Tuesday, September 6, 2005 - Ski Across Canada
Rollerskiing Canada Day 68: 3280 miles / 5278 km covere

- By: www.fitstep.com

Alex Nilsson is roller skiing across Canda. Alex's wife, Nicole Nilsson (who has the patience of a saint), will be driving the support vehicle (a motorhome) for the duration of the journey, at times following Alex and at times driving ahead and parking, going back to meet him on a bike and ride along with him. Walkie talkies will allow them to be in constant communication.

Alex is planning on covering about 100 km (60 miles) per day, depending on weather and traffic conditions, starting in early in the morning and roller skiing until about noon, to avoid the heat of the afternoon. He will be travelling primarily on lesser-travelled roads and skirting major cities to avoid heavier traffic.

But Alex is determined to overcome all of this and make a successful trip across the country! Here are his latest updates:

Picking up on the updates from Sudbury, Ontario:
Just met a couple from Creston, Bridgit & Duncan Currie with two kids. They were looking out for us along the way. Had a visit on the roadside.

Bad shoulders, or rather none, so Alex walked 15 km. We are now at the four lane area - yea! Arrived at Richie's (nephew) in Sudbury at 7pm. Met Jane his girlfriend. Edwina (niece) was leaving for work. We had a great pasta dinner and Jane made blueberry/apple pie. Great visit. The fella we had met near Ignace, Vic, came over for dinner. He's planning to cycle with Alex this morning out of Sudbury.

Leaving Sudbury, Ont.

We had a great send off from Edwina, Richie & Jane. Richie had a pair of x-country with poles on the front lawn. They were original back country wooden skis with original antique bindings - very valuable! He was proud that he paid ten dollars at garage sale for them!

Had about 30k new pavement up to Hagar. Stayed at RV motel field with picnic tables. August 29. Started at 8:30 in heavy fog but it is lifting. Alex has flashing lights on fanny pack so he is visible.
  • Big Thanks for hospitality to Richie, Jane and Edwina. We really enjoyed our stop in Sudbury.
  • Big Thanks to Steph, Jacinthe, Sue, and Mike for the welcome to North Bay. Had a great time!
  • Thanks to Vic Del Bosco for meeting up with us in Sudbury. We had met him on Aug.7th near Ignace. See you in BC sometime!
  • Thanks to Doug Winters for trying to get his North Bay Jr Ski Team to meet with us. Sorry it didn't work out! Good Luck to these future Olympians!
  • Near Hagar, Ont.
    Roads are baaad but can't turn back! Very few pullouts so I parked at the Saphire - Spur motel at Warren. I asked if was ok to be here for a couple hours. The manager, a retired trucker, was very accomodating. A few retirees were sitting having coffee and cigarettes and shooting the breeze - nice little community.

    At the viewpoint of Lake Nipissing, we met a Vancouverite, Kevin Melanson, originally from New Brunswick. He works as engineer in Vancouver. Stayed overnite about 15km from North Bay.

    North Bay, Ont.
    North Bay is about size of Cornwall, which was a surprise to me. I remember going to visit as a child ma tante (aunt in French) Rhea and family. Called her but we had no time to visit. Skied 28 km only. Steph (nephew) met us at the turnoff to Corbeil where they live. We went for lunch and Jacinthe (his fiancee) joined us. Then Suzanne (Nicole's sister) came along. Sue and I went shopping - yea! It's sad to be shopping deprived!! Steph whipped up a Gourmet meal. We checked out the site for the Log home Sue and Mike (her husband) are setting up. The lake view is out of this world - wonderful location! Had a good nites sleep in a normal bed no traffic whirling by. GAS prices are going UP - yikes to our budget.

    Leaving North Bay, Ont.
    Meeting with NB Jr Ski Team didn't happen. Ok. We had a leisurely visit with the Bouchers before they gear up for the wedding! Plan remains flexible here. We will decide which way to go in Pembroke - will be visiting Patrick (nephew) Norm's (Nicoles' brother) son - hope he knows condition of roads. We are looking at Hwy 148 through Quebec. See Alex coming up the hill. Huge hills in ON. Time for canned lasagna cold of course and coleslaw!

    Deep River, Ont.

    A BIG Thank You to Craig Storey of XCOttawa for posting a request for road recommendations on his forums. And a big thank you to everyone who replied with advice! It always helps to hear from people who ski in that area where the best routes are.
    Jacques Dumont
    Pierre-Olivier Derego
    Devasish Paul
    Chris Pella
    Patricia Careau-Auld
    Lynda Chouinard
    Louis Tay
    Skiers from the group will be joining Alex as he goes through the Ottawa area!

    Matawa, Ont.
    Was a great visit with the Bouchers! Headed to Matawa. Met a young couple from Niagara Falls, spending summer holiday at Dunlop Crescent. Their names were Shelby and John - good visit! Had an IGA grovery store manager deliver my groceries to the RV - 3 blocks because of no parking for BIG me. His brother is diabetic. We talked BORDERLINE diabetic - who thought that up - you are or aren't. Overnite outside Matawa - no name pullout!

    SEPT. 1
    Weather was good. Almost uneventful day - we need some of those. Got lot of cycling in - maybe I will get fit TOO! Found the perfect camp spot parked and cycled back to Alex 5 km.

    When we returned, excited scared people were throwing their picnic and their kids into their van and yelling at us "there's a BEAR breaking into your RV!" Another couple got out of their vehicle and said its only a small bear! With all the noise we were making the young bear and unable to get to Alex's old sardine can in our onboard garbage. He took off like a bullet - it sure can move fast! I was glad it was AWAY from us and no Big mother bear with him! The garbage was dumped in bearproof container pretty quick.

    Surprisingly no bear nightmares! The couple made a donation to the cause - Paul & Muriel Lariviere from Quebec

    Alex's updates are provided by www.fitstep.com. Please visit his site for more information and photos.

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