Transition

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At the end of the last entry we drew an analogy between a Life, as the sum total of a person’s lifetime experiences and interactions with other living beings, and a life, an individual’s experience of conscious awareness during this time. We tried to suggest that not only does a Life continue its existence in some sense after the life has ended, but that this conception might form a basis for imagining afterlife and reincarnation. In this view, the Life itself can have its own conscious awareness, and moreover there is a link between it and that of the life that underlies it. In this and the next part will unpack these ideas a bit further, to try to flesh them out and so bring them a step beyond mere handwaving.

In order to understand how something large and complex like a Life could have consciousness and awareness in the first place, we can examine a few other cases of systems where we can see similar emergent phenomena more simply and clearly. For the first, consider playing a modern computer game in which you control a person moving through a simulated world, firing simulated weapons at simulated enemies. The experience feels “real” enough that we desire to engage in it, playing at “being” in this world. But what does it really consist of? Let us start from (closer to) the bottom.

There are electrical signals moving through circuits inside one or more “chips” inside the computer. These interact with one another according to the laws of physics. Through the techniques of digital circuit engineering, these interactions are equivalent to storing ones and zeroes in various places, and performing mathematical operations such as addition or multiplication on binary numbers represented by these ones and zeroes. Through the design of the system, these operations are equivalent to an agent executing “instructions” on contents held in memory. Engineers refer to these instructions as “machine language” at the operational level, or “assembly language” when written out in text. These instructions are quite elementary, like:

“Retrieve the value from location 453436 and add it to the one at 453437, storing the result in location 986743″

or

“If the value at 986743 is zero, jump to location 23332 and execute the instructions found there”

Again through the design of the system, this execution process is equivalent to higher level instructions expressed in a different language, like:

“Add speed_of_object_1 to -speed_of_object_2,”

or

“If the result is zero, execute the stopped_from_collision routine.”

There are usually one or two higher levels still, and then of course the translation by phosphor array to something we see as moving and interacting characters and world. The point to take home from this is that all of these descriptions are exactly equivalent to one another, each accurately describing sequences of events in the gaming system viewed through some particular lens. There is NO sense in which one is more “correct” than the other. And yet at one level we see moving objects familiar from our own experiences in the real world, and at another level there are electrical impulses (and very many of them) only understandable through complex calculations using the laws of physics.

And a second example, an electronic synthesizer such as used in modern musical performance. Again we have electrical impulses in circuits, but this time they are behaving in a cyclical fashion, turning on and off hundreds or even thousands of times per second. Another circuit amplifies these, and finally a speaker translates them. We hear simply a tone. A tone that will be higher or lower depending on how fast those electrical signals are switching on and off over time, but simply a tone nonetheless. But if we “listened” to that tone with a very sensitive microphone, we could again recover the time extended pattern of offs and ons.

In both of these cases, we see that we can interpret a situation involving many simple “low-level” events (electrical impulses) as one involving fewer rich, complex “high-level” entities. And in fact, we must admit that our own brains constitute a third example. We experience thoughts and awareness, and yet — as we are able to understand it — these are completely equivalent to electrical impulses flowing through millions of nerve fibers and junctions.

It is in this sense that we can see how a Life, made up of innumerable events over the course of a person’s existence at one level, could in theory be seen as a single, infinitely richer entity at a higher level.

* * *

At death, the physical body, including the brain and the mind it supports, ceases to function. But the transition for the Life is far less abrupt. The majority of a person’s influence on others at any given time is not through direct interaction, but rather through the lingering effects of earlier interactions, including indirect ones like books written, music recorded, and so on, on people’s memories and actions. This influence does not end on their death. On the contrary, sometimes it may even increase. The life fades into the background, leaving the space for the previously more subtle Life to come to the fore. It is possible that Awareness may make the jump from the brain, or the life, to the Life.

If this were to happen, then the transition at death is to a higher, slower life form. The primary elements interact more slowly, and themselves contain great richness. It is thus an elevation, aligning with the Buddhist idea of reincarnation to a higher realm, and as well with the Christian idea of heaven. But as we have seen, the richness of a pattern, that is, the amount and detail of its interactions with other patterns, can vary. Could it be that a less-richly interacting pattern in the lower realm corresponds to a simpler life form in the higher? And a more widely-interacting pattern, with its greater overall complexity, to a higher life form? The Buddhists say that some, who have led a life of greatest ignorance, will be reincarnated as lower life forms — such as non-human mammals, reptiles, or even insects — and from there have a much longer road to enlightenment. Because most other life forms interact less richly with each other than humans do, it stands to reason that they have a harder time progressing back up the chain. Whereas a Life that has touched upon many others in significant ways,will continue a rich and complex existence, perhaps taking the form of something akin to a human in the higher realm.

