Newfoundland, 2009

This summer, right at the start of my March break, I received some news that sent me for a rather emotional ride. I drove back and forth several times between my home in Ottawa, and the Maritimes where my parents retired; It was a busy and draining spring. I had thought of going to the island years before, but it was during this time that I decided to try The Rock. I bought a collapsible kayak, and a collapsible bike with the purpose of stuffing one in the other, and the other in the one. It was hell, and I loved it.

On the ferry across to Argentia, I befriended two brothers from Quebec. We even started off cycling together, but I was somewhat slower than they and I told them to continue. I was carrying not only tent, clothes, provisions and equipment that is customary when travelling by bicycle, but I was also carrying a kayak on bicycle. I can remember watching them gradually disappear, and they were quite surprised when I caught up on one of their rest stops. You see, I have a bit of a crazy streak, and that streak prevented me from doing any training in preparation for this trek.

We split up the next morning, as I wanted to go in a different direction. Slogging over gravel paths with heavy pack, grinding up those Newfoundland hills/mountains, searching unsuccessfully for extra tent pole repair parts, and cycling through roaring Trans Canada traffic, to name a few challenges, is it really that difficult to imagine that remembering past times might bring a moment of self-doubt, and maybe even another "D" word?

I camped at Terra Nova Park that night, and the next morning it rained and rained, which did send a deeper funk. I stayed in my tent the whole morning before realizing that I was being a twit, and I decided I'd stay another morning and explore instead during the drizzle. The space I took in was amazingly beautiful. Literally, the child in me thought he had been transported millions of years to the age of dinosaurs (a romantic kid, I am). The drizzly rain had become a blessing.

I set off the next morning, and I could write so much more but I'll summarize...

I paddled with whales and surf that was roaring and crashing many times higher than I am tall against cliffs. I ate Capeland (cooked and sushi). I smelled and drooled at the scent of wild strawberry I could not pick from my overloaded bike. I was happy and sad when it was over.

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