Jul. 1, 2007

Downstream and Uphill

Another road trip report! This one began on Thursday morning with a trip up to Stouffville for a photo shoot (happy couple discovering the delights of their new hometown). That went smoothly enough, with our outdoor shots completed in fairly cool weather. The last few days have been blisteringly hot. I learned that there's a vineyard in Stouffville, which was a surprise. Then I tried to get to an audition downtown (didn't make it) before heading out to join my friends Adrian and Sebastian in Ottawa for a white-water rafting trip. We met in Renfrew at about midnight as we'd both been delayed and spotty cell phone reception made connecting a bit tricky.

Ready to go!The rafting, with Owl Rafting, on Friday was good fun. We had great weather and our guide, Alex, was a real character. We got soaked of course, as well as getting dumped out of our raft a few times. Between rapids we amused ourselves by engaging in combat with other rafts. One of the large and very stable rafts was carrying a dozen young Asian guys. They managed to get dumped completely upside down on the biggest rapid. We had a great view of the incident, which ended safely.

After a short nap we headed back toward Toronto, a five hour drive. We stopped in the little town of Tweed for a genuine "Chinese-Canadian" meal and then followed our own routes. They drove straight on to Toronto while I stopped in Cobourg to spend the night at my parents so I could get up to Peterborough quickly in the morning. There was a great pale red moon at twilight, it looked fantastic against the horizon.

My reason for wanting to get to Peterborough is that I'm racing a Half Ironman triathlon there next weekend. I wanted to get a good long ride in this weekend and I thought that it would be nice to get a look at the bike course. So 90K later I have a good idea of what I'll be facing next week. There were a few other triathletes doing the same thing, but I only encountered them at the starting point. The route is pretty hilly but there weren't any killers. It should be a good road to race on, unless the peregrine falcons that have built nests atop several telephone poles get aggressive. A couple of women who finished their ride at the same time discovered that they'd locked themselves out of their car. Despite wanting to be a knight in shining armor the best I could do was drive one of them up the road to a service station to get a mechanic's help. Should I start carrying a "Slim Jim"? Probably not.

Driving back into Toronto there was a traffic jam on the Don Valley Parkway; yet another Canadian Goose leading her "teenage" gosling flock along the highway shoulder! After a nice nap when I got home I met Sheryl for dinner at Le Paradis, a nice French restaurant in her neighbourhood and we finally had a chance to catch up, her telling me about London and Paris, me telling her about Ottawa and Peterborough...

Now it's out the door to Brian's place to see the French Grand Prix on tape.

P.S. A bit of Mars news! The Opportunity rover is about to begin a risky descent into Victoria Crater. Let's hope it makes it back out after investigating some interesting rock formations.

Listening to: 5 Days In May by Blue Rodeo from Five Days in July.

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