It is interesting to note in this context that the Life of a monk who chooses a life of solitary meditation, interacting only rarely with other human beings, is likely to reincarnate in a lower, simpler life form in this view. But in fact, Tibetan Buddhists see following this path as making an all-out make-or-break attempt at achieving full enlightenment in THIS lifetime. That is, the aim is explicitly NOT to set oneself up for a better reincarnation and another step forward on a longer journey, but to bring the game to its ultimate conclusion right here and now.

One final point. There is nothing in what we have described that precludes the process from occurring multiple times. That is, a Life gives rise to a life in the higher realm, which in turn lives a Life that itself gives rise to yet a higher life, and so on up the line. The Buddhists do speak of multiple reincarnations. But lest we let ourselves get carried away in thinking of this, we must remember that we already have as little conception of the next higher realm as a cell in our own bodies has of the human world. The first higher realm lies already beyond our imagination; we can hardly go further.

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The Eternal

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Let us imagine a pool, located underground, in a cave, let us say, where there is no wind. Suppose crumpled pieces of paper are periodically dropped into the pool from above. They are coated with citric acid and baking soda, the stuff that makes alka-selter fizz. When they’re dropped in, they send ripples expanding outwards toward the edges of the pool, where they hit and then get reflected back inward. The water works its way into the folds and triggers the fizzing, which sends the paper ball drifting this way and that as the coating reacts with it. This generates more ripples.

Eventually all of the coating has fizzed away, the paper becomes fully waterlogged, and it sinks down to the bottom. It no longer generates ripples, but the ripples it caused before affected other pieces of paper that are still floating, and thus the ripples they in turn generate as time goes on are therefore indirectly affected by floating existence of this piece of paper.

Now the paper represents a human being, and the time it was floating the span of their life. But I use this analogy to focus on another aspect of the life, which is the ripples. Imagine ALL of the ripples a paper generates in all the time before it sinks, and the evolution of these ripples over time: spreading out, reflecting off the walls, and coming back, interfering with each other and so on. Let us call this sum total of ripples over time a “Pattern”, capitalized to distinguish it from a momentary pattern visible in the pool at any one time. This latter, momentary pattern results not just from the single crumpled paper, but from the interactions of all its papers in the pool. But a Pattern is the contribution of just one of the papers to that whole, stretching over the entire time it floats on the surface. And analogously we have a Life – not just the time a person was alive or the things they did during that time, but all of the effects that this living and doing had on the entire world over that whole time.

Now we can obviously see that this Life has its existence extending far beyond the life that gave rise to it, perhaps indefinitely. But what are we talking about here: a Life, like a Pattern, some set of objective events taking place in the world. Activity in the human brain as well is made up of patterns. Patterns of electrico-chemical impulses flitting back and forth, physical events.

We do not know the nature of the relation between these electrico-chemical patterns and the awareness they are associated with. But for the purposes of this analogy we do not need to — it is enough to know that the patterns and the awareness are in some way codependent — when one stops, the other is invariably stopped as well, and it must surely be that their operation is equally bound together. And so then we ask, what of these Patterns we discussed, and ultimately of Lives? Could there be some manner of awareness associated with them?

We are going to examine this question, but to continue following this main line of thought for now, we are going to assume that yes, there is some kind of Awareness associated with a Life, that just as the interplay of inputs, patterns, and countercurrents within a brain “generates” (or, at least, is codependent with) awareness, the interplay of interactions making up a Life and its interaction with other Life generate Awareness. We can only understand a little of the nature of this Awareness, since our own time- and space-localized awareness makes up only the smallest fraction of it. It is in some ways as if our individual cells were attempting to know something, through their highly sensitive but localized chemical perceptions of their environment, of our mental experience.

But we can understand some basics that are in common with both cells and minds — that while the Life is a constant thing by its definition as the sum total of the effects of a person’s life, this is essentially its “birth”, and after that, its nature unfolds over time as it interacts with other Lives and with the physical world (filtered through its affect on the lives of the humans making up the matrix of its existence). It is a realm of existence, therefore, with interactions and a “physical” universe that likely have very different qualities than our own.

