Day 42 – Rest Day, Sault Ste. Marie
I don’t know, a guy makes a small but pretty bizarre typo and the whole blog lights up. Here are a couple of the comments on my “clam/calm” slip-up from yesterday:
“I had a chuckle over the dead clam on the beach!” (Penny Harrison)
“Glad to see that you enjoyed the dead clam on the beach. I know that you usually go for the live ones. Was it tasty?” (Susanna Candlin)
“In my mind, Matthew Arnold’s ‘Dover Beach’ now starts “The sea is clam tonight. / The tide is full” (Stewart Buchanon)
I do have the editorial power to go back and change it, but I think it should become a fixture. In the words of the famous wartime British poster on raising shellfish for the war effort, I shall simply…
The biggest pleasure of a rest day is not having to rush around doing things before getting back on the bike. No destination at all, except the end of a summer’s day and a good night’s sleep. A good example was breakfast this morning at my hotel’s restaurant, where I not only got the full works plus coffee, with the most shocking wallpaper in Ontario if not all of Canada, but also my first ever live breakfast coverage of the Tour de France., which I lingered over right up to the tense final sprint (Chris Froome still in yellow). Every time they showed the sign saying 43km to go etc, I thought “I know how far that is”.
Another one is wandering slowly around the local supermarket, instead of the usual “run ‘n’ throw”. I always find that I’m at my hungriest on rest days, with almost no limit to the number of meals I could eat. The kids at Beechwood, during the assembly before I left, loved knowing about the thousands of calories a day I needed to eat to stay in food credit, day in, day out. I’ve just discovered peanut butter and chocolate. Now you know some of the fine dining of my daily life on the road:
I also spotted this great idea at the fresh produce section. It must cost them next to nothing to run, but sends a valuable message (I got fruit and salad Susie, don’t worry. You cannot live on brisket alone):
Two visits on the website today from Cameroon I notice – thanks for adding a flag to the collection, David!
RE poems about missing people far away: I love this short one by Dorothea Grossman, sent in by my mum (not favouritism!):
I Have To Tell You
I have to tell you,
there are times when
the sun strikes me
like a gong,
and I remember everything,
even your ears.
The afternoon was spent at the Marconi Centre (by complete chance right next door to Low & Slow from last night) which was hosting an Italian Festival. A couple at breakfast told me that most of town would be there, and quite a few would be of genuine Italian descent. The Soo is a border town with a bridge over to the US (Michigan) and a big duty free and casino business area.
My hotel was represented at the Festival by sponsoring the golf putting challenge, uphill across uneven plywood boards covered in well-used carpet tiles. Tough. Not a single person got anywhere near the little mouseholes whilst I was watching, mostly either rolling idly off to the left and disappearing into the slow-braiser BBQ area next door, or shooting off without touching the ground and heading for the adjacent road. The braiser was steaming away all afternoon but I never saw any food come out. Perhaps they’re getting next year’s porchetta ready? I suspect that the guys running it may have had a plateful or two from somewhere.
There were various performers standing up in front of the deafening sound system and singing Italian songs, much to the delight of the crowd. Lots of the gents were wearing Italian football team jerseys, and the women were all running the event and greeting each other noisily. In this clip, watch out for the chap in the blue shirt – he knew all the words, in fact I suspect he may have coached the performer and was living out the song vicariously. In other verses (I missed them!) of this long song he acted out all the instruments mentioned in the chorus.
See you back on the road tomorrow, when I’ll be heading for the next Great Lake on this trip, Lake Huron, and then on to Toronto and Susie arriving next weekend, trying to avoid a storm system that is currently soaking Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, whilst BC suffers with over 220 wildfires filling the air with smoke (thinking of you, Stewart & Gill) and the temperatures in the interior (such as Okanagan Lake where I swam) are soaring dangerously high. Looks like I’ve had more luck than I realised…