I was going to let today pass without comment. Tonight  munched my way through a packet of Doritos and tomato dipping sauce washed down with orange juice mixed with the remains of the Southern Comfort. Yes, I have become a tramp.

I have just finished off Ted Simon’s Jupiter’s Travels which I have been dipping into at all through the journey. To be honest, I really have not had time to read, daylight fades and in a tent, torchlight is not a good way to read. During the day I am either too busy driving or looking around. So I have started Meetings With Remarkable Men by G I Gurdjieff, which I purchased in a second hand bookshop in Butte Montana. I read the last chapter first, about how he made his money, witty and surprising. Jupiter’s Travels was hugely enjoyable, not only it is well written but also it gave me tremendous moral support over the last 9,000 miles I have travelled.

Bus reads: This is Indian Land

Yes, 9,000 miles. I pulled the plugs on the Kawasaki and they were a lovely tint of beige, perfect condition. I also fixed a problem that has been annoying me since I bought the bike. None of the workshops spotted it. It was a loose bolt on the gear selector mechanism. I retightened it and oiled it and it is as good as new (almost). Until now, it was a real chore getting it in and out of neutral, also shifting into other gears.

The filth on the bike, my deranged beardy and sunburned look gives some cause for alarm to people on the campsite. I was trying out the newly fixed gear mechanism and I took a 5 mph tour.. It is mostly trailers with neatly tended gardens with 15cm high plastic fences. One or two have fairy lights or strings o of Christmas-style faux Victorian lamps.  One with cute plastic animals, facing me is a painted wooden bear perched seated on a tree branch, if that was not bad enough the bear is wearing a red dress. A bear in drag? In  another garden, purple red petunias. I am under fire from giggling children pulling back a huge elastic the width of a ping pong net, hurling clumps of day glo sticky string at me while I emerged from the lavvies. I leered at them menacingly through my dark glasses and they stopped giggling. The Canadian customs and practices of camping are quite similar to the Dutch.

I am finishing my dinner now with a banana and some home made chocolate fudge washed down with sobering mouthfuls of water.

After this morning which was a bit like setting out from a damp morning in Solihull the skies telling me it will rain… it will rain. Puttering along at 55-65, by lunch time I could remove my goretex jacket and my Dutch police waterproof over jacket to enjoy the rest of the sunny day. I stop off in one of the coves along the shores of Superior. It really is lovely up here. The only tourists are from Ottawa and Montreal it seems. Few of them at that. In the little cove, Sinclair Cove I sat for a while with the dozen or so sunbathers and canooists. The waters of Superior barely moving, fresh warm water, no currents or tides, dogs waltzing in to gulp at the fresh water.

I am 45 miles from Sault Ste. Marie , I buy some souvenirs and the basics for tonight’s meal and check into the campsite with my pitch nearest the beach.

To conclude, some snaps  I took along the road today. I have noticed little piles of stones arranged along my route, particularly in Canada and Northern parts of the US. They are found at the top of rocky embankments and mountainsides. I think they have been put there by  First Nation people. I need to investigate this further, meantime, here are some examples.

150 miles from Ottawa

although he did refuse that again at first. He and his wife Sue and brother in law are doing up the wooden cabins and putting up a public covered open dining area. Down the hill is a single railway track leading to Ottawa 150 miles east. A little further down the hill is a landing stage on the Ottawa River. It makes me think again, why return to London? I realise this will be a back breaking piece of work for the guy but what a location! He could always sell it when he has done it up. It brings a new angle to property development…


So tonight, I have a whole campsite to myself with the view of the Ottawa river. My laptop is being charged outside my tent. The bathrooms even have little wooden boats and shells for decoration, nailbrush and soap. It couldn’t be nicer. Sort of lucky, really.

Now just as I was getting ready to turn in for bed, a goods train honks past and as I look down the hill the driver waves up at me. I should write a koan about that.