Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The kindness of strangers

Day 62 - August 7th
44.7 miles
Total: 2521.8 miles
Moving Avg: 7.5 mph
Overall Avg: 5.2 mph

Allison woke early to watch Olympics rugby and make us pancakes with real Canadian maple syrup. Unfortunately we were unable to hang around for the rugby, but the maple syrup helped fuel our climb. Thanks for being a great host Allison.

Our climb was a long gradual ascent over forty miles. It had the occasional over climb and drops that match the undulating hillsides, but overall the climb was a very easy day. At first the mountain side was sculpted by the coal mines in the area, with very geometrically precise angles, unnatural but still beautiful as the coal dust lifted into the air catching the sunlight.

Soon the mining hills gave way to the more irregular and rugged terrain of natural mountain sides. We were able to make 35 miles in the morning before the rain clouds fully formed. After lunch we put on our rain coats and pushed ten miles to the rugged Tobermory cabin which was free and first come first serve. When we were a mile out we saw two trucks drive past. I told Apricots that they were going to steal our cabin.

When we arrived at the cabin, the two trucks were parked outside, and two guys were having drinks with two ladies. Sure enough, our cabin was swiped just before we got there. I rolled up and started talking to the four individuals, and quickly learned that they were heading to a cabin further down the road. Sweet happiness the cabin was ours. Then the strangers said that since we were done with our day, and almost done with our journey we should enjoy a beer. They gave Apricots and me beer, and then topped it off with a giant cinnamon roll for each of us.

What awesome happiness! I felt bad because they said that I scowled as they drove past. I don't think I did, but I may have been in the uphill in the rain moody mindset, fearing our cabin wouldn't be available.

After the four kind individuals continued on their way, we scoped out the cabin. It was rustic, somewhat derelict, and rather uninviting. Additionally our daily mileage was a little low, so we decided to push three miles further to Elk Lakes. It would set us up for a better attack at tomorrow, and a more scenic site.

When we arrived at Elk Lakes, we bumped into the four individuals again. They had rented the much bigger, nicer cabin for a weekend getaway / bachelor party for one of the guys. They insisted that we stay with them in the cabin, and we didn't hesitate too much. Besides I was feeling fairly social, and thought that it might be nice to hang out with the four of them.

After a little socializing, Steven went inside and prepared a great dinner of rice, veggies, and chicken for us all (called Glory Bowl). Apricots and I agree that we want to start making some at home.

We talked until the afternoon started to cool, and then we set to build a campfire before the bachelor's brothers and their wives arrived. (Not your standard fare bachelor party). As the wood was damp from the rain that day, it took some effort to get the outside fire going. We eventually used the indoor wood stove to get a good burning wood starter for our outside fire.

When the campfire was moved to the inside stove, the plastic dustpan was overlooked. Not too long after the fire was rolling, the dustpan had melted all over the stove. The cabin was filled delicious toxic smoke, and we all had to enjoy the afternoon by the outside campfire. What a fantastic mess to work at cleaning up.

As the evening wore on, the carcinogenic cabin cleared out, and we rolled in for card games and drinks. It was a fun evening highlighted with shots of whiskey called for by the Bachelor on a nearly quarter hourly basis. All the while, heavy rain dumped outside the cabin, where our tent would have been.

(Thank you for your hospitality Jason, Steven, Stephanie, and Tiffany)

Live life at a slower place.

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