Day 13: Thunderstorms, Getting Sick, And Other Fun Things
I promised I’d post about the not-so-glamorous stuff…
Day 13 of my cross-Canada motorcycle trip was my first “bad day”. I knew there would be bad days, because this is my life, not a vacation.
When I got to Kenora, I started feeling sick, and I noticed that most of the people I encountered were rather rude, which was surprising. I then noticed that the Native Canadians were getting treated badly, which bothered me. I got increasingly frustrated after a while because I checked 5 different places and could not find any place with both plugs AND wifi, which I thought was crazy, considering that Kenora was a proper town! After 1.5 hours, I finally discovered the library, but then it took me awhile to find a good place to park.
That night, I camped right on the border of Ontario and Manitoba. It wasn’t a comfortable area, because it was an insanely busy rest stop. I was definitely pretty sick by then, and being sick without a comfortable place to rest makes it a whole lot worse.
I didn’t check the weather the next morning because I wasn’t getting a signal, and it started POURING, out of the blue! I hadn’t even noticed the dark clouds gathering, because I was absorbed in an interesting conversation with another traveler.
This entire time, I had been so incredibly worried about having to camp in severe rain! In a panic, I covered my tent with my tarp before putting on a rain jacket, so my warmest hoodie was all wet (and took forever to dry). I did google “how to camp in the rain” once, and all I knew was that an extra tarp helped! After the storm, I was very happy to find that nothing inside my tent got wet! So it felt like a BIG accomplishment! Now I’m not so worried about camping in a thunderstorm, because it happened, and I survived!
The traveler I was hanging out with was an Ojibway man (traveling in his car) who used to live on a reserve and also spent time living on the streets. He told me all sorts of wild stories, like being alone in the bush for a month straight, not having access to food for weeks, and needing to walk 300 km to get penicillin for his wife once. He gave me some eggs, a gallon of water, and the contact information of his daughter who lives in BC. He was incredibly generous, like most of the travellers I have been meeting. I tend to feel very generous towards fellow travellers as well, I’m not sure why!
I stayed an additional day here because I felt too sick. I actually wrote “relax” on my to-do list, lol. Then, a crazy thing happened. A guy I know online from one of my favourite groups, “Minimalist Motorcycle Vagabonds” on Facebook, randomly showed up! We were both shocked to see each other. He ended up camping there that night, and we had an awesome time hanging out, which was very fortunate. He gave me a knife and compression sack, both of the things I needed 🙂
I realized, at this point, that I had been living outside for 2 weeks. I have never done anything like that in my life! This is a big deal for me because I’m not an experienced camper at all. I also made “fake chili”, which consists of can of diced tomatoes, a can of meat, and half a packet of that chili spice mix you can buy at grocery stores. It was awesome! I’m getting tired of peanut butter, so it’s time to get creative.
A good way of looking at challenges (no matter how small!) is to see them as a learning experience, or an opportunity to face a fear. Challenges are still adventures, and the best stories and adventures always include misadventures! And a little storm and a cold isn’t even much of a challenge at all… I’ve gone through much worse! Like crashing my motorcycle on the highway on the first day of my 2014/15 trip, lol.
Have you ever had any challenges while traveling that ended up making a great story? Please share in the comments below!