Sunday, July 24, 2011

(Day 40) On unexpected decisions and turns of events...

As I said in my previous entry, I left Friday to head to Vancouver Island.  This was a last minute decision which let to some unexpected events and conversations.

The decision to do so was influenced by two things: the chance to ride on yet another ferry or two and connect with fellow travellers and the opportunity to visit with some other friends and colleagues.  In addition, going this route would save me some saddle time and allow me to see some more amazing scenery.

I left Fort Langley as Dwight and Faith headed to work and took my time getting to Horseshoe Bay.  The day was looking promising.  Arriving at the terminal I benefited from BC Ferries "no reservation needed" and "first on first off" for motorcycles.

While waiting for our boat I met Jim from California.  Jim has a lot of miles under his belt, spent on the seat of his Electra Glide.  He shared with me about his ride last year where he had shipped his bike to Maine and road the Gaspe Bay and then across Canada and home.  This year he was on his way back from Alaska and was stopping on Vancouver Island to take part in a family wedding.  He was quite taken aback when I told him that I had not yet visited the Gaspe Bay area of northern Quebec and New Brunswick.  "You have some of the best riding in your own backyard!"   Needless to say, he got me to thinking about how far away from home I had come!  Maybe I missed a turn somewhere!!

Before leaving Fort Langley I had made contact with Paul and Jan Addison.  Paul was the Chair of the Search Committee that called me to John Wesley in Sault Ste Marie, ON.  I had dinner with them two years earlier when in Victoria for a meeting and they invited to me visit again.  Upon contacting them, they invited to stay with them.  I was also hoping to connect with Sandy Duguay and her husband Larry.  Sandy was the Secretary for two National CSC Committees I had recently served on and was having some medical issues.  Larry is Chaplain at a minimum security prison on Vancouver Island.  Unfortunately I was unable to connect with them.  I do hope she is not in hospital.  Sandy if you read this drop me a note and let me know how you are.

The ferry ride afforded me some time off the bike and time to reflect on how I was feeling at this point in the journey.  I did a little writing in my journal and took a few pictures and had a little nap.  Life is good.

I arrived at Paul and Jan's mid afternoon and was welcomed by Loki - their Labra-doodle, so named after a Norse God!  What an amazing dog!  More about him later.

With a beer in hand Paul and Jan and I sat in the back yard and caught up on children and family lives, where we had been and who we had seen along the way.  Their three children and active and engaged in so many ways!  One of them is working for the government doing environmental assessment work, another has just completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in Scotland and returned home to work, and the third is enrolled in a local university and working for the summer.  Following their children has afforded Paul and Jan opportunities to travel to Scotland and China among other places.

After a late supper I had a soak in Paul and Jan's  hot-tub while Loki kept guard.  He was so attentive and always aims to please, looking at you with expectant and obedient eyes.  Paul kept saying, "He is the best dog ever.  He trains himself!"  In the morning he carries in the paper and fetches slippers and although his nose is perfectly aligned at table height he is able to restrain himself!

With some more conversation about world events and government ineptitude the world over, 10PM saw me climbing into a soft bed... anxious about the days ahead.  For tomorrow I would be leaving familiar territory and heading south... on the Sabbath Road...

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