June 2

June 2nd, 2007

Today wasn’t the most exciting of days. But if you haven’t figured it out by now, I can make changing a light bulb sound like safari adventure!


We left Nackawic at a pretty respectable hour, but not before stopping to see the town’s only major tourist attraction… a giant axe. Picture to follow. I was able to get on the pavement before 8:30am. It was a beautiful sunny day and there was only a light breeze so I was able to make pretty good time. The rolling hills of New Brunswick are nothing compared to the rocky slopes of Newfoundland. In fact, I felt like most of my morning was down hill. My parents were able to catch me on video doing almost 60 km/h at one point. Ever since leaving Moncton, the highway has been perfect. A little ‘too’ perfect. So it was no surprise when the smooth shoulder turned to a rumbling nightmare just past Woodstock.


I was planning to skate to the far end of Woodstock before breaking for lunch. But as we approached the city, construction signs started popping up. Sure enough, the highway narrowed to two lanes and the shoulder became gravel. I made a quick attempt to speed through the construction section with my dad blocking traffic behind me. But I soon realized it wasn’t working. We got off the highway and stopped for lunch. At least now we could ask some locals what the best option would be. Everyone we asked told us to stick it out and stay on the Trans Canada.


So after lunch we hopped back on the TCH and I pounded through the construction zone as fast as my legs would move. Once at the end of it, the smooth shoulder didn’t start for me again. I was faced with uneven ground with scattered stones for the next 15 km.


As frustrating as it was, I stayed optimistic because I knew that I was near a town called Hartland and the road would improve there. I was also excited because Hartland is home to the World’s Longest Covered Bridge! And I intended to skate through it! The bridge is only one lane, so you need to wait until there are no cars coming before you can go. The plan was to have my parents drive through to the other side and let me know when there were no cars coming. Just as they reached the other side, there was a break in traffic and I took off like a shotgun. The bridge is almost 1300 feet long so I had to hustle. When I emerged from the opposite end, my mom was standing there filming my triumphant moment.


It wasn’t much past Hartland that I noticed a car off in the distance pull off the road. It seemed like they were a long way to be stopping for me. But all four doors opened and a group of kids headed down the road towards me at a light jog. I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but when I reached them they excitedly asked to pose for a picture. I let them snap a couple shots before turning around so my mom could grab a shot of the group, too. They were a pretty enthusiastic bunch who were on their way back to Grand Falls from an orientation at the University of New Brunswick. And when I checked my messages this evening, Denis (in the group) had let me know that they will be watching for me when I come through the city. Well, Denis, I’ll be coming through tomorrow. So let as many people know as possible! Everyone is welcome to grab their skates and join me for a while. Hopefully we can turn enough heads to get some extra donations!


I had covered a little over 100 kilometers today before my feet told me that I was done. So we’re just south of Perth-Andover at a big Ultramar Truck stop for the night where I’m being treated to a pasta dinner and a glass of red wine.

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