It’s been so long since I’ve been on here. Now that my race season is over, I’ve been letting things settle – actually, I found my race season kind of disappointing, so I’ve been letting those negative emotions slip away like fallen leaves in fall runoff. Instead, I’m trying to focus on the good stuff: my training was blissful at times, I set a 5k PB in a fun race in Digby, and I took home first place in the Nova Scotia Half Marathon. There were some disappointments, but there was more good than bad. The fact that I’m healthy and still running is gift enough!
So I thought I’d move on by checking up on my Virtual Cross-Canada Run to see where my accumulated mileage for the year would put me in Canada. In my last tour post, I was just outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Since then, I’ve been putting in some pretty good mileage. In fact, the last two weeks were both over 100k. After today’s 24k long run with Alex, my total accumulated mileage is 3,600.8km.
Not bad. You’d think that would at least get me out of Ontario. I mean, Ontario can’t go on forever, can it?
Wrong. It totally can. Today’s total has me just outside Kenora, Ontario. I could practically spit on Manitoba (I would never!!), but I’m still trapped in the Big O. I’m beginning to regret my decision to have my route go through Toronto. If I’d skipped southern Ontario and gone through Ottawa (like my bro was saying), I’d probably be past Winnipeg by now!
That’s okay, though. There are plenty o’ big things to see in the Big O. In the run from T-Bay to Kenora, I would’ve passed all sorts of fascinating and incomprehensible large sculpture-like objects to keep me amused despite the demoralizingly long road out of the province.
Like in Upsala, where you’ll find this amazing piece of art affectionately known as “Mosquito Carrying Man”:
Check out the knife and fork the mosquito is holding – exquisite touch! Don’t tell me that this piece doesn’t express a little bit of the truth.
And then in Dryden there’s Max the Moose:
Okay, not as original or exciting – but who can’t feel the excitement of their inner child while standing next to a giant animal sculpture (actually, no joke – these things are awesome!).
The mystery of the Ontario wilderness tugs at unconscious emotions and fears none of us likes to talk about. But in Vermillion Bay, we’re forced to deal with that fear face-to-face when we confront the Bigfoot statue:
I bet he’d move even faster if he shaved his legs – like a triathlete.
And then we get to Kenora, where the locals still pray to the great, wise, but slippery deity Husky the Musky, whose received wisdom includes the imperishable proverb “Guests are like fish; after three days, they start to stink.”
What many people don’t know is that the sublime and remote northern Ontario wilderness has attracted eccentric geniuses of all kinds throughout history. For example, in the 60s, Klaus von Farfegnugen, one of Volkswagon’s top design engineers fled the pressures of fame and fortune in Germany for the quiet boreal expanses of the Kenora area. Legend has it that his creative flow was all bunged up, and he needed some peace and quiet to get the juices flowing again. One day, out of sheer frustration and angst, he threw a very sharp pencil at a map hung on a cork board. When it stuck, he made an impulsive decision: he would go and live wherever it had landed – and it had landed directly on Kenora.
I have trouble believing this story – it seems a little farfetched. Regardless, the fact is that Klaus ended up in Kenora where he designed and built the prototype of what he thought would be the next evolution in the automobile after the resounding success of the Volkswagon Beetle. He called it the Volkswagon Spider:
Incredibly, this was the only one ever made. A jealous rival back in Germany scuttled the project. But it didn’t matter. Klaus fell in love with a beautiful Kenora girl who couldn’t get enough of his accent, and they lived happily ever after.
Or so they say.
If you want to see more amazing big objects from places all across Canada, check out this awesome website. It’s where all these images come from.
Until next time... happy running!
"You can’t trust everything you read on the Internet.”