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August 1 - Day 86

White Rabbit.

It rained all night. Thankfully I was in my tent before it started. By morning, however, it continued to drizzle, and now I fear that I will have to leave in rain. Oh well, I've been through worse.

I said good morning to Sandra after reading for a while, then started getting ready. I packed everything under the nearby gazebo (which, come to think of it, I should have camped under. DUH!) and left.

The first thing I encountered was an 11% grade downhill, the steepest yet, though it didn't really feel like it and it was too short to get any real speed. I stopped at a post office in Oka to interview an employee, then stopped at a grocery store, but didn't get anything. Instead I made mac&cheese with tuna at a gas station.

The rain continued . Soon I passed by the Oka provincial park I had originally planned on staying in, and decided to stop. I am not sure why, but I just didn't want to bike in crappy weather already. Also, there isn't another park between here and Quebec City that I could use. So, after some language barrier problems, I found a place to share.

Then the rain stopped. Figures.

Wanting to make the most of this situation, I decided to get the weather forecast from the administration building, as well as a few interviews if at all possible. At this time (11:43) I'm still contemplating the possibility of pushing onward, but I doubt it. I pushed my legs pretty hard, and I'm sure I can think of a million other excuses too, but unless the sun shines I think I'll stay.

Time spent cycling: 0:30:00 hours (approx)

Distance traveled: 7.75 km

Total distance: 4618 km

Average Speed: 15.4 kph

Maximum speed: 57.4 kph

Current Location: Oka Provincial Park

(note: this does not include biking around the park itself)

Alright, now I'm torn. It isn't sunny, but it has stopped raining for the foreseeable future. Part of me thinks I should make a go for it. However, I've done two thirds of a survey which had to be interrupted because I ran out of tape, and he won't be able to finish it until 5. The young male demographic is something I've been lacking as of late as well...

Won't it just be just my luck if it pours tomorrow? However, the Environment Canada report gives me the following forecast for tomorrow...

"Averse le matin. Nuageau avec eclaircies et 40% de probability d'averses par la suite. Max pres de 26."

I think that mean overcast with 40% chance of rain in the afternoon.

From what I can make of the long range (like that means anything to me), Jeudi (thursday, right?) is "variable clouds with the possibility of showers (30%)". After that just variable clouds till the weekend. But so what? It's never right, anyways. The main reason I stopped was because yesterday's forecast called for today to be lots of rain with a good chance of thunderstorms, and look at it now! Well, you can't look at it obviously, but take my word for it, no rain and no thunder.

This really is like being in another country. I haven't seen a single english sign yet (outside a Jehovah's Witness church) in Quebec. Considering that the language law here only prevents english signs from being the same size or bigger than french, I thought I would have seen more english... if only for the tourists! The reservation I passed through last night, however, is a different matter. Signs back at the reserve were mostly english, and I noticed that though they had some french in their accents, most of them primarily spoke english. Interesting...

I don't remember if I mentioned this before, but I broke novel length on this journal! 65,000 words so far! Yikes! To think I'll have to sort through all this crap when I get back.

I am typing this portion of the journal in the campground's restaurant/convenience store/community center. They are presently playing the movie Beethoven's 3rd. In french. This is a movie that they couldn't even get Charles Grodin back for, and had to settle for Judge Reinhold. I don't even think it was meant to be straight to video, it probably just tested so poorly that they changed their mind about theatrical release.

Can you say UNWATCHABLE? I thought my brain would melt out my ears. At first I thought not understanding it would make it more enjoyable, perhaps even funny. I was wrong. Time to go.

I can't believe I stayed and watched the whole damn thing... part of me thought I could pick up some french if I heard the words and could read the lips in english. Part of me was just too lazy to leave the building. As a testament to the movie's badness, only one of the twenty some odd kids laughed at the movie at any time. These are all four to eight year olds who find someone picking their nose to be high comedy. I feel sorry for the one who laughed, he probably doesn't stand a chance in life. Poor kid.

To give you an idea of this movie... how's this to bring an image to your mind: in a tourist old west ghost town you encounter nearly naked fat sumo wrestling gunslingers wearing cowboy hats and boots, who then wrestle with people in the crowd. I don't even have a clue how that happened.

I be more dumb now I see movie

Already I am weary of the journey, and this is only the second day. The humidity doesn't help, nor does that fact that I can't understand what anything says. I will probably feel better once I'm in New Brunswick, partly because everyone will speak english again, and mostly because the journey will truly be coming to an end.

One of the problems I am having doing the survey here is finding people that speak english well enough to help me. Even those who speak the language fairly well are, I think, a little shy to speak their mind (in one case the woman admitted she didn't like the idea of me recording her voice because of how poorly she spoke the language). This could be a problem, especially since most of my surveys will probably come from rural and not urban centers.

Man, I still can't get over how humid it is! It's like trying to breath underwater out here! I'm glad I took this extra day, if only because this is probably the last "comfortable" place I'll be in for quite a while. Everything else will have the tinge of "is it safe?" and "what if I get caught here?" to it. An extra ounce of stress I just don't need.

Towards nightfall it began to thunder and spittle. Could be a big storm on its way, could be nothing. I made some instant porridge as a change of pace, it's okay but needs brown sugar in it.

Before I leave tomorrow, I'll have to see if I can finish that survey with the park employee (he got off work before I got back to him) and get another long range forecast off the internet, for all the good it will do me. Tonight, however, I'm just going to read some Asimov essays and go to sleep.

Man, and I thought it was humid OUTSIDE. Just image how I'm feeling writing this INSIDE a fully covered cramped tent.

Onto Day 87...