July 22

July 23rd, 2007

Weather forecast for today… Thunder storms, lightening, and HAIL! I rolled over in bed and glanced out the window to see dark clouds looming overhead. Sigh. Well, at least it wasn’t raining yet. But I thought it would be best to put my rain skates on right away so I wouldn’t be frustrated by having to change them when it finally did start to pour. Prepared for the worst from the Weather Gods, I set out from Wabigoon and headed for Dryden. A few sprinkles of wetness were tossed towards me from the heavens above, but nothing significant yet. I cruised into Dryden happy that I was still dry.


The RV was in need of fuel and I was getting hungry, so we pulled into the Husky Truck Stop for a break. A wave of familiarity swept across me. I’d been to this truck stop before. In fact, I’d even slept here before! This was where Crystal and I had stopped on our second night when we were moving out West. I’d call it a coincidence, but I think the odds are pretty high that I’ll continue coming across these spots.


Not far past Dryden I heard a friendly honk of a horn behind me. Normally I’d give a little wave or a thumbs up as the car drove past, but this time my Dad buzzed me on the radio to take notice of the vehicle coming up on me. It was a couple who had stayed beside us in the campground last night. They had left well before me, but were held up in Dryden for a while. They waved happily at me as they crept past with a line of transports stacked up behind them. I’m sure the truckers weren’t pleased with the slight delay, but it made me smile to see them again.


We’ve been warned countless times about the wildlife of Northern Ontario. Specifically the moose. Just before breaking for lunch, I looked over to my right and saw an entire herd of giant, brown, furry animals. But these weren’t moose (or is it meese?). To my disappointment, they weren’t even wild. But my disappointment quickly vanished and morphed into excitement. They were bison! We pulled into the driveway which was advertising bison meat. What a perfect opportunity to stock up. This place had pepperoni, steak, sausage, roast, and more. As if it wasn’t good enough that we were getting our fix, the owner then made a substantial donation to my Skate For Hope and also gave me a stack of pepperoni sticks at no cost! You’re an incredible, generous woman, Janice. I’m sure business is good, but I still recommend everyone checkout Northern Wildlife Meat Products in Oxdrift, Ontario.


The cities and towns up here are few and far between. We paused for lunch at the crossroads leading to a village called Eagle River. And after eating, I worked my way to Vermillion Bay. I wasn’t too tired or hungry at this point, but I stopped because I remembered reading on the map that once we left Vermilion Bay there would be no civilization until Kenora. It was a stretch of nearly 100 km. As I coasted into a parking lot to stop, I noticed a family playing frizbee by their truck. I hadn’t even come to a complete stop when they came over to talk to me. It turned out that they were from Sudbury and had read about me in the Sudbury Northern Life paper. They were wonderful people and very enthusiastic. Not only did the gentleman hand me a significant donation, but his niece and nephew also made incredible donations of their own. It was great meeting you. I hope to see you again when you come back through from Winnipeg!


A few additional hand-off donations from moving cars and 35 kilometers later, here I sit. Literally in the middle of nowhere. We are 60 km East of Kenora. We were lucky to find a small hotel willing to let us plug into their electricity for the night. The family that runs this place are great, too. I’m still amazed by the people of Canada. I can count on one hand how many people have not been accepting of me. Even here in No-Mans-Land, Ontario, the generosity and hospitality from complete strangers is remarkable. We are truly lucky to be living in such an incredible country.

Posted in Daily Journal | 2 Comments »


2 Responses to “July 22”

  1. Robert Werner Says:


    Everything is now up to date on the graphical map of your journey: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=103303275556030652048.0000011272b2ebdf29715&om=1&ll=50.064192,-93.603516&spn=48.568612,110.390625&z=4

    And I just added a new posting to my blog about your grand entrance into Manitoba: http://pelalusa.blogspot.com/2007/07/rich-ralph-is-in-manitoba.html

    Go Rich, Go!!!


  2. Eloise Kingswood Says:

    Hi Rick:
    My nephew Rick Burnell from Thunder Bay has sent me your site, and told of his meeting with you.
    I am amazed at your attitude and dedication to such a worthy cause.
    You have made your parents quite proud. That I am sure of.
    Each day I check your site out to see what new has transpired on your marvelous Journey of Hope
    I was raised just out of Dryden, Ontario…so it as if I was travelling with you as I read of the towns you have visited.

    Keep up the good work and we will be looking for you when you arrive back in British Columbia
    Bless your little Pea pickin heart for all the work you and your family are doing in the name of Cancer.
    Both my husband and I have been touched by cancer in smaller ways, but I have just lost a 56 year old friend, by the name of Diana Kay in Thunder Bay.
    She had been like my little sister since she was newborn up to the day she died in October of 2006.
    Thank you
    Eloise and Jack Kingswood

Leave a Reply

 Comment Form