July 25th, 2007
I woke up in a wet bed today. I looked around frantically to see if the roof was leaking again. Nope. It hadn’t even rained. Had I gone pee in my sleep? Nope. Definitely no smell of urine. Then it hit me. Sweat was rolling down my forehead. It was only 7 am and it was 26 degrees already! It was a hot, sweaty start to the day, and it was only getting hotter.
I tried pacing myself a bit slower today so I wouldn’t over heat and collapse. But it was no trouble to maintain a slow speed. Actually, I couldn’t get my speed up if I wanted to. The road from Dryden to Kenora has great shoulders, but it is completely littered with stones and pebbles. Almost every stride I took was affected by the mess. I had to use every ounce of concentration to watch for and avoid as many stones as possible. It sounds easy, but they blend in to the pavement surprisingly well. Remember the old video game called River Raider? I think it was on Commodore64 and/or Atari. Well, I felt like I was in a life sized version of the game. The objective is to work your way down the river without colliding into oncoming obstacles. It was frustrating skating through this, but I think level 1 is complete.
Before reaching the turn for Kenora, I stopped at a lake for an important photo op. It was Richard Lake! I figured someone would name a street after me eventually, but I never expected to see something so soon! Thank you, Northern Ontario. I’m flattered!
I took a short break prior to entering the Kenora city limits. I had the opportunity to check my e-mails. One in particular caught my attention today. The owner of Davy Lake Campground had sent me a request to ‘retract my previous statement’ from my journal entry a few days ago. I remember mentioning that they didn’t want to donate a night to me, and that’s fine. It’s their prerogative. I’m not sure why, but she even cc’d the University of Alberta. Other than the fact that donations are going to their research program, I have no direct affiliation with the school. But keep in mind that this is just a personal journal. It is my thoughts and feelings. It has no affiliation with anyone other than myself. I’m sorry Davy Lake, but it was and still is of my personal opinion that even though you offered to reduce the rate for us, another $17 would not have caused bankruptcy. I was not asking for a cash donation. All we need is hydro to keep our food from spoiling throughout the night. I hardly think $17 is worth one night of hydro. It would have cost next to nothing for the amount of electricity we would have used. I’m sorry if this offends the owners of Davy Lake, but I cannot retract my personal thoughts.
I followed a police escort into town all the way to Boston Pizza. It was still early in the day so after a brief stop, we headed back to Anicinabe Campground where the provided us with a place to stay. It took me all of 35 seconds to run out of the RV from our site, down to the lake and straight into the refreshing water. With my dark, tanned arms and my milky white chest, I’m sure most people thought I was swimming with a shirt on. You can see what I mean in the photo section.
After a few errands around town, we headed back to Boston Pizza where they gave me a nice reception. A reporter from the Miner was on hand for an interview as well. I must admit, he was probably one of the better reporters I’ve met so far. He had some amazing questions and didn’t waste time asking about all the typical info that anyone can read on my site (i.e. where/when did you start, etc.). He was more interested in my motivation, goals, and thoughts. I can’t wait to see the article.
As we sat enjoying our meals, my Dad’s cell phone rang. Excited as a 5-year-old on Christmas morning, he grabbed the phone and pulled it towards himself. Unfortunately there was a pizza tray in the way which knocked the phone out of his grasp and sent it flying. It came to rest with a Splat directly in the middle of his creamy pasta dish. And this is where the story gets good. Once he wiped the sauce off the phone, he answered the call to discover it was my Mom’s cousin in Winnipeg, Gene. With a little chuckle, my Dad spoke into the phone. “How are you doing, you a-hole?!” he said jokingly. We’d been trying to get in touch with Gene and Evelyn for the last few days and had left a few voice mails for them. So we were expecting this call. Gene didn’t sound amused with my Dad’s humour. Probably because it wasn’t Gene! Somehow, my Dad had got a phone number for the wrong Gene. The man on the phone now was just calling to let us know that we’d been calling the wrong house! Leave it to my Dad to call a complete stranger and a-hole.
My night ended with a nice change of pace. Kim, who I’d met in Thunder Bay with her mom and Grandma, had come down to Kenora to visit a friend. She came over to Boston Pizza and took me back to her friends place where they were having a bonfire. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the company of my parents…for the most part. But it was a nice chance for me to sit back and relax with other people my own age. Thanks Kim, that was definitely a nice break for me.
Tomorrow is a big day. I’ll be entering Manitoba. It’s been a long time coming, but Ontario will soon be a thing of the past. However, I still strongly encourage everyone in Ontario to follow my progress and donate whatever you can.