Thursday, October 16, 2008

Running with the Wolves

I've had my best sleep of the Tour. The silence out here is amazing. It's going to be a relaxed start today, so I elect to go for a run before breakfast. These are one lane dirt and gravel roads winding their way through rocks and trees, picking their way around lakes, bogs, over streams and creeks.

Whiskey Jacks are playing tag in the yard. Hawks are above. The old dog tracks me to the edge of the clearing, and then leaves me to run on alone. Just me, the wind in my face— now a little crisp, it's a good deal colder and damper here than it was in southern Ontario. Great running roads, no traffic at all, soft, just the sounds of the birds and my feet crackling on the gravel. After about 15 minutes I turn up an even smaller road, a bit rougher. Rounding a corner I spot a large animal ambling along the road in front of me. Hearing my feet it turns, stops for a moment to look at me, and then leaps into the bush. A very large wolf. Huge paws and scraggy fur. A serious animal. I've skinned wolves, and I know a big one when I see it. Good morning! Are there more? I keep running another few minutes but see nothing else on this little road. Reluctantly I turn and head back to the house.

We say our good-byes, and head out of town. A relaxed drive back to Winnipeg, where we contact Susan, our host for the evening. We'll be staying out in Stonewall, a little town just north of the city. Meanwhile Big Dave tells us how to find Long and McQuade music, and we drop by to pick up our reserve PA.

As our original gig for this evening has been cancelled due to the closure of the venue, Dave has come up with another place we can hang out and play this night. It's a little coffee house in a big church. We crash it, and are fed coffee, tea, cake, cookies. Mmm, glad I ran so far this morning. Michael and I play a set. We hang out and talk too loudly, and keep the place open too late, telling jokes with Big Dave.

Now that's a relaxed night. Some of the clubs around town actually closed up this evening as Neil Young was performing, and they expected to be empty! Neil's playing tag with us, doing gigs in Regina and Calgary over the next couple of days.

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