I woke up early and emerged from my womb-like sleeping shelter ready to face another day under a boiling sun and at the mercy of a ferocious and tempermental mother nature that seems to have no love for my friend and I. Downey and I packed our things quickly and moved out. The day started out like any other, we made a little something to eat (sandwich and granola bars) and were cycling on schedule and making good time.
The heat had subsided for the day and the sky darkened to a frightening shade, to the point where you had to ask yourself whether it was later than it really was. There was very little suprise when the sky broke into a violent lightning storm. The only way I could descride to you the amount of water that started to come down would be in buckets.
Usually Downey and I would simply put on rain gear and continue, but this storm was not simply a minor inconvinience to us, but a hinderance to the visibility of the drivers we shared the road with. I had witnessed a moose get hit by a semi the night before and did not wish to put myself in same predicament as that sorry animal. Downey and I passed by a restaurant in the middle of nowhere called the English River and decided to see if we could get any kind of shelter.
When we rolled up it became obvious the restaurant was closed. Downey insisted on knocking on the door to see if anyone was home (as it was a fishing resort as well). A middle aged lady opened the door and had a brief conversation with Downey..
"OK Joe, there is a shack we can get shelter from the rain in the back, and she said she would make us lunch"
"Right on!" I said
When we arrived at the back of the complex I found myself somewhat distraught as the only shack in which to find protetion was the fish gutting shack. It wreaked of fish guts, was small, and had walls of mosquito netting, and therefore afforded no protetion from the howling winds.
within minutes of being in the dead fish shack we were soaked. the mosquito netting did not offer any protection and we were chilled to the bone. The lady did make us two sandwhiches, and Downey and I hurried to grab the food. As I grabbed the tray with the two tiny sandwiches the lady said:
"That will be twelve bucks"
I only stared at the two sandwhiches and decided to remain silent as I could not muster anything positive to say. Downey picked up on this and paid the lady. We then returned to the foul shack for our dead fish snack. How fitting it was.
When the rain subsided I wanted to do nothing more than put several hundred miles between me and the bad experience of English River. However, mother nature had a different plan for us and it did not entail making much progress. We found ourselves hours later trapped in a typhoon like lightening storm and chose to camp out in a place called Upsala. A campground was located in town and they graciously allowed us to camp at no cost. When the rain let up, the power went out, therefore the warm showers were off and, desperate to be clean, we bathed in the lake. At night the skies cleared enough to have a small fire and look out over the lake nearby at the endless tangle of trees and wilderness that still stretched out in front of us.