Note: If you don’t know who Wally is, this wont make a lot of sense. I’d recommend searching the site for “Wally” and reading some of his old posts to get to know him better. He is a nice guy, promise!
Dorval, Quebec – July 11, 2013
Bonjour, Monsieur Wally!
“What did you just call me?”
It’s French. Welcome to Quebec!”
Never heard of it.
“No? How about Montreal? Surely you’ve heard of Montreal!”
About thirteen miles away.
“Thirteen miles…wait, why are you pulling the boat out of the water?”
Don’t you worry your pretty little head.
“Put it back! Put it back! Thirteen miles!”
How else should we celebrate our thirteenth month anniversary! You know, silver for 25, gold for 50, portages for 13.
“If that were true they wouldn’t need any beyond 13.”
Yes, but no one knows you like I do, Wally.
“If we were married, I would divorce you.”
Long ago, I’m sure.
(Hours pass in quiet tension.)
“Hey, what are those police doing driving down the bike path?”
Not sure, but they are stopping. Did they just ask if I had a shirt?
“I have no idea, I don’t speak French! Use those fancy words you were so smug about earlier.”
I was faking it!
“Oh great, now he’s getting out of the car.”
Yep, definitely about a shirt or something. Someone stole a shirt.
“Someone called the police to report a shirt stolen?”
I don’t know. They didn’t seem too interested once it was clear I didn’t have the shirt.
“The police responded to a lost shirt?”
Maybe it was a really nice shirt.
“Suspected shirt thieves!?! We’ve fallen so far! At least we were terrorist suspects in New York.”
Canadians, what can you do.
“Wait! We’re in Canada!?!”
“So we’re done?”
No, still got about 1,400 miles to go. That’s about 2,200 kilometers.
“Kilometers? Sounds annoying.”
Nah, it’s just a measurement we can use to make the trip sound more impressive.
“I’m sure that will be useful since single ladies are known to flock to random bearded men dragging kayaks down bike paths six miles from the nearest water.”
Well, just four miles to go now.
“And there goes the blister alarms. Gotta run.”
Might want to check out the hip flexor while you’re down there.
“I hate you.”
(Wally returns a few hours later.)
So how bad is it?
“Three blisters, two of them rough, a busted hip flexor, and…wait, what the hell? Why is the left hand bleeding?”
Yea, ripped it open getting out on the dock at the first lock on the Lachine Canal. It was a little tall for a kayak.
“Wait, we’re paddling too?”
Yep, right through downtown Montreal. What did you think we would do when we got to the water?
“I don’t know, rest? Sleep? Report to the nearest health care facility for psychological examination? Go and…whoa…”
“So many sundresses. So many French accents.”
“I love summer.”
Wally, what about the blisters.
“I don’t know what anyone is saying but it all sounds so good. It’s like we’re in another country!”
We are in another country.
“Tell them about kilometers! Tell them about kilometers!”
I think everyone here knows about kilometers.
“How do I say hello in French?”
“This is the best canal in the world.”
Focus, Wally. The last lock will be closed when we get there so you need to get ready to portage again. Get on those blisters.
Happy thirteen months!