June 16th & 17th: Novia Scotia!
This update starts out with a wonderful presentation at M. Gerald Teed Memorial school. Unfortunately due to getting the dates mixed up I was only able to present to about half the school instead of being part of their end of year awards show like I was supposed to be. I am actually surprised that this is that first time that sort of thing has happened; planning a three month bike tour across Canada and trying to arrange for me to be in the right place on the right day that works for everyone is no small feat and my support crew at CAHPERD has been doing a fantastic job!
Despite the mix up luck was with me and about six classes were gathered together in one classroom to watch a play, so I got to sneak in at the end and have my say. The students were a great audience and from my perspective it was actually nice to talk to them in a smaller setting, as opposed to the big assemblies I have been doing. With the school year coming to an end and only a couple of schools left on my tour it is great to be able to present anywhere.
After the presentation we had the entire day to wait for the eleven o’clock ferry to Digby, so we explored St. John and the surrounding area. I was pleased to see a number of wonderful parks within easy reach of the city, including one that was right near downtown. Since downtown was packed full of tourist from the two cruise ships that were in town (and who really wants to sit around downtown anyway?), so after having a quick look around and seeing some of the local art galleries; we spend most of the day exploring the beaches and relaxing with our books in the parks and nature reserves. I was pleased to see that we were not the only people enjoying the great outdoors on a fine Monday afternoon. The parking lots were packed and the trails and beaches were covered with people out enjoying themselves.
Not wanting to loss our reservation and being used to the chaotic masses of summer travelers using BC ferries at all hours of the day, we left he beach and got to the ferry with a couple of hours to spare. We did not need to worry; the ferry was almost deserted. Whether it was because of the day, the hour, or just that with the new roads the ferry is less used than it used to be, it was largely truckers taking advantage of the late crossing. With all the amenities closed and nothing but black water to keep me entertained I chose to stay in the RV and try to get some sleep and sleep I did. I managed to pass out for the entire three-hour sailing and barely register off loading and driving as short distance to find a parking lot to stay in.
Since the ferry got in at one in the morning and I didn’t get up to see the sights as we drove off, it was with a bit of confusion that I woke up this morning to take in my surroundings. My mom had found an information center with a very inviting parking lot not to far from the ferry. We woke up to the sound of rain pouring down on the roof and with that in mind (or ear) I was in no hurry to get out of bed. I procrastinated with a big pancake breakfast and some extra route planning for as long as I could, but the rain refused to take a break. I can count myself lucky though because it stayed light as I was riding and the real downpour began just as I was stopping for the day.
The RV is actually a really nice place to be during a rainstorm. The close quarters make for a nice cozy feeling as the rain patters on the roof and streams down the window. After being out on my bike all day it is a wonderful feeling to get dry and warm and sit with a hot cup of tea, watching the rain come down. One of the highlights of the trip has been all the quiet time I have enjoyed. Once the presentations are done and I have finished biking for the day my time is my own. For someone who is used to hectic school schedules and guiding jobs where I am on call 24 hours a day having so much time is quite the luxury. I am a voracious reader, but it has been a couple of years since I have had the time to read for pleasure and I have taken advantage of my free time on this trip to get caught up on my reading list.
Activity tip: We all know the feeling of being overworked and overtired. Time and time again we find ourselves taping away at computers or absently flipping through reports, barley able to focus on the words in front of us, but lot able to sleep. When you find yourself in this state a great way to revitalize your mind and restore your attention span is to get out and get an hour of activity. Not only will it get your mind off work, but also it will help energize you and increase your productivity.