I had mentioned last time, I was concerned that if all the cool cats I met along the way gave me a gift I would never make it to Vancouver. I would like to clarify: baked goods are welcomed, particularly if they are as delicious as the ones I recieved leaving Truro. Now that I am starting to cover some ground I am interested in finding a sexy map that will upadte as I go. If you know of one contact me.
Cutting across the spine of Nova Scotia from the Bay of Fundy to the Northumberland Strait has its beauty. But peaking in the Appalachians was a double edged sword: so beautiful you want to take a picture and so cold you don’t want to stop and dig out your picture taking device. Finally on the way down it warmed up enough for me to snap a pic, seen on the right, but it was nowhere near the beauty of the frozen lakes beside railroad tracks with deep valleys in the distance, don’t worry I took a few good mental shots.
Lunching in Pugwash, NS then making my way across the provincial border into New Brunswick made up my afternoon and I finally got to see some sun while on the bike. I settled down in Port Elgin, NB pitching my tent in a public park right next to the water.
The following day I was twice called the true sign of spring. The second of the two times was while crossing the Confederation bridge into PEI. Apparently I was the first cyclist of the year. The first time was as I awoke from my tent having braved the night that dropped to -3 C an older gentleman pulled into the park to do some bird watching. I packed up my tent as we chatted. He told me he had already seen a red-breasted robin and a blue herron but the first true sign of Spring was seeing someone take on the cold in a tent. As I still had some organization to do our conversation drifted to the graveyard that was not all that far away from where we were standing, he told me it might be the oldest cemetery in Canada. Things got philosophical after he asked me what it was that I was doing and where I was going. After I told him about my trip. He said:
You know by the time either of us end up in the ground, with a headstone such as the ones next to us, all people will ever see is the date we were born and the date we died, the only thing that defines what we did in between is the dash separating those two dates.
Talk about your waker upper. He went on to encourage me to make the most of life because in the end it is just a dash. Well I thought it was a pretty neat conversation to have with someone at 7:30 on a Wednesday morning on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. And we both went on our way.
PEI is a deceptively hilly litte province, and I may have taken Sam and Mike’s attempts to warn me a little too lightly. My foray at avoiding the hills by taking the lovely confederation trail was thwarted by snow patches and soft ground so after 1 Km or so I gave up and went back to the TransCanada. By the time I got to the place I would be staying just outside of Charlottetown I was wiped.
The Islanders wouldn’t let me down easy though as they had already organized their first outdoor ultimate game of the season, I hesitate to say in my honour, but there was something more than a coincidence to the planning. We had a blast playing, not to mention a great view of the harbour. The Island ultimate scene seems to really be taking off. I should have a write up in the next couple of days by a resident expert on the PEI ultimate story.
My PEI host, Patrick, is someone I met only last weekend at the Tournament of Fools in Halifax, and after a bit of interweb communicating he graciously opened his house, shower, and laundry to me, unbelievably generous, I think they call it Island hospitality. After practicing we stopped at Tim Hortons and returned to his house where he invited me to play Magic with him and his friends. Now I never envisioned myself playing Magic, especially after a day of ultimate and biking on PEI, but it was different and a neat experience. To be honest I would probably rather try to figure out if someone is bidding a weak 2 sitting around a table of 50 plus year olds playing bridge than try to figure out whether my knight is going to out-duel my opponent’s goblin, but hey glad to have tried it out.
I think this also brings me to a point about people who do decide to offer me their couch for night or two, I generally try to find their level. So if my host wants to sip water and go to bed at 8 I will probably appreciate the rest. Conversely if dropping acid and going to a rave is whats on the menu I will do what I can to keep pace. Whatever it takes, you have opened your home to me and I am not expecting just accepting.
On that note I have been getting words of support or offers of a place to stay on twitter, facebook, and email. From Cranbrook, BC to Hamilton, ON to Moncton, NB and places in between and not so in between from people who might know someone who knows me or who have no connection with me whatsoever. All I can say is wow and thank you. I feel that my dash grows bigger and deeper thanks to you and I hope I can be a positive experience on your dash too.
I have updated the picture page to call it pics ‘n ‘flics there are some new pics and I linked the post with the video.
As much as it makes me queasy and uneasy I am sharing my financial details in my budget section.
Today I explore Charlottetown, maybe even so some burger loving. And tonight I head to Fredericton for a weekend of Playa Hating and a sibling reunion. I will come back to PEI to fetch my bike on Sunday and then the journey continues to Moncton.
So long NS you were a great place to get started.
Fredericton (round 1) you are on deck.