I packed my farm boots and gloves (and the mountain of my other belongings) into my lovely blue pick up and hit the road east to Ottawa.
It was a 28 hour drive to Sudbury non-stop according to google maps so I allowed myself three days including two nights rest on the way.
I was pretty excited and nervous at the same time. Nervous for the truck not breaking down or busting into flames but also nervous for my own mental well being of being alone with myself for the entire three days. A lot can happen.
Saskatoon to Yorkton was pretty normal – spent most of it changing tunes on the player and thinking ‘this is it!’
I had a tims lunch in Yorkton, before decided to just get back on the road as 8 hours remained for that day and I was feeling a wee bit bored. Oh crap.
But then, I decided to just.enjoy.it! And played my audiobook ‘Lee Evans biography’ (thank you), slide down the window and just DRIVE.
Between Yorkton and Portage la Prairie not much happened. It was a good 5/6 hours of driving and not stopping. The scenery was nice.. I just felt very alone. But it felt good to be alone.
I’ve always dreamed about just driving alone and being ‘on the road’ and in those long hours of nothingness… I was beginning to feel it. And I repeat – it felt good.
I’m not ashamed to admit that at one moment I even flashed my right nipple … As there was just no one there. Just me and the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border. Lovely.
Another project of mine was to get a photo of the Yellowhead highway sign as I liked the name and I had 6 hours to get the perfect shot. Not sure how well I did but I must have taken over 50 photos of the same thing – each a little bit blurry.
It’s funny how much control of the wheels you lose when you’re focusing on getting the right camera angle whilst holding the steering wheel with your knee.
I discovered cruise control… That really saved my right butt check – it was loosing blood pretty soon after little Saskatchewan river…
After Portage la Prairie the next big city civilization zone was Winnipeg .
I didn’t really have a reason to get out of the truck in Manitoba but felt I should at least have some connection to the province and drive so I left a little part of myself in a gas station outside of Winnipeg 😉
It got even more beautiful.. And then it got dark. And driving in the dark with lots of turns and trees isn’t easy after 9 hours. ‘Be Bear Aware’ is on the warning signs and the idea of hitting the Kenora hotel pillow seems like paradise.
An hour later truck ‘Wolfie’ and I had arrived. Pitch black and lots of apparent water around me before the hotel appears.
I think because I’ve been so used to dressing in my pyjamas-ready-to-run-anytime-gear at the cabin in case of any scary potential attack – I felt so free of fear in the hotel I slept butt naked.
And this also, felt good.
It’s funny when you arrive at night and in the morning you wake up to a totally new environment. Lots of lakes around the hotel and Kenora seems a quaint little lake town. Nice. But I needed to get back on the road so I had a muffin breakfast and left.
Sometimes you can focus on the places you stay and others you can focus entirely on the road. I chose the road. (I also had a deadline).
Day two: Kenora to Terrace Bay.
I was excited for this part of the trip. Especially from Thunder Bay to Terrace Bay as I’d be driving the Lake Superior north coast.
More rock. More trees and more lakes.
Wonderful scenery and the promise (or threat depending on how you look at it) Moose! The entire journey I saw more than 50 signs of Moose warnings. One kind gentleman (also from Saskatchewan) even told me to watch out for the moose… Did I see any moose? No. None. Zero moose. It’s a target of mine – and it’s still on going.
This part of the trip took longer than expected as I kept stopping at view point to take photos and pee in those wonderful picnic toilets. No sarcasm again – I think they’re great as you don’t have to go to a store out garage to ‘attend your needs’. Helps the feelings of being wild.
And then I hit Thunder Bay.. Tempted to check it out but felt I should just keep driving. Passed an amazing location around strawberry creek… Just jaw dropping.
This was when listening the The Tragically Hip really got through the veins.
All their albums. On repeat. Very very loud. Wonderful.
After Thunder Bay I was, yet again, desperate for a wee (due to all the Tim Hortons coffee) and turned off at a memorial. Only to find it was the Terry Fox memorial where he had had to stop running his cancer marathon. What a story. He lost his leg to cancer and decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research and treatment. I think his cancer hit him again by Thunder Bay and he couldnt continue but there is a centre and a statue in his honour. Cancer has hit my life in a big way too and sometimes you just feel completely defeated by it but then you hear amazing – just keep going-stories like his and you can feel a little warmth. I know he couldn’t finish it, but that’s not the point-he didn’t stop, he kept going until he couldn’t continue and through that, raised so much money and became a hero. I was very moved up there, next to his statue and looking over the beautiful bay. Some people are just amazing.
I forgot to even pee. But I’m glad I saw it and felt something by it. A little hope never hurts.
Third day. Terrace Bay to Sudbury.
I was excited to reach Sudbury and spend a few days with my friend but to be honest a little sad that my solo trip was going to end. I just enjoyed every moment of being alone (quite literally for the most part as there was very little traffic) and looking for Moose, watching the scenery pass by whilst listening to great music and my audiobook.
It’s exciting and relaxing at the same time. And you learn to feel peaceful with your own company, whilst occasionally having inspirations for future banjo song lyrics.
Lake Superior is just breathtaking and I hope to explore more of it.
The amazing scenery lasted until Sault Ste.Marie. Once I got there, the traffic and civilization thickened – not what I wanted but oh well. We must continue.
Trees turned into fields, the rocks and lakes continued but it just didn’t have the same wilderness about it.
I just want to throw in a thousand John Muir quotes right now! Here’s one for now “in every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks”. Nice.
Sudbury appeared over the horizon, it looks nice, lots of nature of rock and lakes surrounding the city limits.
My friend was very welcoming and I felt glad to have arrived. We would the travel together a couple of days later to Ottawa where I would eventually find my second farm.
But what a trip. What a mini adventure. I will only travel on the road around this amazing and vast country of wilderness. You get to really see it, experience the raw environment out here and even develop a better relationship with yourself.
And even flash a nipple or two every once in a while!
And if you’re really, really lucky – you might even spot a freakin’ moose.