The Lord of the Wheels

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

– Albert Einstein

Change (like shinola) Happens. To resist it, is to suffer. To embrace it, is adventure (ooh, i love an adventure)

Good, because we’re going to tell you a story about a good friend of ours who is embracing the hell out of Change

Michelle worked with Wendle and I at Mountsberg and Crawford Lake Conservation Areas. Right off the bat we thought she was an amazing person…beautiful, funny, irrepressibly sassy, smart, generous, ballsy and with a jois de vivre (that’s French) that just lights her up

Earlier this year, Michelle decided that she was going to embrace wholesale change. On November 8th, she left her Ontario home to travel to Calgary…a journey of epic proportions

And therein lies a tale…

Five Wheels were created…one each for men, elves, dwarves, sassy Italian Hobbits and one Wheel to rule them all. Alright there was also a little spare tire but you can’t really drive on it so forgetaboutit

“One Wheel to rule them all, One Wheel to find them, One Wheel to bring them all and in the darkness bind them”


Anyway, Michelle got her hands on the one Wheel by selling her little Hobbit cart and buying a truck…and now, after being advised to take the truck and leave the Shire (Hamilton), she has to take that Wheel and travel West…alone (right Michelle?)

“So, luckily for me I have an amazing Mom and family…Mom didn’t want me to go the journey alone and came with me”

(Oh my gawd Michelle, your Mom is Samwise Gamgee to your Frodo)

Michelle and Momma Gamgee’s journey begins in Hamilton, on Friday November 8th. Braving dead smartphones, packed alarm clocks (yes, she got up late), barricaded highway ramps, traffic and snow, the two little Hobbits traveled North…away from the Shire…towards North Bay

Neither Nazgul nor even a crusty, grungy windshield could stop them (did someone forget the wiper fluid?) and in North Bay they found shelter and fuel (yeah, at $1.16 a litre)

There were many more miles to go however and our stouthearted custodians of the Wheel returned to the road…Sudbury for lunch (i hope they avoided that one East side Mario’s) and Marathon for dinner. Passing Wawa, they entered the hills around Weathertop (Lake Superior) and battled their way past the Ringwraiths, arriving finally at Rosslyn and the safety of the Elves (Michelle’s sister’s place)

Exhausted after eighteen hours of travel (and from the wound of a Morgul blade?), Michelle sat upon the couch…and immediately lost consciousness.

Delirious, Michelle kept repeating…”Don’t ever drive from Hamilton to Thunder Bay because it’s horrible. Ha ha ha” (oh yeah, they ate at that East Side Mario’s)

Resting in Rosslyn and assisted by the Elves, a side trip to Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, Sage (a chocolate lab) and by the healing powers of magically delicious cheese curds from ‘Thunder Oaks Cheese Farms’…Michelle recovered her strength

At The Council of Elrond (a family meeting), it was decided that the Wheel must be destroyed. A task possible only if the Wheel were delivered onto Mount Doom (which is very much West of Rosslyn). Michelle volunteered to take the Wheel and go to Mount Doom. To accompany her, the Fellowship of the Wheel was formed. There was Michelle and Sam…and…helloo…anyone else coming?…oh well, I guess it’s just Sam and Michelle

Anyway, after two days spent recuperating, the two plucky adventurers left Rosslyn (with a bag of garlic and original cheese curds, courtesy of the Elves) and traveled West through the snow and darkness of the Misty Mountains (around Kenora) and finally onto the ‘Plains of Prayer-Ree’ (Manitoba and Saskachewan)…a place so flat that Michelle said, “you can see your dog run away for five days” (shudder)

Past “trains, bails of hay, old farms and small towns”, our beleaguered guardians pushed ever onward.

On the surface, everything upon these Plains seemed peaceful and serene…

…the highways we’re clean, “I’m not sure I saw even one piece of litter on the ground”…

…there were garbage and recycling containers on the sides of the highway, “Ontario really needs to get with the program”…

…the vistas were beautiful, “to be in a different landscape and to see the open sky, not looking around and seeing skyscrapers and dirty city life everywhere was incredible”…

…but something was pushing them, compelling them to move faster and faster until finally…they were the only ones going over the speed limit

Finally, after a fifteen hour forced march, the intrepid duo arrived at the Jaw of Moose. Here, fatigued and to the point of starvation (too tired to go out for dinner), they fended off attacks from Orcs and an Ancient Evil (television) as they waited, praying for the sweet succour of room service

The next morning saw them back on the dusty trail. Fleeing with the fifth Wheel in hand (my precious) until finally, seven hours later, they sought refuge in the Elven city of Lothlorien (Calgary) where, as if by some unholy magic, fuel was only $1.02 per litre…”it’s so darn close to the 90’s and I’m loving it, ha ha”, said Michelle (laughing in the face of such evil…what courage)

Now, together, our stalwart pair must ready themselves for the most daring part of their journey…for now they must go on into the mountains…Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise and ultimately onto Mount Doom.

Will our plucky duo survive the ordeal?

Will they complete their journey and destroy the fifth Wheel?

Do they have enough Elven cheese curds?

We have absolutely no idea…but we will tell you more of this fanciful tale soon (yeah, soon as we hear more from Michelle)

In the meantime, our gritty and gallant Galoni girl has this to say…

“…give everyone hugs for me and tell them I love them and miss them already. Such incredible people I met working there. Take in Christmas town for me, pat the horses, hang out by the fire, and tell Bob to give the new people a chance lol. I remember when I first met him and Bill at Christmas town and introduced myself to them and they told me that they don’t get to know the names of the new people at Christmas town because they’ll be gone soon anyways and there’s no point.. Well guess who stuck around and pestered the shit out of them everytime I was at that park.. haha”

Words to live by Frodo…words to live by

Goodnight all

Moose and Wendle


We’re doing this special Saturday edition because Sunday is an off day and we might not get an opportunity to write for Monday (our travel day). Be patient…we will return




Steering wheel photo courtesy of,


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