But in this realm we can speak of some constant that goes beyond our own individual life. And perhaps there is some way to have a connection, a link between life and Life, and it may be that it is at the time of death that this connection is most closely established. Death, the ending of an awareness, but the completion of the birth of an Awareness. And, if this, could it not be that when a new life is born, for some reason, some chance intersection of coincidences and synergies, that it becomes in some way associated with a pre-existing Life? Far-fetched to be sure. But it is one way to fathom these mysterious ideas of an eternal soul and reincarnation using only (at least a pretense to) objective logic and not metaphysical assumptions or intuitive faith.

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What Comes Next

We’re back now, the big trip behind us, getting ready for the next part of our life journey. But over the next couple of weeks I’ll try to get back on here and tidy up a bit. Better photos will come in places, texts will be smoothed out and expanded, and there were some philosophical areas planned but never gotten to – particularly the Buddhist idea of reincarnation, the antecedents of awareness, a couple of other alternate futures of Man, and loose ends in the discussions of karma and free will. Yes, it is all going to be tied together (I hope). Don’t drop that RSS feed yet!

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Down from the North

Today, at long last, we were homeward bound. We took the 15 south out of Smiths Falls and then switched to a county road for a shortcut down to the 401 along the north side of the St. Lawrence. This proved to be an ultra-busy highway for some reason. It is probably the route between Montreal and Toronto, but that’s a long way and not a commuting route. But anyway we worked with nearly bumper-to-bumper but flowing traffic for the mercifully-short 10 miles we had to the highway. Then it was a left turn to a pair of bridges (actually 5, but 2 major ones) crossing the St. Lawrence via a large island. This was the so-called “Thousand Islands Seaway”, and it lived up to its name. The view we had from the first bridge going over to Hill Island was incredible. Unfortunately there was no shoulder or any place from where to stop and take a picture. None of my web searches have turned up anything either, so apparently it’s not easy, although it might be one of those cases of two broad a view to be adequately captured in a photograph as well.

We then went through the customary job-justifying US border grilling (but thankfully no searches), and made our way down into the far windier (for some reason) US. There were all sorts of beautiful routes we could be taking at this point back home, but in our road-weary state we chose the quickest and easiest: I-81. It was a grey, rather cold run back, not helped by the wind, but we put our heads down and ground it out, with only a single stop for a late lunch to break the journey. Then we were welcomed into the arms of our neighbors, and a day later moved down to the rental house we’d spend our last two weeks on US soil in relaxing and getting ready for the big move to Finland.

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175 miles.

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Day Second-Last: Somewhere in Canada

Before when we talked about the future of Man, we talked about higher-order, slower-moving organizations of life. Cities were one clear example. But many think the future lies in other directions. For instance, artificial intelligence.

The human brain, our main example of natural intelligence, is a marvel of connectivity. Roughly ten billion neurons, divided into dozens of architecturally distinct modules, each connected to thousands of others. But, by the standards of modern electronics, it is not a marvel of speed. Neurons can signal one another at most 1000 times a second, and while it is not actually known how these signals convey information, the time for something significant to actually be communicated is probably 10′s of milliseconds. Stack that up against a typical GHz class microprocessor, for example the one in your phone. That’s a billion operations per second, on the order of a million times faster. Of course, this is a single processor; to catch up with the immense parallelism in the brain, you would need 10^10 * 10^3 / 10^6 = 10 million of them. But that’s with general-purpose hardware. With semi-specialized hardware such as is found in a modern graphics card, or GPU, you can knock a factor of 4000 or so off of that, so that only 25,000 or so are needed – in the range of existing supercomputers. With specialized hardware, the requirements would be even lower, but the problem is we don’t understand enough aboout how brains work to build such specialized hardware.

Eventually we will though. Both computing hardware and software / algorithms have been improving at a massive rate over the past few decades. The resources going into space have been absolutely peanuts compared to what has been poured into information technology (IT), because this is where our cultural motivations have lined up. Our society is resource-driven and due to its capitalist structure therefore money-driven. And because IT is able to make so many other money-making activities more efficient, a dollar invested there returns more than one invested anywhere else (not counting financial leverage; see also here and here), and therefore our industrial and intellectual capacities have focused in that direction. IT also enables games (virtual realities, escapes), extends our social experiences, and contributes to the creation of entertainment, all of which tend to motivate us.

