I'm going to try and finish this story, though it may seem anticlimactic. Having sold the Volusia and the Nomad now, I still lurk a little on this site, but I like to finish what I started....
Waking up in Dryden was an exercise in olfactory torture. Plainly put, it's a pulp and paper town, and it stank. It stank so bad that I wanted to dry heave. The first thing on my mind before breakfast, before coffee, before anything was to get as far away from that smell as I could.
Looking at the back wheel of the Nomad, I can see the toll that the Prairies have taken. There's a big ol' flat spot where the tire has worn away in the center. I'm unsure about it, but it'll have to get me home.
From Dryden to Schreiber, where I aim for the same motel (the Barrel Inn) that I stayed at on my way out. I'm looking forward to the familiarity of the place (and the hot tub!)
This time around instead of a motel room they give me a full 1 bedroom apartment with a full kitchen for $41. Crazy cheap!
Breakfast in Marathon, ON. I'm at an A&W, pure class. I have a thing for fast food breakfasts, not sure why.
I'm noticing that I'm very tired lately. I seem to be sleeping well, but I can't shake the fatigue. Because I'm heading east, and I like to get an early start to the day, I'm spending a lot of time riding into the rising sun, which can't be helping. It's one of those little things that doesn't seem like a big deal, but it really adds up.
And dinner in Sault Ste. Marie (the Soo!). I don't feel like writing today, but I'm forcing myself.
Today was a good ride, it felt leisurely. I stepped at the Agawa Bay visitor's center, which was really nice. They put a lot of work into it and it really shows. It backs out onto a long, sandy beach; I wandered out there in my motorcycle boots, only for a moment. I felt too much like a fish out of water in my big ol' boots, dragging my jacket and helmet along.
I can't recall if I've mentioned the inukshuks that I saw on this road on my way west. Inukshuks (http://www.sulis.net/inukshuk.htm
) are typically stones, assembled to look like a person, that the Inuit use to mark a place of significance.
The road north of Superior is blasted (in part) out of the outcroppings of the Canadian Shield. The road is very often flanked on one or both sides by a steep rock embankment (a rock cut). It seems that, whenever there's space, someone has put a small pile of rocks (there's lots of rubble left over from the blasting) into a shape of a small inukshut.
I don't know what they mean, if anything, but there are hundreds, maybe thousands of them all watching over the road. It's nice...it makes me feel not quite so alone out here.
And it's one of those things that I kept saying I'll stop and take a picture, I'll stop soon, not yet and I knew that if I didn't force myself to pull over I'd ride past all of them and lose my chance, so I pulled over, scrambled to the top of the rock cut and left my own inukshuk. It was pretty feeble, looking, more a heap of rock than anything else, but it was mine. I felt like, having benefited from their watchful eyes the whole way out and back, that I was contributing something back.
I love watching people look at bikes in parking lots. Particularly men with families; there's a look, a real longing I see in a lot of them. Maybe they used to ride and gave it up. Maybe they always wanted to but never did. I see that the motorcycle is more than a mode of transportation, it represents something. It sparks the imagination, fires longings that some people don't even know that they have.
It's a real shame that people live their lives with this on their shoulders. Perhaps one day I'll feel the same, but I certainly hope it doesn't. My children are a joy, and I don't feel like they've ever prevented me from doing anything.