Monday, 27 July 2015

On wanting to pay back the Universe

After breakfast of scrambled eggs, I bid farewell to Wayne, Gregory and Nancy. The weather forecast was for high temperatures (low 30s), sunny skies but low humidity. However, it was pleasantly cool as I set off a little after 8 with patches of mist hither and yon.

At first I rode along Highway 17B, a.k.a. an old bit of the Trans-Canada now bypassed by newer bit. In other words, the type of road that cyclists like! It took my through the Garden River First Nation which is the proud home place of Jordan Nolan, a player for the L.A. Kings. At Echo Bay, I was greeted by the sight of a giant Loonie designed by the same person who designed the Loonie who hails from there.

The old T-Can joined up with the new and much to my surprise took me through farms with big bales of hay in the fields and signs saying beware of horse and buggies! It seems this is home to one (or more) of the austere sects such as the Hutterites, Mennonites or Amish. I could google it but I am feeling lazy. I saw one arriving at a gas station by horse drawn buggy looking like extras from Little House on the Prairie complete with bonnets and heavy looking, dark clothes which looked very hot in the increasing heat. I had the feeling that some of them were about to get on a bus to go somewhere.

I was making very good time to the point where I made several stops to avoid arriving too early! One of these was at S&S Creations ( I had seen one of their billboards announcing they did work in stained glass and "puddingstone". The later was an unknown to me which given that I am the son of a geologist and widely if not deeply knowledgeable means this was something either rare or invented ;-) I went in to ask which. One of the S's (Stephanie) had evidently heard the question before and explained it was a locally occurring conglomerate containing red and brown lumps of jasper in paler sediments. What she and Steve (the other S) did was to slice the stone very thinly so as to be translucent and use them as an element in an otherwise conventional stained glass creation. Thankfully, I was on a bike and therefore had an excuse not to buy anything as they were quite special. Doubtless, the aforementioned geologist knows about puddingstone.

I got to Bruce Mines a bit after 11. I went down to the marina where I enjoyed the cool breeze blowing off Lake Huron. There were some picnic tables in the shade so I lay down on one to watch a flock of Canada geese.  After lunch in Bruce Mines, I visited their museum of bric-a-brac which included a one-armed bandit out of Lucky Luke and an old Raleigh bicycle with a novel braking system. The front brake pads pushed against the inner surface of the rim which looked dangeously close to the spokes.

The Carolyn Beach Motel is located at Western edge of Thessalon near the junction of Highway 17 and 17B. The motel looked like it had been there about as long as the T-Can. (I  later found the first bit of it was open in 1959 on the site of a former saw mill.  Further buildings were added in 1961, 1964 and 1975.)  However, I had a hankering for ice cream so I went downtown where I bought some a girl in an ice cream store who looked about twelve.

Afterwards, I rode back to the motel checked in, before having a dip in Lake Huron followed by a warm shower. I was about wash my clothes when I discovered I hadn't packed my Campsuds (general purpose biodegradable soap). I decided to ride back to downtown Thessalon to get a substitute. After four stores of different natures, the best I could come up with was a liter bottle of detergent for baby clothes. I rode back to wash my gear and hang the clothes on Leonardo. I then consulted my maps to see what tomorrow would bring. After a while, I was curious as to how far I had ridden today so I went to get my bike computer. It wasn't to be found in my room or on Leonardo. I decided it must have off between downtown and the motel. I set off on Leonardo on the wrong side of the road scanning for the little black oblong. Less than 100 meters up the road, I found it nestled in the soft sand shoulder, perfectly intact!  Feeling I owed one to the universe, I tried to find out the name of a local charity from the manager. Unfortunately, he proved to be a South Asian new to the area and hadn't much of an idea. It didn't help that I must have seemed like a madman.

I will donate $100.00 (CAD) to the first charity I come across or have suggested to me. That I how relieved I am.

1 comment:

Margo and Chris said...

BC and Alberta Guide Dogs
Or perhaps Quebec equivalent if you prefer.

Ben and Jude are raising and training a black lab puppy named Shawna, and a smarter and calmer beast I have never met! We have been directing the proceeds of our cutesy baby panda video this way. It costs $30,000 to raise and train a guide dog till it is ready to help a blind person.

Bonne Route!