Val-d’Or, Quebec

Rode all day in the rain. I thought I’d outsmarted it — when I was still only mostly wet I pulled over at a sheltered picnic table to wait it out.  I wrung out my socks, made some hot chocolate and warmed myself over the Iliad and my unrequited love for Athena. I waited several hours until the rain lessened and finally stopped. I patted myself on the back for my prudence and patience and rode for about 20 minutes without precipitation, then rode the rest of the day in pouring rain; if they’ve invented gear that can keep you dry in pouring rain at 60 mph, I can’t afford it. The rain was hundreds of miles across — no rain has a right to be that big, and cold.

Another high point was perhaps one million miles of dirt road due to construction.  Muddy and violently potholed where it wasn’t entirely loose, freshly-graded dirt, it was an alternately unpleasant and terrifying ride. It might not have been so bad if I’d been able to see; that’s why I bought a new visor, after all, to replace the old one that was so scratched up that to look through it was to be convinced you were surrounded by clouds. But the new visor is tinted black- it was the only one they had and I thought it might be my last chance to get one for a while (I was wrong), but it turns a perfectly good day into twilight and an overcast day into an oppressive evil darkness. And as I was riding and wiped some water droplets off my new visor with the back of my soft fleecy glove I could see scratches left behind; Lexan, as far as I can tell, scratches upon exposure to air.

I had to get a room and a hot shower.

It’s very different travelling without company. If  Sean was here, we could at least laugh about how miserable we were. Right now I’m not laughing.

I only mention this because any trip worth a damn starts with a misery or an outright disaster, so I’m at least heading in the right direction.

Time has slowed down considerably.