June 27

June 29th, 2007

The anticipating of an early morning phone call from my dad to let me know when the van would be ready to go made for a miserable sleep last night. I looked over at the alarm clock and saw it tick past 8:00 am. Still no call. Looks like I’m going to have another unexpected day off in Welland. Finally, my dad called to let me know the van should be ready around 10:00 am. By the time we packed the groceries in and I was laced up, it was about 11:00 am. It wasn’t ideal conditions today, that’s for sure. I was about to head out into the hottest part of the day and the temperature was supposed to reach 42 degrees with the humidex. One of the hottest days of the year and I’m heading out to rollerblade 100 km. Good call, Rich.


I left my Uncle’s house and headed out of Welland down Creek Road towards Brantford. Even though I was trying to take it easy, sweat was pouring off of me from the heat and humidity. A few cars pulled over to congratulate me and make donations, but a couple of them stood out from the rest. A man on a Harley Davidson stopped in front of me and hopped off his hog. The bikers across the country have been exceptionally friendly and constantly give me the thumbs up as they fly by. But this was the first biker to stop and donate. Another ‘first’ came when a motor home passed me and stopped just up the road. Usually I’m at eye level or looking down at the drivers of the cars that stop to donate, but this time I had to look way up and stretch my arm high to take the donation from them.


As I worked my way through the back roads towards Brantford, I had another encounter with a pack of ferocious Canadian wildlife. Well, actually it was just 3 dogs, but they were coming at me just the same. The Alpha male lead the charge with the hair on his back standing straight up. The other 2 dogs crept around slowly forming a circle around me. I felt like I was in a movie in the scene when the good guy is completely unarmed and surrounded by bad guys. Then some guy from the side shouts at the good guy and tosses him a sword so he can fight his way through to victory. Well, my dad was that guy on the side. And with a mighty heave, he thrust my Excalibur into the air towards my waiting hands. I was now ready for battle. Fortunately, the dogs just came up and sniffed my legs before deciding I wasn’t worth the effort. And the broom I was now holding was just being used for comfort. If I so much as saw a glimmer in the dogs’ eyes that looked like they were ready to attack, I was ready to sweep them to death. I’m happy to say that I’m almost 4000 km into my journey and this is the first close call with dogs (not including the Doberman in Belleville that was wrestled to the ground by his master).


I knew the wind was strong today. It was really hindering my forward progress. But I had no idea just how powerful it was until I reached the intersection of highways 3 and 56. I could see a flashing light as I approached the crossroads and when I was close enough to see what was going on, I was amazed. A transport had tip over on it’s side. It didn’t look like anyone had been hurt, but I’m convinced the wind blew him over. I could be wrong, but it’s my story.


We finally arrived in Cayuga where we parked down by the river for dinner. Yes, I was in a van down by the river! (SNL, anyone?). Because of my late start and the deterring winds, I had decided that I would skate more after dinner. After all, the sun doesn’t go down until I say so! We were preparing dinner when a little old woman came up to the door to donate a few dollars. I knew she was impressed, because she returned 10 minutes later with another donation to match her original contribution. Shortly after leaving, she returned for a third time with yet another donation! And to top it all off, she caught us as we were pulling out of the parking lot nearly an hour later to make a final incredible donation! As touching as her gestures were, it was a hilarious scenario to have her come back to donate so many times in such a short span.


Just as I was about to skate away from the river and head towards Caledonia, I had my most meaningful contribution to date. A girl, no older than me, and her boyfriend stopped to ask me what I was doing. I quickly told them about my Skate for Hope. Even with big dark sunglasses on, I could see the emotion in Marion’s face. Her eyes filled with tears as she explained to me that a good friend of hers had just passed away 3 days ago. She was incredibly thankful to me for what I am doing and wanted nothing more than to help as much as possible. Although cancer hits everyone, young and old, it’s very emotional when I meet people in the same age bracket who have been affect so dramatically. I happily accepted Marion’s contribution and dedicate a mile to her friend, Cameron. If I could choose, I would dedicate the entire day’s skate to the memory of Cameron.


The winds had now died drastically and the temperature had dropped significantly. I was trying to make up for lost time as I skated up highway 54 toward Brantford. I was able to squeak in 85 kilometers by the time I had stopped for the day just outside Brantford. So we drove into the city where we plugged our electricity in at a local gas bar for the night. It turned out to be a great place because several men cam up and made donations over the course of the night. So now all I have to do is find a way to get in touch with Walter Gretzky to see if he’d be interested in meeting me. I knew a few people have been working on this for me, so hopefully something will pan out.

Posted in Daily Journal | 2 Comments »


2 Responses to “June 27”

  1. stacey Says:

    Cameron was one of my best friends as well and I know that he would be extemely thankful for dedicating a mile to him!! What you are doing is absolutely amazing….I wish you luck!

  2. Alicia Says:

    Cameron was my cousin and we were the same age, as the family of Cameron we are thankful for what you did (Dedicating one Mile to Cameron) I know my cousin would be Proud! I wish you luck, and hope achieve what your goal is set for.

Leave a Reply

 Comment Form