Posts tagged Prom night
Posts tagged Prom night
I said bye to Peter. We hugged.
After I left into the usual morning mist, I tried to ease myself into things and get used to the bike again. It was new and (you know how it is after a failed relationship) we had to develop a mutual trust before I could start to love again. I had set a reasonably modest target for the day and wanted to get 100km under my belt to Truro.
I felt good after the first few kilometres and chuckled at a sign for Milford because the “ord” was graffitied out. I even love the vandals in Canada.
I also cruised past what claimed to be the biggest Gypsum mine in the world. If, like me, you don’t know what on earth gypsum is, Wikipedia defines it as “a very soft sulfate mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate, with the chemical formula CaSO4·2H2O”, though I preferred to imagine the mine as the place we get Irish traveller memorabilia from.
Cute, customised, distinctly North-American post boxes whizzed by in the warm sunshine, as well as a hilarious sign stating that the local mudbogs and rednecks were going to have it off in a demolition derby.
As the cheekily rolling hills zipped by, so did the wildlife. Trees filled every available place, forcing the illusion that they were squeezing streams out of the ground. Bird song arose from the woods and cocooned the country homes set amongst the forest trunks. Nature came to the road too. Dead porcupines that curiously smelled like rotting fish, a livelier Bambi doppleganger and a ballsy chipmunk that was clearly no stranger to dodging 18-wheelers all joined the party.
But as the afternoon started to turn orange, finding a suitable campsite proved difficult. Marsh, dense forest or rugged, privately owned, fields prevented pitching. When I did find somewhere that could work, bugs were the problem. My brother Martin and a few of his friends recently come home from a camping trip in Scotland after one night because the insects were so bad. The four of them came back looking like life-sized connect-the-dots puzzles, though given the sheer volume of the bites, you could have drawn whatever you fancied. Since “Nova Scotia” means “New Scotland”, I decided not to take my chances. Point is, bugs are gross.
As a result of this ongoing search, I ended up cycling for much longer than I had initially planned. In fact, nearly 90km further than initially planned. I had actually gone coast to coast to coast, a first for me, before finally stopping in a pleasant town named Pugwash.
In what was another first for me, I ended up pitching in the garden of a lovely couple who owned a farm. They offered me use of their toilet and shower and told me that there were deer, racoons and bears in the area. This was Canada, and, after being a little nervous, I couldn’t have been happier to be back on the road.
As far as I could tell, the only negative was that I was very sunburnt. Almost comically so. In the shower, my arms were so red that it looked like I was wearing a vest with nipples painted on.
As I dozed off in my tent, there was a kerfuffle outside. Unbeknown to me it was prom night. If only I had, I could have fulfilled my dream to attend a North American prom. So what if I’m 22. Shut up.