September 1

September 3rd, 2007

And so another month begins.


Before this journey began, it wasn’t unusual to wake up to the sound of sea gulls or crows squawking near my window. But I know that living in a major city like Vancouver, there are a lot worse things that could wake me up. Humans have 5 senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised when it was my sense of smell that stirred me today. Some people wake up to the smell of fresh coffee. For others it may be bacon and eggs. I had the misfortune to be roused by the overwhelming stench of rotting garbage. That’s right, the Vancouver civic strike is still in full force and the mounds of garbage make it visually and aromatically noticeable. With any luck, the issue will be resolved soon. Maybe this was a good summer to be away from the city!


My blade down 152nd Street into White Rock didn’t last too long from Surrey. Crystal handed me an envelope along the way from Sandra, a colleague of hers at Worksafe BC. Inside was a generous contribution. If everyone collected a few dollars from their co-workers for cancer research, we would all be closer to a cure.


A lot of people have commented on the mix-up in Chilliwack. Today I had the opportunity to chat with the manager at the BP there. The situation was unfortunate, but it was just a break down in communication. The Chilliwack BP is very supportive of the Skate For Hope and is actually making a significant contribution to the cause. Thank you Chilliwack BP!


The Peace Arch RV Park in White Rock was happy to accept us into their establishment. The park is a gorgeous place with incredible flowers and gardens through the property. The facilities were clean and convenient. My parents even said they will come back to stay here when they come to visit me which is fine with me since I only have a one bedroom apartment.


We had a bit of time to kill so we headed down to the water in White Rock. We strolled along the pier and through some local stores. My shorts have been annihilated by the harmful sun this summer, so I was able to find a couple new pairs. I know my Uncle Ron should be happy about my new purchase. I’ve heard he was never crazy about my flowery board shorts. We also made a quick stop at White Mountain Ice Cream. We were hoping to meet the owner since we have a unique connection with her. Her father was my family doctor in Kingston and actually delivered me just over 28 years ago! She wasn’t there today, but it would be nice to meet up sometime.


Ever since we had a tune up in Welland, Ontario, the RV has been running fairly well. So today we thought we’d give her a good test. If you know White Rock, you know there are some very steep hills on many of the streets. We headed up the most grueling incline we could find. My dad’s foot was to the floor. I could see a bead of sweat forming on his brow as we got near the top. With white knuckles and teeth clenched, Dad looked up to the peak and saw a stop sign. “Like Hell I’m stopping!” he exclaimed. We were all pretty nervous that if he were to come to a complete rest at this angle, we’d start picking up a lot of speed in the opposite direction. If a car hadn’t been coming through the intersection when we got to it, I think my Dad really would have rolled through. The grade must have been about 15% and now we were stopped. With a THUD, my Dad’s foot slammed on the accelerator and the motor home gurgled and chugged. Hair by hair we managed to turn the corner and barely made it back to level ground. She worked hard, and we all had to change our underwear at the end of it, but we made it successfully to the top.


I was pretty excited when I rolled into the Boston Pizza in White Rock. Topher, the manager, and the rest of the staff were all psyched to have me coming in! They had a contest planned for their servers to help raise donations for me, posters, and even a recent newspaper article displayed on the front counter. Another co-worker of Crystal’s made an appearance at the restaurant to show her support. Barbara had also e-mailed me earlier in the day to introduce herself. She’s an incredibly lively woman with a heart of gold. Not to be outdone by her cousin, my friend Pranita also showed up for dinner with her boyfriend. It was great to see you again, P.


The most special guest of the evening wasn’t even someone I knew. Fay and her husband had read about me in the newspaper and instantly decided that they wanted to come to Boston Pizza to meet me. A local to White Rock, Fay was so touched by what I’m doing that she invited us all to her place for dinner when my journey is finished next week. Fay, my parents might not be available, but Crystal and I intend to take you up on that offer. I’ll be expecting your phone call!


We scarfed down our food quickly because Boston Pizza had arranged to have me make an appearance at the Big Kahuna South Surrey Rams football game. The field was just down the street, so we hustled when we were done our meal. Kiri met us there and introduced me to a few of the top dogs of the football organization. At half time, I went out to mid-field with Kiri and Chris where I was introduced to the entire crowd. It wasn’t quite the same as the Edmonton Folk Festival, but it was great exposure to be in front of a couple hundred football fans. During the second half, we stood on the side lines enjoying the game when I was permanently scarred by a horrific scene in front of me. I watched as the teams broke their huddles and walked to the line of scrimmage. The quarterback took the snap and the play was under way. Suddenly I caught a white blur in the corner of my eye. It seemed a bit unusual that there were players so far down the field away from where the action was. As I turned my head to see why they were down in the end zone, I quickly realized they weren’t players at all. They weren’t referees, either. Three young men came sprinting down the stadium at top speed. And they were naked! I can’t say I’ve ever been to an event when streakers have made an appearance, and I hope I never am again. Simply disturbing.


That was enough for me. we headed back to the RV park for a quiet night. Tomorrow I head for Vancouver Island! It’s hard to believe I’ve been on the West Cost for 3 years and haven’t been to the Island yet.

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