked me one year ago where I thought I’d be today, I don’t think I would have answered “Wabigoon”. To be completely honest, there’s nothing special about turning 28. However, I can say that this will go down as one birthday I’ll never forget. Who else can say they rollerbladed over 100 kilometers through Northern Ontario on their birthday?


After opening my gift from Crystal and a card from my folks, I did what I’ve done everyday for the last 2 and a half months. I laced up the blades, turned my back on the sun and headed West. No time to celebrate now. I’ll have plenty of opportunity to party when I get home.


I hadn’t skated more than 15 kilometers when I came up behind another RV on the side of the highway. It was pretty obvious that this was someone on a trek of their own across the country. But it’s nice to see someone going West against the consistent flow of cyclists. Denise began a 3000 km walk from Ontario to Saskatchewan. We stopped and chatted for some time about our travels. I gazed back at her safety RV in admiration. Our 1978 motor home made their 1981 look like a Ferrari! But it was reassuring to know that they had ensured even more repairs than we have. The encounter with Denise was a great morning break, but it was time to get moving.


We stopped for lunch near a tranquil waterfall about 40 km from where I started. Not a great morning, but not bad considering I started a bit late and had the unexpected break with Denise. The afternoon was jammed pack with excitement and action. As I skated along the highway, I was amazed by the number of trees, rocks and lakes. Ok, so it wasn’t that exciting. In fact, it was as typical as the day I started in Northern Ontario. All my efforts were being focussed on concentrating on my music to maintain my sanity.


I received a few phone calls from Crystal, Jeff, Eugene and Donna to wish me a happy birthday. Always nice to hear friendly familiar voices. Thanks everyone.


I ended my big day just outside of Dryden. We stopped at the first campground we found, but we were turned away again! The excuse today: “I already give sooo much to The Canadian Cancer Society. I can’t give any more”. The owner then had the audacity to complain to me that the people working for the CCS make too much money and his money is just going to pay salaries. Well, my friend, it sounds like you need to re-evaluate where you make your donations. In a sick twist of irony, we went down the road less than 3 kilometers to another campground who gladly accepted us for free. The irony: the owner of this location is the Aunt of the man who had just turned us away. Good thing we were careful to watch what we said about the other campground!


I had some delicious bison burgers for dinner and a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. Not exactly the birthday dinner you’d expect, but more memorable than any other. I’m now only about 150 km from Kenora. So I’ll have no trouble getting there in time for the reception at Boston Pizza on Monday night.


I have to get back to another game of Mosquito Minute. But I may increase it to the Mosquito Hour.

Posted in Daily Journal | 2 Comments »


2 Responses to “July 21”

  1. Diane O'R Says:

    A belated happy birthday to you, Rich. Any meal is good for your birthday, if you don’t have to cook it yourself. 🙂 Wonder how you will top this next year???

  2. Noreen O'Reilly Says:

    Hey Rich!!
    Well, this shows you how far behind I’ve been on reading your journal lately. The great summer weather keeps calling me to stay outside most of the time.

    Happy (belated) Birthday!!!! 🙂
    I’m going to try to catch up on the journals today!

    Oh, and I’ve had the comment given to me before, about donations just going to pay for people’s saleries. I heard one person say that Paul Alofs the CEO at Princess Margaret makes way too much money and that’s probably where they’re donations go to.
    Well, I know for a fact that Paul Alofs raises quite a lot of money in donations every year.

    It’s usually the people that make these comments that just sit back and let everyone do the work! 🙂

Leave a Reply

 Comment Form