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Published: June 10th 2017
We Be Trippin!
I am surprising myself with how much I am liking life on the road. I can feel myself changing, relaxing in a way that I don't in my day-to day life. In my role as a sherpa, I am getting into the groove of setting up camp in a different place every night, and going with the flow of what different campsites have to offer. It seems that you can get all of your needs sort of met, but not all in one place. today you may have water and a shade tree, but no electricity, tomorrow you will have the electric but the bathroom is tiny/far away/impossible to get a kettle under the tap. The next day you might have everything you want but its crazy windy or loud or buggy, but its all okay, tomorrow will be all different!
June 01 - Kenora to Prawda - Pine Tree Campground- "A River Runs Through It"
For me this trip started with a lovely coffee morning with my friend Kris and a tour of her recent work. She is always so warm and also inspiring, her enthusiasm about making art is contagious.The tent went up
in Prawda (not quite as glamorous as it sounds. There were no other tenters there, so we had the whole of a beautiful little riverbank to ourselves. Upside: First swim of the year. Downside: I got 4 ticks, but at least they were all the "good" kind.
June 02 -Headingly Manitoba - KOA - "It Was a Dark And Stormy Night"
Mike managed to survive riding across Winnipeg, and I survived being lost in Ikea for most of the afternoon. I didn't like this spot all that much and complained about the gravel everywhere until I stepped in the prairie gumbo, then I understood. I managed to get our camp set up and get dinner down just ahead of a huge thunderstorm, so we huddled in the tent and read until we finally fell asleep. Good test - our tent stayed nice and dry, except for all the mud we tracked into it. Interesting fact; After intensive reseach I have discovered that you cannot buy blocks of ice in Manitoba. At about the fourth place I asked the clerk said "sure!" and gave me a bag of cubes - tiny blocks I guess. She couldn't understand why I
would want one big cube.
June 3 - MacGregor - Lions Club Campground - "I hear That Train A Comin'" or "Wondering Where the Lions Are"
This was a lovely campground that we had all to ourselves. It was so windy that the tent kept flattening out, but it would pop right back up between gusts. The town was eerily empty, except for the occasional smiling couple walking through holding hands, Mike was a little afraid to go to sleep because of a possible Stepford Wives situation, but it turned out that the thing to dread was the fact that we were right near a level crossing with an amazing amount of train traffic, which had to blow - 2 longs - 1 short - 1 long over and over until we were both laughing and kind of crying.We never did see the lions,but I did get invited to a chuch picnic, which I didn't stick around for. Interesting fact about MacGregor: the liquor store is one aisle in the pharmacy. Handy for self-medicating.
June 4 - Brandon - Meadowlark Trailer Park-"The Bitter End"
Poor Mike and his raggedy ass. At this site we were camping
sort of a traffic island in a trailer park - a mix of permanent residents and construction workers - But we were under an amazing shade tree and about 10 steps from the bathroom. Really this evening was all about how sore Mike's bum was, but I had a nice time. This Concludes the Eastern riding part of our journey, its a car ride for the next while.
June 5 - Swft Current-Kilton Hills Campground - "Baby Its Cold Outside"
On the bald prairie, this night was marked by how cold we were, with every blanket and quilt and all of our clothes on. The other notable thing about it was the tiny bathroom, brand new and interestingly made of diamond plate metal, but so small you had to back into it. The sink was slightly bigger than a cereal bowl, and the shower room was the size of a shower stall (the small kind). The young couple who ran it were really sweet, and its only their second year, so still working out the bugs I guess. Upside: there were no bugs (too cold).
June 6 - Calgary - Judy and Ray's - "Its all about
This was an excellent visit.When we arrived at Mike's sister's house, our mutual friends Bill and Robin were already there. After some quick hellos,we tore off to the river in 2 cars to see if we could meet Jesse, who was going through on his epic canoe trip from Banff to Wickens Lake. We arrived just in time to see his little red canoe disappear around the bend. Back to Powells where we had a lovely dinner with our friends and family. Our friend Brenda was there, as well as Mike's brothers David and Peter and their wives Arlyne and Christine, our nephew Reuben and his wife Jo and their children Robson and Baby Jac, whom we hadn't met before. A real family gathering! Best part - sleeping in a real bed and having Judy cater to our every need.
June 7 - Salmon Arm - A Trip Down Memory Lane
It was a little strange being here without Mike's parents, but also good. We met up again with Bill and Robin and had a really nice time. Our first night in a hotel on this trip and I have to say I kind of missed
my tent (it was a pretty crummy hotel). It was excellent to get a bonus visit with the Dawes.
June 8 & 9- Vancouver - Emily and Du's - Let's Just stay Here Now!
It was my first experience of driving through the mountains to get here and I was kind of scairt, but I did do it for a while and it was okay. We are delighted to be here in E and D's really nice apartment. It has undergone some drastic renos since I was last here, and is just as quirky and art-filled as you would expect from a pair of artists. Today we went down to Mountain Equipment Co op and kitted Mike out. According to the guy down there, you have 3 points of contact with the bike - hands, bum and feet. So we have rebuilt those parts, better, stronger, faster (all the parts in between are still standard issue). I am looking forward to spending the next few days here in one place.
So far, so pretty darn good! Mike's ass is almost all better, laundry is done, nothing more to do here but have fun. some more soon. Regards,
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