Home > Day to Day > Arcs and Colors — Shabaqua to Thunder Bay

Arcs and Colors — Shabaqua to Thunder Bay

Easy day, just under 70 km. And even better was how it started: with a Finnish breakfast cooked by Mary, our hostess at the Shabaqua Outfitters and Campground. What’s a Finnish breakfast? Where do I start? Finnish crepes — paper-thin, with crisp edges and soft centres, on which we loaded fresh strawberries and blackberries and cherries and various jams; scrambled eggs and bacon and sausages and toast and juices, coffee, teas, almond and peanut butters, toasts, cereals, fried potatoes, … I will stop here or else all of you will be leaving for your kitchens or to order takeout! Mary’s family are all big and healthy-looking. And, this camp usually houses crews doing tree cutting or road maintenance — people with hearty appetites who appreciate good cooking and large quantities!

So what’s this about Arcs and Colors in the title? Think of it this way: each day has an arc that stretches, from the minute you wake to the moment you close your eyes. And this arc in turn is made up of a few (or many) smaller arcs. The number and shape and duration of these smaller arcs are determined by how the day goes, minute by minute, hour by hour. A day may start on a high note — clear sky, comfortable temperature, the promise of a fun / easy / challenging ride (take your pick). Your first arc may end with the thought and the feeling that ‘this is gonna be a good day!’ And you can also feel the ‘color’ of the arc, its energy — easy, or full or promise, or tingly. What color would you attach to each of those feelings? On the other hand it may be cold / rainy / hot / miserable and  you think and feel “Oh, this will be a rough one…”

On this ride the big differences in arcs and colors show up first thing in the morning, and then late in the day when we pull into our next stop. Early on there are questions and thoughts and emotions about the unknown or somewhat known — big hills; extreme weather predictions; no services… At the end of the ride there are questions and thoughts and emotions about the unknown or somewhat known — how will the showers be, will the tents be far from the truck, what’s for dinner?

And then there is every minute in between, which makes up most of the day. For me at least there is more uniformity in this bulk of the riding experience, almost regardless of the external circumstances (except in really extreme cases.) And there are literally hundreds and hundreds of arcs and related colors that play out something like so:

– Real-time check of legs / butt / hands & wrists / breathing / lips (thirst) / bladder / tummy (hunger) — OK? Strains anywhere? The responses are integrated instantly into a single assessment and score of well-being — great; good; a spot of concern; not good; 4-letter-word. And the related colors are (for me) white; green; blue; brown; black.

– Stage of the day — 10%, 25%, 33%, 50%, 66%, 90%. I am constantly aware of my progress and how much distance and time are left to the next milestone. They in turn impact my single assessment and score of well-being.

– Am I riding on my own or with a buddy? Alone, I play more mental games, practice meditative breathing, focus on a single sense for a period of time — in order to help pass the time; with another rider it is a matter of what we talk about and how the conversation colors one’s feelings.

– And I write blogs constantly in my head — most of which drift away, never to be recorded.

Such is the (typical – hah!) day for me!

“Fueled by Equator Coffee!”

imageAfter about 30 km of “Road Under Construction”, with two narrow lanes, no shoulders, and numerous 18-wheelers roaring by (thankfully mostly in the opposite direction), we got a wide shoulder…and an 8.4% incline that reached up into the forest! Reminded me of earlier days!
imageKakabeka Falls
imageKakabeka Falls — the river below
imageBelieve it or not, several years ago Kakabeka Falls went ‘dry’! There was an ice dam upstream that stopped all water flowing to the Falls! Must have been strange to see them without water.

And on it flows, to Lake Superior

Categories: Day to Day
  1. darylwood
    July 18, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Dear Ilan, The photos are beautiful and seeing your great big open hearted grin is so inspiring. Stay the course my friend. Perfect colours. Perfect impact.

    “May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields.
    And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”
    An Irish Blessing

  2. July 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    It looks like a blog, it almost reads like a blog…..but it is fast becoming a very interesting and adventurous………Book!! and the images are getting better and better….. so there..

    See you this coming Saturday, Bahour…..:-))


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