So the resources for artificial intelligence are assured, and so, I would argue, is the desire. We, as I have said, are cave men. We work together, we compete and stretch ourselves, and we also raise children. Every one of us has the innate desire to procreate and raise a child; to raise a child who will have a better life than ourself – to raise a child who will be better than ourself. We don’t all achieve this goal, but whether we do or do not, the impulse is there. Just as fire-building and competing manifest in ways far abstracted and beyond these humble concrete origins, so our procreative urges manifest in a creative urge. We have the undeniable drive to create, to breathe life into that creation, and to send it skyward. Given the resources, we will no more be able to restrain ourselves from creating artificial intelligence than we can from breathing.

The only question is whether the future will come to be dominated by pure machine intelligences, or by versions of ourselves transferred or ‘uploaded‘ via simulation to electronic form.

Another interesting idea about the future is that we’ll create not just intelligence, but life. Life that is more intelligent than us, lacks our physical and moral failings, and is perhaps longer-lived. This possible achievement lies at the intersection of bioengineering and artificial intelligence, and again I would argue that it is almost inevitable. Why create life rather than simply raw intelligence? Reproduction for one. Machines constructing other machines will always be a clumsy process, unable to match the elegance and efficiency of self-organizing chemical reactions, molecular patterns sustaining and reproducing themselves on a micro scale. Mortality for another. We may think that destiny lies in immortality, but with immortality comes stagnation, while dying and rebirthing life can evolve more radically. Any immortal intelligence, no matter how impressive, will inevitably be surpassed sooner or later, just like the fastest, most expensive PC of today will become junk some number of years later. Many science fiction authors have explored the idea of human creation of life, most memorably to me Olaf Stapledon (Star Maker) and Gene Wolfe (Book of the New Sun, Fifth Head of Cerberus).

We got up and had breakfast at a local coffeeshop, taking our time so that the temperature would warm as much as possible. Then we both finally put on the last layers that we had been carrying for the entire trip, in case the going got rough – for me it was a set of expedition-weight long-john bottoms, for Päivi a quilted insulating liner for her motorcycle pants. It was around 30 when we woke up and 40 when we set off, but the wind had died down from yesterday, and this ended up making a huge difference. Sixty mph of wind chill is much more benign than ninety mph. The sun was more consistent as well. We were almost too warm for the first part of the ride, but the seeping wind and the sitting still eventually had their effect, and we ended up just comfortable.

We arced above the top of Algonquin Provincial Park, a place I had long heard stories about from friends who had visited, but had so far eluded my own efforts. From the outskirts though it reminded me in some ways of the Adirondacks, so I felt like that Lake Superior hiking trail we saw might still be my first destination in this area.

We stopped for lunch around 1, more from a desire to rest for a while rather than any actual hunger, and then carried on again, finally finishing off the 17 in the funnily-named “Arnsprior” and switching to the smaller 29/15 south towards the Saint Lawrence. We made it more than halfway down and called it a day in Smiths Falls (no apostrophe). Tomorrow, if our bikes would give us one more day, we’d end the trip.

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227 miles.

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Don’t Mess with Canada

We awoke to beautiful views right out our window to the lake, but ours was not a life for lingering, and we dragged ourselves out of bed to get ready to leave. D. was planning a ride of some 400 miles down to Port Dover and a motorcycle rally there, and we felt it best to leave with him, even though our ambitions were much more modest. Unfortunately, although sun was peeking through the clouds here and there, it was also 40 degrees and windy. So the heat had been replaced with rain, and now the rain replaced with cold and wind. It seemed like we weren’t going to be winning any time soon. Maybe we shouldn’t have messed with Canada, we thought.

We gamely bundled up and set off, bidding first P. and then D. farewell, and again having breakfast at Tim Horton’s. We lingered over this, hoping the temperatures would warm up, but this didn’t really happen. Eventually we decided we’d just have to settle for sun, which brought cheery light at least if not warmth. We got on the bikes and gamely belted out the first hundred-odd miles, periodically stopping to warm ourselves up in gas stations.

Finally we made it to Sudbury, had lunch, and planned our next move. We decided to go as far as North Bay, a big-ish city on the north side of a smaller lake inland from Huron. This was about 80 more miles, and though we wouldn’t quite be at our usual quota of 200 for the day, we figured our two big days just recently should make up for this.

