I will start with my crossing into Manitoba, since this was such a psychological hurdle I needed to be done with; the reoccuring film strip like image of me walking across that white dotted line that separates Ontario and Manitoba had been on continuous play for many weeks now!
So, after more than 2000 km of walking, I approached and crossed into Manitoba running, yelling and waving my hands like a well centered pereson does! My unknowing audience: the people driving past me on the road, saw the most peculiar image of me running and screaming, with my hiking poles flaling about — the haphazardly seated Tilley hat on my head added colour to the scene unfolding infront of them as they passed me on the road. However odd I looked, the line between the passion required for this walk and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) criteria of being dsyfunctionally obessive is angstrom thin, but it has to be. If only those onlookers knew of the mounting frustration one must supress when you have to cook, eat, sleep, talk, and perform all your daily natural duties next to the Trans Canada Highway for weeks on end, you would probably go crazy like me too!
It was great to walk and run across my first provincial boundary, but it lacked any drama or music, however, like most milestones and marks of success during this walk, they are silently loud and unknowingly powerful. The only celebration was the few text messages from my phone and satellite tracker, that’s all! The three piece mariachi band and a line of clapping supporters missed the crossing, but I don’t need that, since this walking odyssey has only just begun. I am beginning to realize that I will need to dig deeper when year 2 and 3 roll around, or when I am on my knees in desparation to reach Anchorage, AK during the hard times , when they arrive.
After some reminiscing about the beginning of my walk, I have come to the understanding that we live in a fear based culture, where reality is based on skewed or misinterpreted statistics, and that a real life, boots on the ground empirically based knowledge is lacking. Most of us live a luxrious and seemingly ‘safe’ life within our homes because it is the easy way. We have all become accustomed to this lifestyle, which causes many of us to miss out on what the boundaries of life have to offer. If I listened to anyone during this trip, which I did in the beginning, I would never have continued; conversations with people along the way ranged from the hills were too steep and trecherious along Lake Superior’s North Shore; bears will be an issue; the heat and humidity will be difficult to walk in; the cars and highways are a killer; watch out for questionable people; and the mosquitoes, black flies, and horse flies will be almost unbearable! The only thing I agree with, and still do, is the part about walking along the highway; a difficult pill to swallow each day and evening as I lay in my tent!
Walking along this super highway is the only way, but I will soon be walking the backroads southwest of Winnipeg.