Day 29: Upsala, ON to Ignace, ON

After a drizzle-filled morning, and a radio interview with CBC Radio Canada (in French; listen to it here), Frances and I walked along the highway to get to the restaurant where she would take the bus.

I took off as soon as her bus left. The grey skies finally parted and eventually gave way to plentiful sunshine. It felt good to have sunlight on my face, but the wind was very strongly going against me — I had to fight my way so I could go at least 18 kilometers per hour, which is an extremely slow pace for me. Thankfully, my girlfriend is carrying all my gear, so I only had my body weight and my bicycle to worry. I honestly don’t know if I’d be able to make it this far had I been cycling with all my gear — it is at moments like this when I had to fight through mighty winds when I truly appreciate having her carry my load.

In the afternoon, I met another cyclist who is traveling from Winnipeg to Southern Ontario. The winds were in his direction — he had already done 170 kilometers by then, and he was planning to do another 60 more! The speed with which he was going was very impressive indeed.

Waited 15 minutes for my turn to pass

Waited 20 minutes for my turn to pass

I finally arrived at Ignace. As I turned left to go to the path leading to the campground, I saw Frances waving at me as she was about to round up her jogging. The campground, Davy Lake, very kindly gave us a discount for our stay. The 20-degree weather was very good for camping; it was evident in the fat and healthy mosquitoes that kept on chasing us. It was wonderful to see that spring is really springing in. It was interesting to note that we have now crossed the timezone — it really is a feat!

At the Davy Lake Campground

At the Davy Lake Campground

We spent half an hour to make dinner — a whole bucket of spaghetti with canned vienna sausage-and-tomato-sauce is more than enough to fill my caloric needs of the day.

As I lay in the sleeping bag, I reflected on the winds that I had to battle against the whole day. Truly, I could have done the easiest way: to cycle from West to East, with which the winds will be in my direction 70% of the time. However, I chose to go the other way around not only because I had an event to attend in Montreal 11 days after I started my journey, and because I wanted to finish in the Rockies, but also because I wanted to go the different way. It is not unheard of to cycle across Canada — a lot of people have done and accomplished it — but a big number of these cyclists have gone from West to East. I want to challenge myself. I want this to be more than a cycling journey. I want to be in solidarity with the people I am fighting for, to experience a different kind of pain. If I can fulfill my journey by taking the road less traveled, by trekking through unbeaten path, then I will have succeeded indeed.

7 thoughts on “Day 29: Upsala, ON to Ignace, ON

  1. Spaghetti AGAIN!!!! Aren’t you getting bored??!
    But then, I imagine straw would taste good with the kind of calorie-burning you are doing.
    Eat well, sleep well. Pedal well Dear Dan and enjoy every second of “off time” with Frances.
    xoxo 🙂

  2. Wow. Just finished the end of your day’s blog. An excellent philosophy… and a very courageous young man you are, that I am PROUD to call my God-child! xx

  3. You have never taken the easy road to anything Dan. Your strength was built on your experiences and how you got through them. I am PROUD that you are my son!! Stay safe both of you and enjoy this unique experience. Love you XX Mom

  4. Daniel, ton courage et ta détermination sont incroyables, t’es épatant, vraiment! Je t’admire profondément, et suis fidèlement toutes tes péripéties. Quel voyage incroyable!… et c’est vrai qu’en plus, tu vas contre les vents. Wow.
    J’ai hâte que tu nous racontes ta traversée des prairies (il paraît que c’est tellement beau), et tout ce qui t’attend encore. C’est passionnant! Prenez bien soin de vous tous les deux, Marie-Odile

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