YES - I am a bit behind in blogging. Let's just say that Northern Ontario is NOT known for great cell reception or internet access - unless you are with Manitoba Tel or tBaytel.
This is the day after the accident. Adam was able to get through and arrived at the arena in Nipigon around 1 AM. Surprisingly I had a good sleep - more from shock, exhaustion???? but once I grabbed my blanket and pillow, I was out for the night and didn't wake up until I heard others moving around. I got up at 7 AM. Everyone was in a fuzz to say the least. Bud has also arrived sometime during the night.
Some of the Nipigon community got together and had breakfast ready for us that morning. And while you don't really feel like eating, you are hungry and it is important. I am SO IMPRESSED and grateful to the Town of Nipigon, The Victim Services of Thunderbay. They pulled together and made what could have been a horrible night, just that much more bearable. Thank you to everyone!!!!!!!
Once everyone was up, we sat around for a couple of hours and chatted about Bob and Irene. Sharing information on how they had affected each of us in the short time that we got to know them. People shared their feelings about continuing with the trip. Everyone was deeply affected in some way - whether grief for Bob and Irene, guilt for surviving or freaked out about continuing the trip. But we had NO option but to continue the trip. Campsites are booked along the way and to change them would be a nightmare. While that seems uncaring, it is just a fact of life.
Some people chose to NOT ride that day. Bud was there to help ferry people to the next campsite if they felt they could not ride. Some people chose to ride in the truck for 2/3 of the way although I am not sure why they did that. I signed up on this trip to ride and so I got ready to ride. I told Michel that I could NOT ride with him. He scares me with the way he rides. While technically we are supposed to ride in the traffic lane (bicycles are considered traffic like a car), there is a time and a place to do that. I would rather ride the shoulder and leave the traffic as much room as possible than insist on riding according to the traffic act and be dead. Not going to freak you all out, but some of the roads we have ridden have no shoulders and are just crap. That is just a fact of life. The roads I ride around here are the same in spots.
I also felt it was going to be better to get out and ride - the sooner you get back on, the sooner you get over your fears, issues and concerns. Plus it was better to have something to focus on (the road and riding) than sitting around camp being upset. So Neal and I headed out.
I must say that when the first vehicle passed me, I was freaked out. I was freaked out when the first transport went by, but the more I rode, the more comfortable I became. At the end of the day, I was very glad that I rode. And it helped me deal with what had happened.
We had a fair amount of construction that day (about 20K of stripped off pavement). Normally, that would be horrible to ride, but the 20K was in sections and the traffic was well regulated by the construction crews and so the traffic was slow in those areas. But the vibrations!!!! Holy cow - it was like being on a vibrating bed!!!
The wind was pretty good and not so many hills. Some of them were long, but not overly steep. We did stop often and took it easy. There was no rush. Our goal was to arrive - alive!
There was some mix-up with who was making dinner that night and Team 2 started and then we took over when we arrived. Officially it was our night so we were on for breakfast the next morning. Part of the therapy was to talk about Bob and Irene. While it was easy to realize they were not with us on the truck, it was so difficult to comprehend that they are gone forever.
Let's say that this place was the WORST for bugs. I believe these were black flies and they were everywhere. I had lumps and bumps all around my neck and head even though I had my scarf tightly wrapped around my head. I guess it wasn't wrapped tight in some places!!!!!
We stopped at a small town called Rossport. There seemed to be one pretty neat little restaurant there. Where and how some of these places pop up and survive is beyond me. Anyway - we had the most amazing shortcake with blueberries and whipped cream!!!!!! Wasn't cheap, but it was awesome.
Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(not even going to worry about pictures until much later - there just isn't a lot of time)