Anyone who has travelled in a group for an extended time knows adventure is not all sunshine and bluebirds. I was reminded of some of our long and yes, adventurous canoe trips in the Arctic Rivers, The Coppermine and The Nahanni today. Although there are 8 paddlers, and you try and reach a consensus, it's hardly ever unanimous. Once a decision is made, it's time to move forward, regardless. Arguments and hard feelings follow, but hopefully forgive and forget prevail.
The humorous part is the reconciliation. Emails are streaming in about what remarkable, inspiring Canadians you are but within the 300 sq. ft., you may be fending off accusations of being a turkey or a dork or worse. Whether it’s different standards of safety, not securing the bike on the rack well enough, taking the wrong road, playing the music too loud, or not doing your share, it doesn't take years of practice to be a critic. Given three months together, disagreements are inevitably.
Depending on your personal hang-ups, maturity level, or books read on Buddhism, some gravitate to basics quicker than others. Added to that of course is the fact that we're not four university students travelling together, so as equal as some would want it to be, it's not. Some are paid to support the ride in all aspects; some don't have ownership of the equipment, although it's their duty to maintain it in top-notch condition. I think that will suffice for now, as unfairly, I do have the power of the pen and realize humbly there are always two sides to any story, etc.
Various conditions can add oil to the flames. Today for instance, Mother Nature added a couple of scoops of chicken shit to the chicken salad. Soon after we left Delegis for Perth Andover, it began to pour and our windshields wiper snapped in half. We were on the Trans Canada because of the wide shoulders and the traffic, especially the semis, were spraying us with each passing. An unfriendly Easterly sapped our energy and huge rolling hills (often over 15 minutes in the granny gear), sapped the rest.
Soaked in the Starship and driving up and down roads searching for our campsite, ended a long gritty bike ride. The proprietor welcomed us with, "Like what you're doing for mental health, but can only give ya $11 off cause we got flooded out last year".
He indicated with his hand chest high the level from the St John's River that passed through his office last spring. Speaking with him further he told me he had a 35 yr. old son living in his basement with schizophrenia. "We're not going to be around forever - then what'll he do?” Later on her way to the shower, Gin kindly took him a hat and a book, which he sat down to read immediately.
Well that's the daily report folks. Still want to come on the magical tour? Kidding aside, facts are you got yer, short, medium and long term. I could go home tomorrow and know I will cherish every mile we have made, every corner we have turned, every hill we have ascended and descended and all the experiences and people we have met. And I will know…better yet…we together will know…that adventure has many moving parts, disagreements can forge relationships, maybe weld them stronger than "good times" and shallow cocktail conversations.
Our overall fatigue has us hitting the hay early in preparation for tomorrow's longest day of the trip yet, 180 kms. from Perth-Andover to Fredericton, NB.