Back to the story!! This marked July 3rd… Le 3 juillet; joyeux anniversaire Anne, avec un peu de décalage! ; )
A Slow Sloww Morning
Rise and shine, it was another scorching day in Ontario! 7:30am, and the tent was already an oven. Time to get out of there and get a nice early start to the day. I still had that tire to deal with, which I knew would take a while plus a whole lot of energy to get done. Might as well get it started early.
I packed up the tent, and made my way up the stairs to Keshatay’s apartment.
Realizing that it was locked, and that she was still asleep, I grabbed the few things I had, and made my way back to town in my to grab some breakfast from 7-Eleven. And water. I had some time to kill. I figured this could’ve been the case, as she warned me fair and square that she usually sleeps in. She also did say that I could give her a call when I was ready to come in.
I felt really bad for waking her, but I did want to get going. So I called her, and again, annnd a few more times, each call 30 mins apart. She was having an amazing slumber, totally not her fault!! But it wasn’t until 12:00pm that I could get a hold of her, and get started on the day.
Until then, I had just gone out to a field a few blocks down, and found a patch of shade under a tree to escape the heat, while watching my phone slowwwly approach the 10% battery mark.
But Keshatay was once again amazing, making me a quick breakfast, and helping me by just providing a home-base while I got my life sorted!
She even gave me a ride back to Canadian Tire, after I had realized that the tubes I had bought were a different valve type than the ones I current had. I had to buy a whole separate pump just to inflate those tubes, since I didn’t have an adapter with my current pump.
More Northern Ontario
After finally dealing with the dreaded flat tire, ripping a little chunk of skin off my knuckle, saying my goodbyes to Keshatay, and having lunch… It was nearly 4:00pm, and finally time to get ‘er going.
In typical Northern Ontario fashion, the next town was 100km away. More lakes, more hills. More blistering heat, and humidity that felt like it cooks you from the inside out. More running extremely low on my water supplies that I drank straight from the lake. More racing against the nightfall.
Mosquitoes, Fireflies, and Love Bugs
But one part about this day was different… I had extra motivation to pedal faster, as I had my very first phone call scheduled with a girl that I had been talking to ever since I was in the middle of Alberta. She was a Vancouver girl, and we had never met.
I had arrived at the campground, spoken to the campground owners (which was hilariously the only spot this whole trip where I had been asked to take off my mask), and to their recommendation, had ordered a pizza right to my tent… Yup, hahaha.
All this, right in time for a glorious sunset right over the lake. (And not-so-glorious mosquito swarms.)
And of course, the moment I had excitedly, and nervously been waiting for. Hearing this special girl’s voice for the first time.
What a rush that was. It was the type of call that makes you feel all warm inside, where everything feels like it’s in perfect harmony for those moments. A magical feeling. Extra surreal with fireflies curiously lighting up the top of my tent, as I laid there on my back, looking up, with a big smile across my face. We stayed up, talking until nearly 3:00am, as if time froze and was nothing. It was a perfect summer night.
Spoiler, it sadly did not work out in the end.
But she went on to become a big part of the trip, for me. This was the first of many late night phone calls. In fact, every night for the next 30 or so days, I had this to look forward to; to motivate me to get to wherever I was going for the day. Especially after some of those long and tough ones. Our connection was incredibly strong. For the sake of being true to myself, and transparent with the stories, she might still come up in the blog posts from time to time.
- Route: Dryden, ON —> Ignace, ON
- Distance: 103km
- Elevation gain: 694m