Sunday, January 10, 2016

Day 71 Through the Soo

Au Canada!  How nice it is when everything falls into place - an easy border crossing for me.  Few international borders are set up for pedestrians, especially those defined by a river.  The high, arching bridge can be crossed by bicycle, the border guards related, but not by foot.  No one had a bicycle for me to borrow, so a little 'bridge bus' was flagged down, and on I got for the crossing.  Welcome to Canada >stamp<.

The UP of Michigan flew by under my feet more than my snowshoes, but I got in some off-road and forest walking and was met with kindness (and coffee) everywhere.  Overall, the warmest gesture I met in all six of the states I walked through since Denver has been the offering of cups of coffee, so often right through the car window.  I haven't encountered this anywhere else in all my travels.  God Bless America.

Amid all the joy and fun I've been having, a highlight before exiting the country was found just north of Paradise - and what pilgrim could bypass a town so-named?  Just north of Paradise is a Catholic community called Companions of Christ the Lamb.  They've got a substantial wilderness area and offer short and long-stay wilderness retreats in small hermitages away from the world.  It's a funny perspective that such a place could be dubbed 'wilderness', but it's an apt title.  While I associate wilderness areas with a rugged lack-of-life appeal - those many deserts I've crossed, the high-altitude way-above-the-treeline aretes, the vast uninhabited tundra all with an imminent threat of death with the slightest lapse of senses - a cozy hardwood forest with meandering rivers and plenty of wildlife certainly qualifies for a comfortable wilderness retreat anyone could enjoy.  To the surprise of the residents, I approached in great tranquility on foot along snowmobile tracks rather than on the paved highway, quiet as it may be.

Onward toward the Shrine of the Martyrs in Midland, Ontario...maybe by the end of the month.  More snow is forecast, so soon, I hope, the snowshoes will be off my back and on my feet for good.

Happy New Year...


Michèle Dextras said...

Welcome to Canada Ann! I wish I was there to greet you but I am in your country in sunny Florida for the Winter. I hope you meet as much kindness and considération in my country as you have in the US and as we do here.

janincolorado said...

Again, I'm happy you are walking well, meeting wonderful people, and being well cared for. Wishing you some snow.

Claudette Carpentier said...

17 February 2016 - Hi Ann, it was a pleasure to have you at our house (Navan, ONT). I admire your strength and "joie de vivre". I wish you a great journey and may God be with you all the way. Claudette & Bernie :-)