993km Garson to St. Bruno
The end of our round-the-world trip happens so quickly, we barely see it coming. In the logical part of our minds we know it’s getting closer. Anyone can see that on a map. But emotionally the last pedal strokes towards the point where we began feel much the same as any other day or week or month over the past three years.
Those last spins of our wheels begin slowly, interspersed with lazy lunch breaks on outcroppings of solid Canadian Shield rock and long moments of quiet reflection beside the endless lakes that look like a string of rain puddles on the vast map of Ontario. In Parry Sound, we help an old college friend rip up some truly terrible 70s shag carpeting in her new house and then it’s back on the road again, over the hundreds of small rolling hills that make up this part of Canada.
The usual preoccupations of our life – where to sleep, what to eat, how much sunscreen to put on – take up their usual chunk of time and then there are the unexpected challenges, like an attack by raccoons in Algonquin Park. Incredibly bold and undeterred by our presence, this little group of bandits surrounds our site and makes repeated charges for our food-filled panniers. It’s only when our neighbours lend us enough rope to lift our bags up into the trees that we can retire confidently to our tent.
The raccoons aren’t our only companions during this part of our journey. Rob is a funny, easy-going cyclist from Toronto who hooks up with us in Huntsville and his sense of humour shines through in the $5 sunglasses he’s wearing, held together by reams of duct tape. When we first meet, we’re a bit worried that Rob might have used the same thrifty approach when buying his bicycle but there’s relief all around when we discover his trusty steed isn’t also counting on duct tape to make the distance. (more…)