July 27

July 29th, 2007

I was hoping to get a nice early start today, but I also wanted to stick around for a few extra minutes in the morning to see the coverage on Breakfast Television. I don’t really like watching myself on TV, but the story turned out well. The Winnipeg Free Press also published my story today, too. It was a good article, but they missed a few minor details. For instance, I’m not from Newfoundland, and neither is Adam. It’s funny to see some of things the media will print without doing their research. A lot of the little mistakes would be avoided if the reporters would take an extra minute to investigate. It’s not hard to find the information on my site. Nevertheless, it was a decent article that will hopefully drive a bit more traffic to my site.


Last night, Randy had given me an alternative to taping my ankles. His store, Red River Speed, sells a product called eZeefit. They are ankle booties that are designed to stop rubbing and prevent blisters. I’ve taped my ankles every single day since May 5th, so this would be another first. I was a bit nervous, but willing to give it a shot. If these work well, they will be a huge time-saver.


The people of Winnipeg had obviously seen me on Global, City TV and the Free Press. As I skated out of the city and headed Westward, the honks and waves were in abundance. The eZeefit booties seemed to be working well. There were a few new pressure points, but no blisters were forming. I’m also working on my stride today. Randy had given me some pointers to help minimize my energy use and maximize my distance. It feels different, but I’ll give anything a try. I can really feel my legs using different muscles. I’m sure I’ll go through a couple tough days, but it should pay off in the long run.


Conditions today were great. It was hot, but the breeze kept me cool. I was able to cover over 55 km before lunch. Not bad considering I started after 9 am. I took my lunch break and a short nap in Oakville. The town may have the same name, but is nothing like Oakville, Ontario. The owner of the gas bar we stopped at even gave me a free ice cream for a little boost of energy to kick start my afternoon.


The plan was to make it to Portage La Prairie today. But since I wanted to make Brandon, Manitoba tomorrow, I thought it would be wise to get some extra distance beyond Portage to make my next day easier. As I was leaving the Portage city limits, I heard a car come up beside me honking repeatedly. It was pretty obvious that it was a friendly honk. The girl riding in the passenger seat waved to me excitedly. I continued on and was almost back to the main highway when I saw someone sitting on the side of the road ahead of me. The way she sat there, I thought she was a hitch hiker. There were no cars around her, so she must be looking for a ride. When I got up to her, she stood up and walked out towards me. It actually caught me off guard, but it was the girl who had passed me in the car a few minutes before. She held her hand out eager to give me a donation. It was a great gesture to know that she had driven past and then gone out of her way to hand me money.


Later in the afternoon, we were pulled over on a side road so I could take a break and get out of the sun. My Dad has a tendency to put the hood of the RV up every time we stop to let the engine cool a bit better. I figure that it’s only a matter of time before someone makes the assumption that we’re in distress. Well, today was that day. A man stopped and walked over to us. “You guys OK?” he asked as he approached. My Dad explained what was going on and chatted with the man for another 5-10 minutes. He was pretty impressed an ended up giving us a contribution of his own, as well.


I was getting tired but I was determined to make it to MacGregor. Only a few kilometers from the turn off, I saw a car pulled over to the side of the road ahead of me. When I got closer, the driver got out and waved to me. The woman had read about me in the paper in Winnipeg this morning. She knew she would be driving down the Trans Canada and was really hoping to see me. She was more than happy to hand me a donation to help my cause. Manitoba was really living up to its slogan “Friendly Manitoba”.


I had a quick shower at the campground in MacGregor before hopping back in the RV and driving back to Portage La Prairie for a reception at Boston Pizza. I didn’t have high hopes for the small town, but the owner, Randy, went all out for me. He announced to the entire restaurant who I was and what I was doing. He then surprised me by bringing the mascot, Lionel, out to walk around the store with me to collect donations. It’s always the simplest things that are the most effective. I ended up collecting over $300 in a very short time. This was one of the best Boston Pizza stops yet! Even some of the servers and staff made donations, including our server, Jordan. Thanks, buddy!


I had finished 110 km today and had a great reception to finish it off. It was a long, tiring day, but well worth it. I was now only 90 km from Brandon. I should have no trouble getting there for tomorrow night. Or would I?

Posted in Daily Journal | 1 Comment »


One Response to “July 27”

  1. Diane O'R Says:

    Rich, so happy to hear that you have “arrived”!!! I’ll still hit on every BT along your route. I’ve already contacted them in Vancouver and suggested they read your journal entries in March, but will do so again as you get closer.

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