The Mecca Pt 7

The last I’ve seen of Nova Scotia

A little known fact in Newfoundland, everyone is named Kyle. I scored two rides for the final 700Km stretch to St Johns. Kyle and Kyle brought me to where I needed to be. The first Kyle was such a great guy. Everyone on the rock has a heart of gold. This island is something else. It’s another country you won’t find except for right here. So I stole Kyle’s joke.

Kyle: So I picked up this Hitch hiker out of Port Aux Basques last summer. We be cruising along and a little while in my wife and I were a curious. He was a strange guy and after finding his way to the rock with just his coat and a box we wanted to know what he was up to. So my wife starts up and they’re back and forth for a few until she’s asking him what’s in the box?

HH: None of your fucking business!

Kyle: So I spin around in my seat and lay into this fella, he ain’t allowed to be speaking to my wife like that so you there had best be changing your tone with her. Tell me boy, what’s in the box?

HH: None of your fucking business!

So naturally Kyle’s pissed and stabs to brakes as he brings the car to the shoulder.

The Hitch hiker jumps out of the car and takes off into the woods leaving the box behind.

Me: Okay….

Silence for a minute

Me: Wait, he left the box. What was in it?

Kyle: None of your fucking business!

Booming laughter rings through the car as we continue our cruise. I’ve told this a few times in between and it seems to always get an excellent return.

Halfway through our few hundred together we needed fuel and I was gifted with a bag of snacks, drinks and junk food. Well received Kyle. You’re proving again the beauty we find in every corner of the land. I’m off again and it’s a beautiful day. The rain has let off and the high cloud cover is welcomed.

Kyle 2. He’s on his way to see his Daughter in St Johns. We’re in it for 500km, a few tanks of fuel and a six pack. I drink the most of it to ensure we’re getting there safely. Buzzed now I’m dropped of in the midst of downtown. We shake hands and as I step away from the truck I have to stop. I’m on the water, surrounded by Ships, fishing vessels and massive coast guard monsters. It’s beautiful. Every dream of a fishing town, a life on the water and the beauty of the sea is right in front of me. I’ve found another place I just wished existed. Years have passed dreaming of something I thought I’d never find and it’s right in front of me.

I walk the water for hours in awe. It’s stunning.

Checking into the hostel I’m met with warm and friendly faces. I settle in, grab a shower and head off for a cup of coffee and a snack to explore the surroudnings without burden. There’s no place like St Johns. I think about it lots now and again. At least a few times a week. The pictures don’t do this community justice.

“Afghan Restaurant” A hole in the wall and it’s what I’ve been craving. The walk from the Hostel to the hole is beautiful. I’m straining for words right now to describe how much this place meant to me. It really felt like home here. I know why people live here, I know why they chose here and I know why they stay here. Through to a Pub for a beer on George Street and I’ve hit it off with locals. Everyone is just so friendly. I’m coming back some time.

So we make a list and I’m off to check em’ all. Sadly I didn’t get every single one but I definitely hit every place that really mattered. I spent a crazy, crazy night at the Hostel and with pictures to prove it. I don’t remember much from my stay. It was a riot. Invited out to play some pool we left as Two Canadians, An Irishman and two Aussies. Met with a pair of Brits and beers started flowing. I’m not sure how, but I drank them all under the table. I still remember the looks on their faces when I finished their beers every time we left another bar. I payed for it the next day but I left as a legend.

I don’t remember this.

I had a friend from way back in Middle School. Philicia. Haven’t seen her since I was 13. We reconnected the next afternoon and settled in at home. We caught up with an evening of Coffee, food, beer and video games. Her and Zack were exceptional hosts. I swear its like her and I had seen each other a week ago and Zack and I bonded like brothers. Nothing but amazing experiences, adventures, tours and teachings followed. We explored all of the peninsula and crossed items from the list one after another.

