Glace Bay the finish point beyond the classic lobster fishing port
The last morning was fifty kilometres short. Focus on Glacé Bay, end point of the journey and the Atlantic end point. Beyond was the lure of Newfoundland, another thousand kilometres of beauty and hospitable people. But it was time to finish. The other places now must take their places on the bucket list.
There was emotion. Two years focus which produced moments of doubt. The climb out of the McKenzie delta. Loose gravel dropping one hundred kilograms of load and struggling to restart. Was it beyond my capability? Realising the ten kilometre rule past the last bear sign was impossible.
The emotion I felt was about those who were with me on the journey. They were there every day looking at my GPS dots. Knowing that support is there gives the strength beyond anything you can muster as an isolated individual.
I have had some incredible gifts. My hours with Ernest the Gwich’in elder beside the Peel River. Exploring the special places of Trish and Wayne around the Banff area. Similarly sharing with Buck and Lee around Grand Marais and Alex in Ottawa. Thanks to Buck I have had dinner with a famous Arctic explorer and mountaineer, Lonnie Dupre. Things don’t happen by chance, chances are created.
There has been days when things occur as if pre-ordained. The navigation error which gave me the last beautiful campsite on the Merigomish Harbour; the chance encounter with Bill in Fort Frazer (giving an incurable addiction to Tim Hortons muffins); meeting GG on the street of Somerset Manitoba and seeing her photo of Gunlom pool Kakadu.
It was impossible to look to the Atlantic battling the cold wet days of the Alaska Highway. The focus was on the warm tent at the end of the day (and the delight of 1500 calories of quinoa and nuts that has a distinctly similar taste to last nights gourmet offering). Day by day the kilometres built up behind the little trailer wheel. Suddenly I could look back on half a continent. It was not that hard in small daily bites.
My meticulous route planning was blown apart by realities. The choices I took were simple: avoid big towns, back roads only, don’t be afraid of gravel and never ride backwards. It worked. It showed me a back country view of Canada and its people which was a pleasure.
I just have so many thank you’s to deliver. If you are reading this consider yourself thanked. I will compile a proper thank you list in the next few days.
Canada was a country of two languages - until Novia Scotia threw in Gaelic
The shores of Bras d'or Lake Cape Breton Island
Nova Scotia industry out of New Glasgow
Scenes along the Picton Nova Scotia coast
Classic lobster Port at the finish in Glace Bay
Atlantic journeys end