My stop in Kingston

Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
1
8
150
Trip End May 16, 2008


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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Thursday, September 27, 2007

Note: This entry has been copied from an email I sent to family and friends before starting to write this blog. Things will get clearer as I'm more up to date (hopefully).

I have made it to Kingston to see Nick. Along the way from Calgary...through Winnipeg to see parents and family...then southeast towards Minneapolis, Chicago, and Detroit. But wait...a change in plans. Let's backtrack a bit. As I indicated in my last writings, there was a delay in my planned date of departure and planned route. Some of you are aware that I had an epiphany (of sort) during my summer travels with Alexis (my youngest daughter) that I required a motorcycle for this upcoming journey to truly have the experiences that are expected from a life's journey. I have never cared for motorcycles. I am a Car GUY.  I haven't ridden one in 25 years. Returning to Calgary around August 10th, I set out to buy a motorcycle and figure out a way to bring it along for the trip. Things progressed quite well in that I immediately found a great used bike and was able to get into a motorcycle safety course within a week. An operator's license and bike in hand the next hurdle was getting a bike carrier attached to my trailer. My planned date of departure came and went. My deadline to leave to get to Kingston came and the carrier that was coming from the U.S. was stuck in Customs at the border. On the road now, my motorcycle is collecting dust in my garage awaiting my return.  

I have talked about life's plans not going according to plan. A friend of mine told me lately (has to be lately because we just met) that she's had "Angels" throughout her life that have helped her along through difficult times. I believe we all have these..."Angels"...we just forget to acknowledge them. Along those same lines, I believe people come into our lives as "Signposts". These "Signposts" guide us along the roads we travel during our lifetime. Just as road signs direct us to our destination during a road trip, these "Signposts" are there at points in our lives to ensure we take the right path. The problem is that we often don't see these "Signposts" as we are focused on a pre-planned action. I knew when leaving Calgary that I would head to Winnipeg to see family. The decision as to the direction to take from there wasn't made until I got to Winnipeg. My options were either Northern Ontario or southeast as noted above. On the 22nd of September, after having brunch with my Mom & Dad and my brother, I hit the road leaving Winnipeg. Destination, Fargo, North Dakota. I wasn't looking forward to the drive in the following days. This route would take me though Minneapolis (a Sunday-wouldn't be bad), Chicago (Monday-could be rush hour), then straight through Detroit. All this driving would be on the US Interstates with many, many large trucks. I did most of this route in July. It was quite stressful. I approached the dreaded U.S. Border crossing. I get to Customs and I end up in a closed lane (I'll blame the construction that was going on there for missing the red light indicating the lane was closed). A Customs Officer directs me to back up (that was fun) and get in an open lane. Chat with the Officer then I am directed to pull forward for further  inspection. They have to make sure I'm not carrying any banned "BEEF".  Nothing gets confiscated. Chat with the Customs Officer about my travel plans and destination. He mentions that the route between Lake Superior and over Lake Michigan has been upgraded lately. I've taken that route about 15 years ago and have heard lately that you should avoid it like the plague. My GPS also indicates that south under Lake Michigan is the faster route. On the road again, towards Fargo. I start thinking about what the Customs Officer said. I take a break at a roadside rest stop and check some maps and campground listings. Change in plans. Heading east over Lake Michigan now. Glad I did. The views were awesome. Traffic was light. Hardly any large trucks. Glad I didn't miss that "signpost". You may read more about these "signposts" in the book "The Celestine Prophecy" by James Redfield. When your consciousness expands to start seeing these "coincidences" they will start occurring more frequently and you will be able to differentiate between important and  insignificant "chance" meetings.  I will most probably expand on the subject in later emails.

Road side signs: 
"Honest Injun Tourist Trap" - Located in front of a store in a small town along Lake Michigan. Looks like they sell trinkets and stuff that says "Anytown, USA". Not much use for the stuff but collect dust and get thrown in the garbage after a few years. A sign that brings meaning to the old adage of truth in advertising.

"Prison Area-Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers" - It's illegal in the first place to pick up hitchhikers in Michigan on a controlled access thoroughfare {interstate for you non-legal minded}. So what happens if you go to jail for picking up a hitchhiker. Can you be sent to the prison where you picked up the hitchhiker? And then what happens if you escape and someone picks you up when you're hitchhiking?  I could go on, but you can see that it doesn't take much to amuse a mind when you've been driving for 5 days.

"Watch for Turtles Crossing" - This was a new one for me. Deer and Moose can cause considerable damage to your vehicle. I've never seen "Caution-Skunks Crossing. May be offensive to your sense of Smell" signs. Or "Watch for Rabbits-May Cause Young Children to Cry if Squished". But Turtles...is it the slime factor or the hard shells that can cause accidents?

 Quotes:
"Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow."   Alice Mackenzie

"One cannot go contrary to nature. Nature is stronger than the strongest man. It is to our own interest to be on good terms with her ."  Pablo Picasso

Random Thoughts:
Time: Why is it that the first hour of any trip lasts longer than the last hour? 
Perspective: Why is it that you can easily change the perspective of what you are looking at by either tilting your head or squinting but people have a hard time changing their perspective on how other's see things? Why is it so difficult thinking of events through someone else's eyes. Why is "My Reality" often different from "Your Reality"?
 
I would like to thank everybody who sent a comment after my first email. They were greatly appreciated.

Finally....Today (actually yesterday since the internet connection was not working last night when I tried uploading the pictures and sending this). After a busy weekend with RMC events, today was errand day. It started with some exercise. I decided to take my Mountain Bike out for a ride (especially since I don't have a motorcycle to ride). AFTER leaving the campground I figured I should have used Mapquest to print a map of the area. It's not that I would get lost. I knew I'd eventually return to my starting point, but the distance travelled might exceed the distance I would have liked to have gone.  And that's exactly what happened. Northeast....then North....West...then a road that should have returned me to the road I knew would get me to the campground. Started off going the right way...South that is...then a right turn...then South again...then right again...then South, but no left turns where I figured they should be. Then....Oh-Oh I'm heading over the 401. The campground is North, I'm heading into Kingston....

Side note: "Bee in a Bonnet" .....literal interpretation. What happens when you are riding your bike, wearing your bike helmet (safety first-always) and a bee decides to enter your helmet through an air vent.  Talk about getting a buzzzzz!

....argggghhhh...this bike ride is starting to be a lot longer than expected. Oh! I also forgot to mention that it's quite windy this morning. Up ahead a car stops on the side of the road...going in the opposite direction. Great, someone to ask where this road goes......nope...they're just as lost as I am. Finally arrive at a road that looks familiar. Back towards the campground. What's that on the shoulder further up?  A turtle....a little...or maybe it's a lot... squished. I don't know if there are different levels of squished for turtles.  Where's the "Watch for Turtles Crossing" sign?  None to be found. Well...at least now I know why they have those signs.

Feedback is welcome on my writings. The time between destinations will now expand so I will have more time to write. If you wish more frequent emails I can probably send more. If you wish longer emails, I know I can find a lot to write about.

Miss you all!  Take care!

Paul
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