With the reassurance of our goal of a warm hotel room ahead we knocked off the remaining distance and straggled our way in to accomodation in North Bay. (Camping was basically out of the question now, since our summer sleeping bags weren’t really going to be up for the 30-degree temperatures the evenings were now getting down to, let alone the unpleasant wind.) Two more days and we’d be home!

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190 miles.

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“Great, Except for the Weather”

We got up and walked to the local Tim Horton’s for breakfast, grateful for what would probably be our only exercise today. When we got back and were looking over our bikes, an Indian guy from Toronto was loading his bag onto a metric cruiser nearby. He and three friends had been doing a circuit of Lake Superior on the occasion of one of their 40th birthdays. “Yeah, it’s been great,” he said brightly, then added, “Except for the weather.” Somehow he managed this with a straight face, and we all pretended that the prevailing conditions were only a minor damper on the great times of a motorcycle trip. But whether it’s a long or a short trip there’s usually not much you can do about the weather you get dealt. Fate determines which areas you get to see the beauty of in sun, which ones you ride through hunched over in cold, and which you see only through a film of raindrops on the visor and worries over traction and sudden obstacles. We were all in the same boat, but for both of our groups, seeing that it wasn’t “just us” cheered us up.

And in fact today it seemed the rain was at least temporarily going to give us a break. We finally got to see Superior in some of its glory on the east side heading down. We also discovered a “Coastal Trail” along the shores, partly in Lake Superior Provincial Park, which continued for so long you could actually backpack. Päivi and I hiked along a couple of hundred meters of it going in. Sun splashed onto a carpet of pine needles, granite, and moss through tree branches above, and the lapping of Superior against the shores reverberated off the rock rising above us. Beautiful. This was the way to see the lake, all right. We even had our backpacks with us. Too bad we weren’t equipped with either time or food though. We made promises to return another time.

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We carried on, but as we drew in to Sault Saint Marie, the clouds closed in overhead, and we were back to cold and damp motorcycling, though not actual rain. A lunch stop did little to warm us up, so we just buckled down and continued east, now leaving Superior behind.

We passed an electric sign stating that Highway 17 was closed east of Thessalon. This seemed scarcely credible – how could the most major highway in the region actually be closed? But I remembered Päivi mentioning she’d seen a story about flooding on the news last night, and I started to worry a little. Thessalon lay about 50 miles east of where we were.

Sure enough, when we came to the place, there were detour signs, and it took us a bit of fumbling around before we came to grips with the scope of the detour, which ate a visible chunk out of the map. After a couple of false attempts to detour around the detour, we completed the full 40 miles on questionable roads and found ourselves 20 miles east of where we’d started. We only had energy to continue for another 10 miles before stopping at a Tim Horton’s to assess our chances.

I’d just been emailing a friend the night before that while we were having a good time on this trip, it was far from a bed of roses. And this had certainly been true for the past couple of days. But now a stroke of good luck befell us that made things roses again. Another motorcyclist had gone into the Tim Horton’s just before us, and as often happens, we found the occasion to exchange a few words. Päivi generally leads the way in these, since I tend to be shy, and this was no exception. This time though the man joined us at our table and I became involved in the conversation too.

It turned out he was an Ohioan up visiting his summer house for a few days before leaving his wife up here while he went down to work for another week or two. He was on a red Honda VFR 800 Interceptor. Definitely capable of smoking either of our two bikes without breaking a sweat, but he was old enough not to feel the need to make a number out of it. Instead we talked over our common interests in motorcycling and told a few things of our trips. Then he asked us if we had a place to stay, and invited us up to his house. Ordinarily I would be cautious about something like this, but since we was riding a motorcycle I thought he was OK, and in addition we were feeling a bit desperate about finding an end to our day’s journey. We’d already asked at two motels along the road and found them too expensive, but were starting to get the idea we were going to have to break down sooner or later.

Instead we hopped on our bikes and followed D. up some winding narrow roads a few miles above town to a beautiful lake house in Scandinavian style with light wood, large windows, and airy, open spaces. We couldn’t believe our luck, nor that D.’s wife didn’t seem too put-out by the unexpected guests. D. did mention this was not the first time he’d brought home wayward motorcyclists, and I guess it hadn’t turned out badly in the past.

