Aug 1-6, 2014
I’m heading home. What a powerful motivator that can be. Whereas before I had a direction and destinination, it was a little like being suspended in place or cycling into the fog. The scenery changes as one place to the next rolls by but there’s a certain laissez-faire, experience-it-as-it-comes nature to the travel. Now I’m moving. Every kilometre, hour, and day ushers me closer to the end where the cycles stop. I’m getting excited.
Retracing my steps the first few days had a sweet, almost nostalgic feeling to it. I recalled when I last cycled there, when I was still in hope of getting to St John’s. It’s good to be able to say I made it across the country. I made it to the coast and am heading home now. The return is easier for a short distance but I can’t fathom retracing my tracks right back to beginning. The ghosts of memories and realization that the rest of my fellow cyclists on the road have packed their panniers, bikes, and headed home is too much. It’s the nightmare of returning to Mr Burns’s grade 8 class at Summers Corners, after my classmates have long moved on, all over again. I dropped out of school after grade 8 and despite more than a decade of post secondary education, my sleep is still haunted from time to time by the nightmare of trying to catching up. No, I can’t go back to the start.
This time I took the Argentia ferry so I wouldn’t need to cycle all the way across Newfoundland again and then made a beeline for the Yarmouth ferry, which will take me to Portland and within striking distance of home. This route took me through the Annapolis Valley. I have a romanticized notion of the region as a land of apples, cows, and history. I was not disappointed though lacking the patience and energy to properly explore. This place is well worth a return. The villages and grand homes lining the streets reminded me of the old New England towns around Boston I’ve been cycling through these past few years. People used to put so much effort and artistry into the homes they built before the prefabricated boxes we slap together today. Maybe their occupants led banal, tedious lives but the architectural remainders suggest interesting, rich lives to the imagination.
Road Report: 829km
St. John’s – Argentia: 132km
Argentia – North Sydney, NS: ferry
North Sydney – Port Hawkesbury: 150km
Port Hawkesbury – Brookfield: 183km
Brookfield – Bridgetown: 205km
Bridgetown – Yarmouth: 157km