Tomorrow we will come close to the half way point in our journey across the continent. I need to say “come close” because calculating the actual distance to the end, Halifax, is not a very accurate science.
According to the bike odometer we have covered 3497 kilometers. This distance includes every turnoff, every side trip, and every time we stand by the side of the road accidentally rocking the little magnet back and forth across the sensor. J keeps track of our distance as well, using a GPS based program, and usually has about 1.5% less distance than the odometer. I like to go with the greater accomplishment.
According to Google Maps, we have 3700 km left to ride for a total trip of about 7200 km. Of course, Google Maps doesn’t take our side trips into account either, so we will likely actually go a little further than that.
None the less, tomorrow, the distance already ridden should pretty well equal the distance calculated ahead of us.
Things we learned in the first half:
1. We aren’t as keen to camp as we thought we might be. J tells people we are just too old and too rich to camp. Some of the motels we have stayed in have been like camping. But, we continue to pull the camping gear behind us as insurance for the day when there are no other options.
2. Fixing tires is part of the deal. We are putting a lot of pressure on our rear tire resulting in more flats than expected. We fixed number eight today. The new tire we put on the back in Prince George, 2200 km ago, has threads showing through the rubber. We are diverting off of our original route, into Grand Forks, North Dakota, so we can get to a good bike shop.
3. In general, other vehicles are very polite to us with waves and toots of encouragement every day. We do get a few angry hornblowers, but they must have something else going on in their lives that they can’t see the joy in what we are doing.
4. Canada is a big country. There is room for lots more people here. It’s not just big cities attracting immigrants. As I write this, in the little village of Cartwright, Manitoba, a place that defines “middle of nowhere” the voices coming from the kitchen are speaking in a language that comes from somewhere in Eastern Europe. According to the lady at the coffee shop, this area has become a destination for immigrants from all over the world (I’m not sure she was happy about it).
5. We’ve learned a new rhythm for life which has us almost forgetting the old one. I had a job interview, via Skype, last night and had a really hard time getting my head in the space it needed to be in.
6. Even with the new rhythm, we are missing things at home. A loved one is ill, and we would like to be there for her, even though there is nothing we can do. Celebrations are happening that we cannot be part of. We are missing our place and the comfort we have there, but missing is part of the journey too.
Tomorrow we will cross into the U.S. as we approach the half way mark. We will emerge into Canada, again, at Sault Ste Marie in about two weeks.