Onwards to the next Phase..
And so it begins, blasting music while dodging potholes in traffic, feeling the stretching and burning of the muscles, and getting odd looks from people as they walk past my bicycle while writing this post in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Yup – I’m back here again – and even though I don’t like to ride in the same places where I have been in the past I have no choice since there is nowhere to go but west.
I did make it off of the island of Newfoundland – eventually. I set off on Monday April 11th early in the morning, stopping off at the gas station to grab a coffee to keep me warmed up with an attempt to catch a lift with a trucker or anyone else heading west. U2 was playing with the slightly ironic song of “Still haven’t found what I’m looking for” and I proceeded to stick my thumb out, wave a sign and make eye contact with each and every driver. 5 hours later after not one person stopping to accept my pleading I gave up and headed back into St. John’s. While I rode past children in playgrounds and saw the city of St. John’s resting between the many hills I realized that I’ve grown quite fond of the place after spending 5 months. Most people were taken back by the fact that someone would stop there for the winter and suffer through the random weather that they are faced with every 15 minutes, but I managed by forging strong relationships with people.
One of these people was Alfred, a 67 year old guy with the physical shape of a 30 year old who offered up his place to let me blare music at odd hours of the day, cook weird things, and bombard him with random thoughts and useless tidbits of information that I had come across. He did the same by using his knowledge of Physics (He was a professor at a University in Canada before going through a similar “To heck with this” life change as myself and came over to the east coast while passing the time playing the harmonica and the flute). Super cool guy, and I’m going to miss hs presence dearly. I think I broke his brain a bit introducing him to various technologies that I figured would work well in his way of living, but think he will enjoy living with his new fancy gadgets. So many other people made an impact on my life while staying in the “City of Angels”, even a few 4 legged creatures too. I’m positive that we will cross paths again, as the wacky ways of the world seem to force this whether we like it or not. Can’t wait.
The week went far too fast, and it was in the cards that were dealt to me by the universe to stay. My body appreciated it as well, as whatever has been happening with my junk has started to taper off, with only minor pangs and aches once in a while. We’ll see how things go while moving forward, and I’ll have to make sure I continue to mark down in my daily log my overall health condition so that I can stay in as optimal shape as possible.
Once the week was up I found a ride with a friend of a friend loading my bicycle and all my gear into the back of their car and set forth across the island for an epic road trip in the middle of the night. It took nearly 12 hours, and we passed the time singing wacky songs, talking about life, all while staying alert for any moose that may be on the road. Apparently 660 collisions had occurred in 2010 alone from these guys, yet I go away without the memory of even seeing a one during my whole time. In fact, I only managed to see an owl while riding across. I also had the wonderful opportunity to take the new Marine Atlatic Ferry across back to the mainland of Canada, less than a month old with fantastic amenities on-board, reclining seats, USB ports on each seat and the latest and greatest in technology. It was a bit cold so I stayed inside the whole time, before docking and setting forth into the city of Sydney.
I set out early this morning fully loaded with bricks of cheese, prunes and tubs of Nutella for the upcoming days over to a Junior High school where I spoke for a good hour and a half (well into their lunch hour) to a group of Grade 7 students about the journey, where I’ve been, where I plan on going, some frustrations, animal encounters, and of course some inspirational thoughts to get them thinking outside of the box. Not one spitball was launched and I found that it went quite well boosting my motivation to start the journey titling this set of traveling the “Killing Time” phase, waiting to tie up some commitments and to see a pair tie the knot to live happily ever after. I’m a bit nervous as I set forth again, but I’m taking it as a positive reaction knowing that everything will fall into its own comfortable groove after a few days once the kinks have been worked out. I have a loose plan on how I want to travel, but know that plans can shift at any moment, and I want to be careful that I don’t get in the habit of trying to reach the destination while missing out on all the little subtle nuances. The weather report is calling for 20cm of snow tonight, so Im going to start my enjoying the journey by staying put one more night under a roof rather than dealing with waking up in a winter wonderland again. Next major city will be Halifax, where I hope to complete the final headstand in each of the legislative assemblies across Canada project, and make one last stop Mountain Equipment Co-Op. I’m also looking forward to seeing how long I can make my pair of shoes last before finally throwing in the towel and buying a new pair – They’ve been shoe goo’d 5 times now and still hold their shape, hoping to walk into the head office of the manufacturer while I am in the United States and give them the stinky things for display.