May 19

May 19th, 2007

Rollerblading 101. No, it’s not a class that I teach. No, it has nothing to do with the Disney Classic ‘101 Dalmatians’. It is, however, the distance I was able to cover today!


Even though the forecast was for rain all day, the morning started off well. I didn’t sleep well because of a restless, 16-year-old beagle we decided to bring on this voyage. So I was a bit grumpy when I was lacing up my skates. But a few early donations was all it took to make me feel better. And the rain seemed to be holding off for now, too.


While on Newfoundland, I bladed nearly 1000 km. But it wasn’t until today that I actually crossed the milestone. No time to stop celebrate, though. Just a quick picture and I was back on my way towards Antigonish. I was planning to stop for lunch and a much needed nap just before crossing the Strait of Canso (which bridges Cape Breton to the mainland). But when we got to Canso, there was no where to stop until I crossed the Causeway. Just one problem. The Causeway was only 2 lanes, no shoulders, no sidewalk and was 2 km long. I know I can skate fast, but I was a bit nervous to slow down traffic for 2 kilometers. Nevertheless, I decided to go for it. I saw a break in traffic and jumped on the road. I took off like a bat out of hell. At least I had the wind in my favour for this! When I got to the other side, my parents told me that I had reached speeds of 35 km/h. Not bad considering I wasn’t going downhill. And only a couple cars had to slow down for me, but they didn’t seem to mind.


I’ve travelled across Canada, the U.S.A, and even Australia. I’ve seen my fare share of roadkill from squirrels, to deer, to kangaroo. But today I experienced 2 firsts. It was a bit sad, but interesting at the same time, so I thought I would share my thoughts. Today I came across a dead seal at the side of the road. I know this is Atlantic Canada and the marine life is abundant, but I was shocked to see this on the road side. We were close to the ocean, but it still seemed bizarre. Later on I saw a bird that had been hit by a car. Normally I wouldn’t have given it much thought, but this was a large brown bird. Not a typical sea gull or crow. It turned out to be an owl. Again, I found this to be quite odd. Both instances were a shame, but interesting.


The rest of my day was crammed pack with excitement of nothing. Sorry to disappoint you, but some days are just boring. There was a lot of fog, so I couldn’t even see much of the landscape. I did, however, conquer at least 3 hills today that measured well over 4 km each. Not mountains by my standards. But you’d be surprised how long a 4 km hill feels when you can’t see the top due to fog.


I ended the day with a couple high points. I faced some strong winds after lunch, but persevered through them to hit my goal of reaching Antigonish, which was 101 kilometers from where I began. Just as we rolled into Antigonish, my dad was able to reach a local radio station (CJFX 98.9 FM) and had our arrival announced on the air. Instantly, this resulted in a few late afternoon donations. Thank god for that! Not a single car pulled over for me all day. I was feeling dejected having cleared over 100 km without raising a penny for my cause. The car honks are great and supportive. If I received a loonie for every honk, I would have reached my goal by now! But unfortunately, honks only help with my morale. I hope the Nova Scotians follow the lead of the Newfies. It’s an amazing feeling to see a car pass me, pull over and roll down their window. Every dollar is one more towards a cure.


Enjoy the long weekend, everyone. Think of me skating my ass off while you’re sitting at your cottages drinking an ice cold beer.


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