18 July 2007

We wanted to get to Wawa at a decent time today, so we got up fairly early and started getting ready. We had placed our cooler in the women's washroom overnight, as we usually do, to avoid attracting wildlife; however, when I went inside to bring it back to our site this morning, it was gone! Dan and I were quite worried, as all of our food was in there, and the next town was still 40 km away. I posted a notice in the bathroom, hoping that someone could give us some info or return our cooler. Luckily, a woman came by and filled us in--she had found medication in the cooler (I'd been taking some for joint problems), and was worried that children might get into it, so she gave it to the park warden. Her concern was fair, and we will be sure to store that medicine elsewhere next time. We were just glad that we'd be able to get that cooler back!

The day was gloomy, and we had absolutely no energy riding into White River on empty stomachs. Breakfast part two was a godsend, and we managed to hit the road by 12:30. Not far from town, we encountered another cycle tourist on the side of the road. Matt is a student from Montreal, who spent a year in BC and was now cycling home. We cycled the rest of the way to Wawa with him, and spent our lunch break talking to yet another cycle tourist from Montreal, who was heading west to Vancouver.

When we arrived at the info centre in Wawa, we discovered that the grocery store was closed, and the nearest campsite was about 4 km west of town. We decided to just have dinner at Tim Hortons, and pitch our tent somewhere on a field or in a park after we finished. When we pulled into the Timmy Ho's parking lot, we saw two more cycle tourists, and talked to them for a while. Matt and Will are not your typical cyclists: we found them sitting on the curb, having coffee and smoking cigarettes. Neither was decked out in cycling gear, and both had Canadian Tire bikes with massive trailers. Matt's was adorned with a Canadian flag and a pirate flag, while Will's had an "Ocean to Ocean for MS" banner on the back. Will had started his journey in New Brunswick in the beginning of May, and picked Matt up in Kingston, where they're both from. They're cycling across to raise awareness and money for multiple sclerosis. Check out Will's website at

Will and Matt were mostly camping, but they were spending the night in a motel. They invited us over for showers, and then the five of us went out for pizza and beer. Will and Matt are the most laid back cyclists I've ever met. They work hard, but have a lot of fun--just the way a trip like this should be done! And they're doing it for a good cause.... which makes me regret not getting our act together and doing the same.

Just as we were getting ready to leave the restaurant, a massive storm began. There was thunder, lightning, and hailstones the size of golf balls. I've never seen anything like it! We still hadn't set up tents, so Will and Matt invited us to spend the night in their motel room. The five of us walked back in the rain, and managed to all squeeze into the tiny room for the night.


handling olympus said...

So very wonderful! What a thrill to be doing what you are doing! You are going west, correct? to Vancouver? what's you guess on when you will finish your journey? i look forward to your posts! john in colorado.

handling olympus said...

and.... these guys look crazy! and fun!

Anavrin Stange Quark said...

That is pretty kool! Crossing the country for Multiple Sclerosis...

And, there is an important point here: If they smoke and can do all that cycling, maybe I be able to do it at some point in my life... I must bear that in mind and use it as extra inspiration.

Can't wait to see you!