July 14, 2008

7/14/08 Obatanga, ON


Well, I think both of us got a good nights sleep, expensive though it was. We left Marathon with the sky covered with clouds. There was a long climb up just to get back to the highway. Then the next twenty kilometers of road were prepared for resurfacing which is a lit bit of a rough ride on a bike.

But I think we were both pleasantly surprised at the rolling terrain we had all day. Sure, there still were climbs, but they were shorter and more manageable. The clouds continued to cover most of the sky but we couldn't tell if we were going to get wet again or not.

Dorothy, I found it!

But with the flatter roads and favorable winds, we made it to White River, 98km away, by noon. White River calls itself the 'Home of Winnie the Pooh'. The story goes like this:

Winnie came from White River

In 1914 a trapper brought a baby black bear to White River after a hunting trip. A young army captain named Harry Colebourn bought the bear for $20. He named her 'Winnipeg' after his hometown but soon it got shortened to 'Winnie'. When Harry went to serve in France, he left his pet at the London Zoo. The friendly bear was loved by all, including Christopher Robin Mine, A A Mine's son. So that's how Winnie ended up in Pooh Corner with Christopher Robin.

We stopped for lunch at A&W, so naturally I ordered a root beer. To my amazement, it was in a huge frosted mug. A drink never tasted so good. There was no camping in White River so, after eating, we kept on going.

Ah, lunch!

Even as we ate up the kilometers, the dark clouds seemed to be building. It was a rush to get to the campground and get our campsite set up soon.

Obatanga Provencial Park is on the shores of Burnfield Lake. As we soon found out, it too has a healthy horde of aggressive mosquitoes, black flies, horse flies, and dragon flies. It is surprising how fast we can set up our tents.

It was a bit early so I took advantage of the downtime to take a nap. I woke up when I started to get hot and sweaty. The clouds had vanished while I was asleep and now the sun was turning my little tent into a sauna. [smile]

Sitting down by the lake, I was able to enjoy the sun on my face as the winds kept our winged friends at bay. I definitely needed some clear skies after all the rain had dampened my spirits. I think the hardest part about this trip is 'staying in the moment.' You know, just enjoying the little things that make up each kilometer we ride. Trying not to think of the future, or the past, not wishing the weather or terrain or mosquitoes to be different. Just accepting each as it comes whether it's good or bad.

Mike along the lakefront

Tomorrow should take us back to the shores of Lake Superior. And maybe the good weather will hold for a few more days.