May 21

May 22nd, 2007

Happy Victoria Day!

 

I was always told to avoid talking about 2 things: Politics and the weather. Well, I don’t really follow politics, so that’s no problem. But the weather has been so unpredictable that I can’t help but complain about it! This morning the clouds were thick and dark. I figured rain was inevitable. With my rain skates on, I headed out towards Truro. The highway was wet, but there was one dry strip near the shoulder. The wind was fairly strong but not directly in my face. It was more of a cross wind that swirled around me occasionally. I’d been skating for about an hour when I realized that I had been slowly climbing a hill for the past 30 minutes. This must be Mount Thom that I had heard about. It was far from a mountain, but just a tedious, continuous incline.

 

Thankfully the rain held off. I decided to get off the TCH just before Truro and head through town on Highway #2. It had been a long morning and I was beginning to get discouraged by the lack of donations. And then everything turned around for me. I got the best donation that I’ve received so far! A little silver car pulled over in front of me and the woman handed me some money. I thanked her and waved as she pulled away. As I watched her driving down the road, I noticed she pulled over again only 50 meters up the street. As I approached the car for the second time, the back door swung open and an adorable little girl jumped out. She walked over to me and handed me another handful of coins. It was the single most precious gesture I had experience on this trip so far. Her name was Mary. She was a beautiful girl with a heart of gold. Thank you, Mary.

 

After stopping for lunch in Truro, I hopped back on the TCH towards Halifax. I was now about 90 km outside of the city. I now had conditions that I’ve been dreaming about. I had huge shoulders, new pavement, and the wind directly behind me. My speed quickly picked up, and with no effort at all, I was coasting down the highway at over 30 km/h! At this rate, I may make it to Halifax today! But then again, you know my luck. Sure enough, almost as if it were on queue, the wide shoulder ended. Ugh. Even with the small shoulder, I kept going. But it was tough skating because I had to alter my stride so that my leg wouldn’t swing out into traffic. It was very tough on my lower body. And then the Road Gods thought it would be funny to increase the challenge. The shoulder had gone from wide and smooth, to narrow and smooth, and finally to narrow and grated. Enough was enough. It was time to get off the TCH. I lost this battle.

 

I managed to struggle through the horrible shoulder until I reached Stewiacke where I changed over to Highway #2 again. Now having been through almost 2 complete provinces, it’s safe to say that Nova Scotia has the most inconsistent roads so far. I’ve had some amazingly good and some unbelievable bad conditions. But there doesn’t seem to be any consistency in the pavement.

 

The Highway took us through some beautiful farm land. I skated into a small hamlet called Shubenacadie and was surprised to find a sign that indicated this town had the highest recorded tides in the entire world! Amazing what you find when you go off the beaten path! And at the bottom of the Welcome sign, the town’s slogan read “Udderly Beautiful”. Pretty suitable for this community.

 

I had nearly reached 100 km for the day when I stopped for the night. I was only about 30 km outside of Halifax, so we marked our spot and drove into the city for the night. We arrived at my friends house just in time for a nice steak dinner! As if the night couldn’t get any better, Trish and Kyle’s neighbour, Paul Lamb (lead singer from Crush), and Kyle’s father both gave me a donation.

 

Tomorrow morning my dad will drive me back to where I left off so I can finish up this leg of my journey.

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