May 16

May 17th, 2007

Today I had a sense of accomplishment. I could almost see the end of Newfoundland. Although I was still a day and a half away from the ferry terminal, I felt like it was within my grasp. In fact, I was so close that I could smell the ocean!


The day started off with a brilliant sunrise coming over the mountain tops and was supposed to remain clear all day. After a quick breakfast and our farewell’s to Rose and Calvin, we hopped in the RV and headed back to Barachois Pond Provincial Park where I left off the night before. With my panty hose on and my skates tied up, I stepped onto the cold, gray asphalt. At that moment I knew the sun was just being a tease. I should have known better. Even in the bright sunshine, the Newfoundland weather will still torment you. The scenery around me was breathtaking, but the cold, forceful wind was ripping at my cheeks like razor blades. Nevertheless, I hammered on. I continually reminded myself of the greater goal I was shooting for. That was all the motivation I needed. The frustration I was feeling was intense. I just felt like I couldn’t catch a break with the weather. But aside from the odd curse to the Wind Gods, I wasn’t doing badly.


As the day pressed on, the uneventfulness was weighing on my shoulders. A few honks from cars going by just wasn’t as exciting as it used to be. Each kilometer now felt like 10. And then, to make matters worse, the nicely paved shoulder now had rumble strips carved into them. I had no choice but to carefully skate on the highway itself. Thankfully the traffic was light and the strips came to an end about 20 km after they began.


I had decided to skip my regular afternoon nap so I could get in a few extra miles. The weather forecast for tomorrow was calling for snow and rain, so I wanted to get in as much skating today as possible.


The afternoon ticked by and my mind started wandering when I noticed a truck pass by and slow down. I started to think this would be my first donation of the day, but I watched as she simply slowed down to make a turn into the upcoming crossroad. No more than 30 seconds had past when another truck past and and pulled over blocking my shoulder. Wait a minute… this was the same truck. Well this should lift my spirits a bit. When I rolled up beside the truck, the driver opened her door quickly and spoke with a big grin on her face. “You’re on the radio right now!” she said excitedly. She turned the volume up loudly so I could hear. The voice I heard coming through the speakers was none other than the lovely Rose Howse! She had called in to VOCM and was telling the province about how she graciously welcomed us into her home the night before. She mentioned all the details of my website and the cause I am raising money for. It was fantastic to hear someone talk about me like that… especially someone who was a stranger less than 12 hours ago. And with that, the woman who had pulled over reached into her purse and made a wonderful donation herself.


Within the next 100 meters, 4 more cars would pull over and make a donation! At one point, there were actually cars lined up on the shoulder of the highway waiting for me to come to their window to accept a donation. Even an off-duty highway enforcement officer stopped to donate. He told me that he passed me several kilometers ago while on duty but wanted to come back and contribute. Absolutely amazing! Rose’s phone call to the radio station single-handedly made for one of my most successful days in terms of donations! Thank you Rose!


I was now finally less than 100 kilometers from the ferry. Another great feeling! But I knew I would be faced with adversity the next day, so I kept moving forward. The late afternoon conditions had settled the fierce winds from earlier and I was now making pretty good time. At one point, I actually hit a new personal top speed of over 50 km/h! Obviously that only lasted for a few hundred meters coming down a smooth decent. I ended up calling it a day near an area called South Branch. We drove in to a town called Doyle where the nearest gas station was located. Here we plugged our hydro in and got ready for what was expected to be a blistering cold night.

Posted in Daily Journal | 1 Comment »


One Response to “May 16”

  1. Alexandra Felsky Says:

    I’m following along with you and enjoying your updates so much! What do you do while you skate to amuse yourself? Do you listen to mp3s or think deep thoughts or what? You are incredible for undertaking this.

    Have a good skate tomorrow,

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