Yesterday when I opened my eyes I did not know what the day would bring me. It turns out that this say was to be epic. Not exactly the ten year travel of Odysseus, but even so, an interesting day.
I wrote a bit in the morning, washed up and had some coffee and then left THO. My first stop was at Liisa’s. She is doing the preparation for a family reunion and as such has a lot to do. I thought I would pop by and see if she wanted my help. I could have guessed that she would not since she has very specific ways of doing things, but still she did have plans for me, instead she brought me to Gilmore’s Point for a couple of hours. It was my first visit there, and it is a nice spot. When I left there I headed back to THO for my night bike gear just in case anything went wrong, and then hit the road for Murphy’s Point Park near Perth Ontario, because I wanted to hear Bear the Tinker tell stories. I decided on taking the back roads up through California because the winding roads are wonderful to travel on when you drive a bike. Before too long, I was on Highway 15, I stopped to gas up in Elgin $3.25 in gas filled me right to the top and I am back on the highway. Before long, I was just beginning to wonder if I missed something and I had; the crucial turn at Crosby to get to the park was several km behind me. Still steadfast in my determination, I was going along at a nice clip on a stretch of road just about where # 5 meets #15 to turn to Athens when suddenly without any warning my bike quit. It was 3:22 in the afternoon.
I would think that a small, middle aged woman on a Vino, dressed in linen trousers and a yellow flowered blouse should not seem like all that scary but even so, not a single person stopped to see if I was OK. After the bike did not restart for about 45 minutes (I thought it had just overheated) I called 411 with my stupid phone company (Telus) to get the number for the Yamaha dealer who is in Portland in order to get picked up, but despite the fact that I knew that they are in Portland or within a short distance, that they sell motorbikes, boats, and all sorts of recreational vehicles they could not find them in their system. I was on the phone with them for about 15 minutes and they were not helpful (are any of them?)
Finally I called my Yamaha people and asked them for the number. By this time, I am burned to a crisp and it is 4:45 but I get through and they send a truck to pick the bike and I up.
They fix the bike, it turns out that the cable let go from the spark plug. I have studied the map in the interim and know that I have to double back a bit now, so I go on to Murphy’s Point. It was about 5:45 by the time I left the bike shop.
I finally hit #14 and take the road which is fun at first because it is winding and smooth but eventually turns into 6 km of new gravel on a dirt road. Anyone who drives a street bike will appreciate how not fun this kind of terrain is. None the less, at 6:45 I arrive to see Bear the Tinker and listen to his stories. It was totally worth the trip! Bear played a full set of Uileann pipes and told us about the little people, and the big people. He weaved a brilliant tale that blended mythology, folklore, science, religion, philosophy, and a twinkling eye into his work. By the end, I am convinced that the entire audience believed that Big foot was in the woods watching us and that better not catch a little person in the corner of their eye. The man and the story teller is so enchanting; his traditional ways, along with his vivid memory makes for a special time which I wanted to extend into the night, but I did not want to be on the gravel road after dark and thus at 8:30 I left and faced the road again.
About 1/2 of the way on the paved road before the turn to Murphy’s point, at 9:30, there is a small bridge that crosses the Rideau. It was so pretty there that I stopped and was greeted by a Kayaker who was just on the last leg of a 15 day trip up the canal. George had been up to Ottawa and had wonderful stories to tell about his encounters with nature through his beautiful adventure, including a threatening wind and a nasty seagull. He had a beautiful imagination and presence. Along with this he has more than just a passing interest in light. He had wonderful and unique lights which he makes himself from old garden lights and these he brought with him to light the way and they twinkled around us. He gifted one to me which is a bubbling ball that I now have charging! I am looking forward to seeing it and believe it will remind me of the moon over the canal every time I see it. Further to his interest in light, hee is a photographer and had taken many photos and though he did not share them with me, he did share his web address (which sadly I forgot, so I am hoping he will remember THO and remind me of the link).
The moon as I mentioned above, was the nearly full sturgeon moon and just waining slightly. It shone heavenly orange light over the water and made the sky into a soft grey light. The big dipper clear as a bell, held it’s contents to the North West, between 2 giant maples. It was the sort of place and climate that deserves time and attention, I relaxed into the night and before too long, I was leaving far too late.
I did not get back on the road until it was nearing midnight and the road was clear because of the bright moon, but when I got on the highway I realized that there was not one single location to stop and get gas, and I knew that I could not make it home. Still, there was nothing I could do but push forward. I kept the bike steady at 75kmph and drove, sticking to the main roads. Fortunately, the moon made the walk easy and I could see a long way. I did not feel scared or nervous when the bike finally puttered to a stop. I made it to within a couple of km of my cousin’s place at 12:32 so I pushed the bike to his house and walked on to Liisa’s house because I have a key and it is closer than THO. I arrived to her place at 1:27 am. Safe, sound and filled with the days adventure I fell asleep quickly and slept sound.
This morning, I am blistering and bitten and I stand, hoping that today is just as interesting!