We ended up having dinner with D., his wife P., and several of their friends / summer house neighbors. Company was good and the surroundings were pleasant and rustic. Very, very little to complain about indeed.

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256 miles.

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Uncivilized Motorcycling

We got up and had breakfast at Tim Horton’s, the same place we’d had dinner at the night before. Simple, reasonably healthy fare, decent coffee, wi-fi – what more could we want?

We managed to get on the bikes and head off while the still-grey skies remained dry, but that lasted for all of about 5 minutes, and it started drizzling by the time we reached the main highway. Unlike last night, however, we were determined to make progress, and so we stuck on the bikes, and the rain died away after 15 minutes or so. Unfortunately, it was replaced by fog and mist, and we had to slow down. Of course, cars didn’t do the same, so I put my hazard lights on to warn them something was up. We’d just read about a massive pile-up in the UK recently due to fog. It must be something about driving inside a box made of tons of metal that gives one the security to barrel on full-speed ahead despite being unable to see far enough to stop in time should an obstacle arise. On a motorcycle though, one is painfully aware of what would happen should something loom out of the fog ahead, although even this does not always instill enough caution.

We did OK though, not meeting with any mishaps (and only one roadside deer, which we avoided), and we continued along Route 17 (the impressively-named “Trans-Canada Highway”, a humble 2-lane road her as along much of its length). After an extended lunch stop though to warm up as much as anything else (it was only 60 degrees, but with the wind and dampness a chill was getting to our bones), it started raining again, this time looking in earnest. It never rose above a drizzle, fortunately, though it continued (mostly) on and off for the rest of the afternoon.

Finally around 5 we rolled in to the town of Wawa, where we had been told to get gas before a long gap in stations before Sault Saint Marie. While getting gas we decided we were pretty much out of gas as well, and in the cold and damp again opted for a motel.

292 miles.

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Civilized Motorcycling

Today dawned grey, but rain-free. It took us a while to get ourselves rolling after what felt like a long time resting in Duluth, but we finally did so. Getting out of Duluth proved to be pretty easy, and soon we were heading northeast along the shore of Lake Superior. The lake would have looked a lot better under a sunny, blue sky, but that was about the only thing we had to complain about. The road was in good condition with a nice shoulder, and it periodically made close contact with the lake. Every once in a while we’d pass small towns with boutique coffee houses, smoked fish shops, and hotel/resorts overlooking the lake. In between there were well-kept houses presumably owned by well-to-do Duluthians. It was all very pleasant and civilized feeling, in great contrast with the places we’d been passing through lately. It also reminded us of the roads around the Finger Lakes back home, and home was one thing we were looking forward to at this point. Not that we weren’t enjoying things despite the heat, rain, etc., but it’s only natural with 5 days left in a 6-week trip to look a little bit towards the end.

We continued up along Superior to the Canadian border, past which the road unfortunately left the lake and headed through a somewhat rough, tree-filled inland: typical Canada from my (limited) experience. This lasted for about an hour until we hit the city of Thunder Bay, along with drizzling rain. We stopped to check the radar and found it was slated to continue for a couple of hours and around a hundred miles east of us. This proved enough to discourage us from camping, and we found a motel in town.

Thunder Bay seemed a bit beat up, but there was a nice park near us that I went for a run in, and the Seattle-like weather was perfect for that. Sometimes happiness lies in a pair of sneakers.

On a different note, Thunder Bay was supposedly home to over 14,000 Finnish immigrants – the highest concentration in Canada, but we didn’t run into any. Maybe we were in the wrong section of town. We did see a lot of folks who seemed to be of Eskimo descent, however, which surprised me – I didn’t think we were that far north. Some examination of maps confirmed this thought, but it turned out there just weren’t that many other cities north of here, probably none of any significant size.

200 miles.

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Resting in Duluth

Today we were planning to leave late and have a short day just going a short way up the coast. But the weather outside quickly led us to change our plans from short to none. It was raining steadily and this promised to continue heavier or lighter for much of the day. After riding fairly long days for nearly a week straight, we’d been thinking about a break anyway; nature didn’t have to work too hard to force our hand.

Nothing much happened worth writing about. We lounged and relaxed, and I managed to finally catch up on this blog. Tomorrow we’ll start moving again, and we’ll skip over our planned short day and go straight up into Canada along the north shore of Lake Superior. We should be about 5 days out from home – we’ll see.

0 miles.

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