Thursday, 13 August 2009

The Quest in the Bois-des-Esprit

After the thunderstorm last night the air was much cooler. I decided to ride to the Bois-des-Esprit in the Royalwood area of Winnipeg in an attempt to find the three-metre tall "Mhtik" (wood spirit) who protects the woodst.

I started on the Niakwa trail and then across Fermor at Archibald and through Willowdale Park to Bishop Grandin.
After crossing Bishop Grandin at Lakewood, I rode again down the Bishop Grandin Greenway and turned south down Shorehill Drive.
Royalwood is a fairly new development; construction is rampant and bicycles and pedestrians are thin on the ground.

I found a trailhead off of East Oak Drive and decided to try the right fork first.

It was lovely and cool in the trees, but after riding around for about 45 minutes, I still had found no trace of the carving.

I asked directions of a fellow who was out for a stroll. He said to look for a dirt path eight feet wide and the spirit would be a way in. Suspecting that the width of the path and the distance to the figure would be subjective, I turned down the first dirt trail I came to.

Eselin was slightly out of her element with the twisty paths and muddy patches, but she soldiered on gallantly.

I found the foot prints of people on mountain bikes at the point where I dismounted because of very soft ground. That made me feel better, especially since other people on mountain bikes behind us had turned around.

The path meandered around the equally meandering Seine River.

A doe, well conditioned by the people on the paths, hardly moved as I rode by. She was so still, in fact, that I initially thought she was a statue.

It was as I was zipping through this dip, avoiding the tree, and noting the bench and the fire pit, that I missed my objective and had to come back.This is Woody, a three meter tall wood spirit. Walter Mirosh and Robert Leclair, members of Les Gens de Bois Woodcarving club, are the men who carved him. The tree from which Woody emerged from was scheduled to be cut down due to Dutch Elm disease.

Our mission accomplished, Eselin and I continued west along Bishop Grandin to River Road, and then home.

Eseiln even managed to bring a souvenir of her journey.

The only downside of this lovely little trip? I had such a sore derriere that the last hour in the saddle were ...tricky.
The Geek is in Calgary right now. Maybe I'll ask her to see if anyone there sells Brooks saddles. I have heard so many good things about them, the price would be worth it.

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