So we’re tying it all up. I’m getting screeched in tonight and I’m on a plane at 5am. I’m shitfaced, I’m in Newfoundland and I’m kissing the Cod. I couldn’t have ended this any better. I’m surrounded with my new family and my heart is full. I’ve done it. I’ve achieved a life goal and I’m feeling so, so good about it.  I really can do anything.

Zack helped me steal my shot glass. Thanks buddy. What a fucking legendary ending for such a massive adventure. I can still hear the fog horns putting me to sleep, the lap of the sea at the shores of this tragically beautiful rock. The smiles of everyone along the way are with me every time I need a little more. It’s all so surreal to look back on to. Thinking of the hours at the side of the road hopelessly waiting for a ride through to the near misses and sleepless nights. The food I’ll never eat again and the beers that I’ll never be able to share with anyone. Success and failure, struggle and ease. I’d do it all again if I needed it. I haven’t even seen the sun in a week, Fog city as they call it and I’m still shining.

Before the sun had even risen that morning Philicia and I did what needed to be done. We’re on to Cape Spear to watch the sunrise. Her and I are the first to watch the sun rise upon the continent of North America. The fog never let up. There were no colours, no sparkle nor a break of light across the Atlantic ocean and I didn’t even care. I pinned that point on google maps months prior to this day as another distant and unreachable dream. Yeah right, sure you’re going to Cape Spear dude. That’s on the other side of the country!

Well, here I am.

 

I’m flying to Calgary. It’s 5am and I almost missed my flight. I’m still drunk. In 24 hours I’ve stood on the edge of the Continent, been screeched in and now I’m flying 2/3rds across the country to meet someone I never thought existed. I’m crossing four time zones and She’s right there waiting for me. I never expected what happens next.

Mecca Complete. Thank you world. You are Amazing.

The Mecca Pt 5

It’s been a long road so far and I’m doing all I can. I’m stepping foot on the smallest province in all of Canada. It’s a picturesque little island, the sorts that post cards are made from. Light houses, bright colours, cute little streets and red dirt. I reached out to a friend from middle school and ended up with a place to stay in Charlottetown. It was an interesting visit to say the least. I’m not sure exactly what I had expected but it was a little sub par. I have been learning a lot about myself on this trip and trusting your gut is really, really important. We as humans have developed such a complex array of emotions, reasoning and instinct that without a doubt, is completely ridiculous and makes no sense at all. Even if we don’t fully understand it you’re better off trusting it. This time I should have. I should have just listened to my gut and avoided this interaction. In a way, I had to do it no matter what. It helped me break free from a few more chains holding me down. Showed me how to say no, showed me how to make the best of it.

So I’ll be straight up, I stayed in a shitty apartment with three stoners for 3 days. It was miserable. They were horribly boring, had no drive and we did not connect on any level. We hardly did a damn thing until I offered to pay for gas and then only then would they decide to adventure. I don’t know why I stayed, why I thought it was a good enough place to hold up for a while but I did. Maybe I thought I could help them find a little bit more of their potential, maybe I could help them a little bit. Maybe my friend from middle school would see how much of their life was being wasted?

I don’t know. I’m bitter about it still. I haven’t reached out to them since and I don’t intend to. That’s life. Some times no matter how much you try, people don’t want to get better. Maybe they don’t want to be helped and they’re just going to loathe in their own self misery until their demise. I just wish I could change the world. I just wish I could help everyone and make everything okay.

So that’s a hard start. I knew how vividly beautiful Prince Edward Island could be, I just had to find it. So here’s to our little adventure. You’ve gotta find the sunshine no matter how hard it rains.

These are the only two pictures that turned out. We split into two groups, two of them hopped in the car to grab coffee for the group as I stayed behind with another. I wanted to hike the coast line and so we did. Now that the group was broken up and I was with someone I had hardly known more than a day I opened up to him. I told him a bit of what I was feeling and we talked more about the situation the three of them were in. I had to learn from this and I did. I came to understand a little more behind why things were like this and that not everyone has it inside them to break out and grow so quickly. So we had the tide closing in. Shelf upon shelf of deep burgundy soap stone being lapped at by the sea. It was an absolutely beautiful yet horrifically slippery walk. It’s been raining a week straight and as we walk further we trigger small mud slides swallowed by the sea. Teamwork was necessary to continue as any hopes of securing a solid line became scarcer. Ten and twelve foot shelves stood before us as we boosted and pulled one another over the next.

