June 21

June 23rd, 2007

I left Grafton and headed into the morning breeze down highway 2 towards Cobourg. I could tell the wind would be problematic (what’s new), but a little voice in the back of my head was telling me to push hard and I might make Scarborough by the end of the day. The road wasn’t too bad, so it helped me make better time than yesterday. Before I knew it, I’d made it through Cobourg and Port Hope. It felt good to be in familiar territory. I’ve made the drive from Kingston to Toronto a million times, so there’s a lot of landmarks that help me judge my distance. One of these landmarks is Newtonville road. Although there’s not much in Newtonville, a friend of mine used to live there. I paused for a quick picture when I rolled by her old house so I could send her an e-mail to see if she recognized where I was. She lived in that house a long time, so even though there’s a few changes to its appearance, I think she’ll like to see that I skated right past.

 

Leading into the Greater Toronto Area, part of me was prepared to meet people who just weren’t interested in what I was doing. I expected that some people would be down right rude. But another part of me has gotten so used to the generosity of the Canadian people that I was starting to think everyone supported what I was doing. Time for a reality check. We pulled into a plaza for lunch and my dad ran into the store to ask if we could plug into their electricity for an hour. No big deal. We’ve done this every day for the last 2 months and never had an issue. Today was different. We were in Newcastle and the first place we asked was a small video store towards the east end of town. The owner simply looked at my dad as if he’d just asked the man for a new kidney. “Are you kidding me? No one will let you plug into electricity!” the owner of the store snapped as if he thought we were crazy for even suggesting such a preposterous idea.

 

“That’s weird. People have been letting us do it every single day for the last 2 months from Newfoundland to here.” My dad said calmly.

 

The whole situation wasn’t a big deal at all, but it really caught us off guard. I was pretty surprised that someone was so unwillingly to be supportive. No worries, though. Every other person in the country is more than happy to help us.

 

After lunch, the wind started picking up even more so. It was a different wind this time. It was more gusty. But sometime the gusts can be more frustrating than a steady wind. I’ll fell like I’m making good time and picking up speed, and then WHAM. It’s like I just rolled through a patch of glue. My speed drops to a crawl and I have to fight to get my momentum going again. It definitely take a lot more energy to wrestle the gusting, swirling winds.

 

Fortunately I was now coming into Oshawa, a.k.a. The Shwaa. Here were were met by a big fire engine that would be taking us through the city. And as if the big bright red fire truck wasn’t enough to draw attention, rush hour was just starting. As I proceeded through the city and into Whitby, the oncoming traffic was getting thicker and thicker. They couldn’t help but see me coming towards them. As I rolled through Ajax and into Pickering, I could feel the stares from people stuck in their cars. I couldn’t tell if they were envious or interested to see me traveling 10 times faster than them on my skates. But the honks, waves and occasional donation kept me pushing my way through the winds. I surprised myself a little when i arrived at Frank and Sharron’s house on the edge of Scarborough. Frank is my sister’s father in-law. I was nice to be there so we could relax and enjoy the company of other people. As much as I love my parents, it’s always nice to converse with other people sometimes.

 

I still had to make time to work on my journals and website. The e-mails are starting to come in more regularly, so I’m constantly trying to respond to people’s questions. Hopefully everyone realizes just how much work I have to do at the end of the day and will be patient if I don’t reply to you right away. 🙂 When I was working through my e-mails, I got some more amazing news from the Kingston Boston Pizza. Corrina has done it again! I don’t completely understand her fascination with me and my quest, but she has taken it upon herself to organize a Blade-A-Thon in Kingston at the Power PLya Center on Gardiners Road! She has full support from Boston Pizza, GoodLife Fitness, Power Play Center and local Fire Fighters. They have a DJ who will be donating his time and there will be a barbecue fired up, too. I don’t have complete details, but there will be prizes, food, music and of course rollerblading! And the best part is that the proceeds will be going to The Skate For Hope. The date is set for July 12. You can call the Power Play center, or maybe even Boston Pizza for more details. I’m pretty excited about this! I wish I could have been there for the event.

 

My final thought for the day (no this isn’t like Jerry Springer’s final thought) came to me when we were settling the RV into place to rest for the night in front of Frank’s house. I know I talk about the mechanical issue with the van, but it’s to be expected. It is a 1978! But it is a decent machine. It’s taken us from Toronto and back at 20 km/hr. All it’s asked from us is just a little TLC. Realistically, I wouldn’t be making this trip across Canada if it weren’t for the motor home. Although I did try to get a new vehicle from various RV rental and manufacturers, they all gave me the same response. “Sure, we can do that! But you have to give us 2 years notice.” Two years!?! I’ll be entering my mid-life crisis in 2 year! I couldn’t possibly make an attempt like this when I’m that old! So I was very lucky when CSV Transport in Bolton, Ontario stepped up and made it possible for my dream to materialize into reality. Thanks Paul, Sylvia and everyone at CSV! I guarantee I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you guys.

Posted in Daily Journal | 3 Comments »

Comments

3 Responses to “June 21”

  1. Robert Werner Says:

    Rich,

    Re that video store owner, don’t you wish you had a large, wet fish ala Monty Python. I think you should be given a special exemption from the RCMP to swat in the face such people. In truth, it would wake them up from the narrow view of the world they’ve been living for so long!

    By the time you read this I will have updated the master Google Map of your trip all the way to June 22nd. Hard to believe you’re in Toronto and congrats on everything so far! Stay safe and soak up this amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience you’re partaking in!!

    Rob

  2. Julie Says:

    As a resident of Newcastle I’m sorry someone in our village treated you with such disrespect given what you are trying to accomplish. As someone who lost their mother (my best friend) to cancer I thank you for what you’re doing. Best wishes for a safe summer.
    Julie

  3. Debbie Read Says:

    Hi Richard…I’ve been reading up on all your adventures. Sounds like you had a very warm and welcoming experience in Kingston. Way to go. I’m anxious to hear how the Toronto experience goes. I especialy enjoyed your journal entry on June 14th….the comment about “usually talking about farting stuff” cracked me up! I guess that will be my legacy, never to be forgotten! Hope you are taking good care of yourself….you are truly remarkable. Peter and I continue to tell the world abut your adventure and hopefully you are getting some on-line donations from our friends, co-workers and family.
    Say hi to mom and dad! God Bless, Debbie

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