Day 31 – Dryden to Ignace. Generally I cook in the evening, but not tonight. After hours and hours of a very tedious headwind I was always heading for an evening out tonight. Once I’m at my Campground I usually ask a couple of people the same question: where would you eat tonight if you were really hungry?
- Today’s Distance (miles/km): 69 /112
- Time in saddle: 6h 22
- Max/min temp: 30°/17°
- Climb/descend: 1570 / 1283
- Calories used: 3256 (got to be more than that!)
- Cafe time: 1h 40
I got virtually the same answer from several people: “Oh that’s easy! Wednesday is chicken wings night at the Ignace Tavern!” As many wings (honey/garlic for me) as you want at 69c each plus a jug of beer. Fries with gravy half price too.
You’ll have gathered that this is not a day when I’m going to regale you with tales of cycling exploits. The less said about today the better, and headwind is really all I need to say. For the Calgary Two, possibly coming this way tomorrow, there is nothing between Dryden and Ignace. Bring food and lots of water. But remember that once you get here, Ignace is great. I liked it straight away. Small town, a peaceful campground right on the lake, a few homely blocks away from the highway, lots of stores/shops/stuff you need, friendly. And wings night.
A lot of things go through your head when you’re grinding out the miles against the wind. I’ve had something bugging me for days. Ever since I saw the bit of film my family sent me of Susie and Jacob opening out the map to show how little progress is made I’ve been trying to work out what childhood memory has been bubbling up, connected with my trip. Today I suddenly realised what it was. My mum said something just before I left about how wrapped up I used to be as a kid in endurance and survival stories, and that got me thinking about books I read back then. I loved The Hobbit, and moved straight on to The Lord of the Rings (getting stuck on the famous “Council of Elrond” chapter, contender for Worse Ever Chapter in a Great Book prize, but jumping ahead. Someone once told me that it introduces 20 new characters that never appear again, and is the best ever argument for the importance of having a good editor). I remember first Bilbo’s, then Frodo’s huge journeys on foot with fold-out maps at the front of the book, and looking at them thinking how far these poor hobbits had to go, deeper and deeper into unknown lands. That was what I was remembering, the scale of an unknown journey.
I’d like to get something going today, another product of a slow tiring day, called Substitute Lyrics. Famous songs, altered by marginal changes to the lyric or title. You know the sort of thing, and I’ll get things started with a few from the road today:
John Mills, during a John Wilson Orchestra gig in Cardiff, memorably came up with “An American in Powys”. It makes me laugh out loud every time I think of it. Thanks John.
“I’ve Thrown a Custard in your Face” from My Fair Lady (contender for Best Ever Musical)
One for fellow Hertfordshire residents: “Cheek to Cheek” with the new opening line “Hemel, I’m in Hemel”
That’s for starters (I have more). I’ll see what comes in from you all and post them tomorrow or later. So come on, all you Garsington/Grange(s)/Glyndebourne opera orch musicians, logging on to the company wifi during one of those interminable dialogues or unaccompanied recits. Use this time to amuse us all. Anyone remember Vision On?
(Frog recreated on an Ignace Tavern napkin). In the spirit of that great programme from the 1970s, “I’m afraid we can’t return any of your entries, but those that we do show will receive a prize”. Very much TBD, probs more Minstrels.
And this one – The Loneliness of the Double-Act Survivor. Sadly no longer with us either.
The waitress just brought my dessert, her suggested replacement for the cheesecake (all gone). “That’s Maple ice-cream and Nanaimo Squares”. Maybe that’s NFC, but Nanaimo is the town on Vancouver Island where I first set out for the start of my trip, Ucluelet, and that seems an age ago.
Update: the waitress just came out to the next table and asked “Another beer guys?” The big guy answered “Nooooo-ok!”