“I haven’t done this since I was a kid.”

“Neither have I”

We smiled.

Near an hour later we were on the next beach as the tide closed off our path. We made it to the road and found the others. Coffee was welcomed with cold hands and a big smile. I hope he’s doing better now.

I decided to leave the next morning. It’s raining a little. 3 Degrees. I need some food and socks. I’m alienated at the grocery store as I pass strangers of Potato island. The population doubles in the summer and dwindles in winter, tourism is the heart of PEI (And potatoes) so a backpack in November is a little out of place. Play it up. Be an idiot. See how many people you can get to leave the aisle as you’re in it. Why not? I have nothing better to do so I may as well entertain myself.

So I’m at it again. I’m ready to leave this godforsaken island for good. Even with that little bit I’m still left with a bad taste in my mouth. The company can really make the meal. Hitched out of Charlotte town. I have less than 60Km to get to the ferry today and I’m headed to Nova Scotia. As a small town goes the rides are small and the hearts big. I’m feeling good and making friends. Kicking Potatoes down the ditch as I whistle and sing. Detour on purpose and walk longer than I care to just because I can. I want to dye a T-shirt in the red dirt. Next time.

There’s a lot of “Firsts” throughout life. Never have I caught a ride with someone only to an hour later have their brother pick me up. Cameron and Matt were around my age and schooling in Antigonish. One called the other and as a lazy Sunday would have it nothing happening at all. So away we went and made it to the ferry. I hopped out and thanked him for the ride. Two hours to kill I’m ahead of schedule.

“Go get your ticket and let’s get lunch, I’ll show you around. I grew up just up the street.”

I’m numb by now, I hate Pei and it’s awful but this is amazing. Every single disappointment has been turned around instantly. This complete stranger and I had an amazing afternoon. Beach after Beach, road after road, byways, highways, alleys and fishing shacks. Come out to western Canada you two, You’re more than welcome.

Another Ferry, naps, oceans, swells and birds. I love leaving. I don’t know why. No matter where I am I need to go. Get away, go explore and see something new, follow a road never found and push into the next county. It feels right to keep moving and keep exploring.

Signage par usual I’m offered a ride from an older Fellow to Halifax, Score! We’re off and on the road. There’s not much to see in Nova Scotia, some rocks, some trees, more trees and more rocks. We find the City and it’s beautiful. Bridges, the bay, downtown and the sea. Ships line the port and I find the hostel for the night. Make a few friends and hunt down food. Another fairly average night but I love it. Just keep moving.

I spent the day exploring Halifax. It’s been 20 years since I’ve been here. I was born here. Not having returned since far before I could remember I felt different here than I have anywhere else. My Father was in the Army 25 years. We never stayed anywhere long. I didn’t know who I was or where I was from or where I belonged for my entire life. I still don’t, but at least I figured out where I came from. Finally.

One piece at a time we all can get a little better.

Ferry to Dartmouth, just across the water. Naps in the park and I’m off to stay with a family friend. Laundry and a bed, home cooked food and 3 fat little dogs lay on top of me as I fall asleep. Tomorrow I hope for Antigonish. I’m done with the Trans-Canada for now. I need some scenery.

I follow the Atlantic ocean on my way.

I’m so out there. It’s a half hour between cars. I keep seeing evidence of Bears and Moose, I have no cell service and I wont see a house for an hour in between walking. There’s nothing out here and I love it. Everyone is so friendly.

I made it safely to Antigonish and stayed with a friend’s parents. 6:30am and I’m headed north again. Next Province; Newfoundland