Went to a bar yesterday evening and met some Fort Frances locals. I was given a painted turtle by Don & Jamie, a native couple. Don is from a place called Serpent River, a place between Sudbury and Sault Sainte Marie which I must have gone through - the name sounds familiar and I think I can picture the place but I might be thinking of somewhere else.
After the bar we (me, them and a guy called Warren and a guy called George) went back to their place and continued drinking. It was a good night. I crashed there and walked back to my tent in the morning carrying the turtle and wearing a Mine Centre (the place I was in the night before) shirt Warren gave me (I gave him my Notting Hill hemp top) and a sleeveless jacket Jamie gave me. I think I look a lot more Canadian now. I certainly feel more Canadian.
They were great people, easy to get along with and very kind and generous.
Talking about the trip with them, I realize I'm now past halfway and this trip has reached middle age. The times when I was just starting out, back in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, feel like a distant childhood world of innocence. Now I'm sleeping rough - would never have dreamed of doing that two months ago. Well, I did dream of it, but only in nightmares as I slept in a comfortable hotel bed or on a safe campsite.
I'm tougher now (wearing a Mine Centre shirt and a sleeveless jacket).
Also, the problems I went through back then, I can now see them from the other side, having come through them. Soon I'll look back on the problems I'm going through now in the same way.
I remember sitting in Bangor (Maine) town centre at around 6 o'clock when it was starting to rain and I had no money and no where to stay for the night. At the time that was quite distressing but now I know things turned out okay - I ended up on a campsite where every day is Christmas Day (trailers decorated with Christmas lights, snowmen, sleds etc.).