Rainy River, Ontario
This was a landmark day because it’s the day that our feet carried us to the finish line of the province of Ontario. It had been a good period moving along this long stretch of territory during the summer of 2012. Did I say summer? Well, perhaps that period is over. Temperatures are dropping to the near freezing point at night and my fingers felt it as I was walking during the sun’s rising.
Cathy Caul of confederation college arranged for Daruka and I to speak to her students at lunch hour. They are studying social services. I guess from her perspectiuve the idea was to expose the students to a monk who’s walking for the wellbeing of others, and that might add a little extra depth to their studies. She graciously arranged lunch for all during my presentation which included mantra meditation. Of course, Billy the Parrot was a hit with the young adults there.
From the college Daruka and I drove to the location of yesterday’s yet-to-do lengths of Highway 11 – a mere 7 Kms which terminates at the town of Rainy River and whose waters separate Canada from the US. I personally walked the last step to the customs office to shake hands with the officers and inform them of the feat taken.
One mention though about a stopover; before touching the Ontario/Minnesota border, Daruka and I made a detour at Emo to visit Issiah Wildneress centre. There we met Michale Shriver who’s known as the Gentle Bear Man. The man is remarkable. The furry creatures love him. The place is like a sanctuary for black and brown bears. I counted one dozen young and adult bears, playing, climbing, feeding, and enjoying in their natural setting. And it’s true, they eat right out of your own hand with no barrier between you and the mammal. We were in awe. Whatever little phobia I had about these guys I dropped when two full grown bears came to devour sugar buns from our hand to their mouth.
It was magic.