Showing posts from July, 2013

Preparing for a Wild Goose Ride...

It's Wednesday, humpday!  Tomorrow Anna and I will gather with Justin, his girlfriend Kaitlin, her parents and Zack (when he gets home from work) and hopefully his girlfriend Trish to celebrate Justin's 20th birthday. Its hard to believe.  Seems like just yesterday we were rushing to Calgary from Acme anxious for his birth, just yesterday that we brought him home to the Manse and opened the house to family and friends as we celebrated his arrival into the world.  And so on... and so on... Wow!  Lots of memories! As the title notes, I am preparing to ride again.  Following Justin's actual birthday on Friday (and officiating at the funeral of a lady in Sackville) I depart for Hot Springs, NC where I will take part in the Wild Goose Festival. “Wild Goose” is a Celtic spirituality metaphor that evokes unpredictability, beauty, and grace.  The Festival takes inspiration from this concept, as well as many events such as Greenbelt, Burning Man, the Iona Community and SXSW.

Ramadan Road Trip (Day 4)

Its 5:30AM and the coffee is dripping and gurgling as we start to pack up for the last leg home.  We'll try and be off by 6:30AM so we can beat the heat of the day... more later! After a quick breakfast at the Comfort Inn breakfast bar (raisin bran with milk and a dish of blueberry yogurt - and coffee of course) I loaded my bike while Al read yesterday's blog entry.  It was a joy to hear his laughter at my recounting of the days events! Going... going... We were on the way toward home at 6:15AM (so says the GPS log), and Al set a blistering pace as we rounded the south side of the Baie Des Chaleurs.  To protect the not so innocent I won't recount the speeds we touched... the pace slowed down significantly as we reached Bathurst, picked up again a little bit until we reached Gone... Miramichi and stayed down for the rest of the way.  Good thing too!  We passed three police cars that I counted!! As we rode I was listening to a folder of inspirational music on

Ramadan Road Trip (Day 3)

If one had to name a theme for today it would be: In Awe of Vast Beauty! The day began with breakfast in the motel... the old farts had slept in and we were both hungry and needed to eat before hitting the road.  The breakfast buffet was the easiest options... it was vast in selection: bacon or sausage, french toast or pancakes, eggs scrambled or fried, home-fries, five different fruits, muffins, cheeses, sweetbreads and jams and croissants and pastries... I had bacon and scrambled eggs and one small pancake... and three cups of coffee (plus the one I spilled on the table)! It was almost 8AM by the time the bikes were loaded and we were moving... only to need to stop and gas up for the days adventure!  At. $1.39 per litre I was sure glad I wasn't filling the pickup truck with the 40ft 5th wheel that I was parked beside! Heading east out of Matane the sheer space before us was almost overwhelming: open ocean on the one side and mountains rising sharply on the other - one

Ramadan Road Trip (Day 2)

We left New Hampshire with the sun!  We'd decided the night before to burn a tank of fuel before we stopped for breakfast... and so we did... as we travelled west through Dixville Notch to Third Lake where we crossed into Canada... and left some money (duty) to pay for our Canadian way of life!! After a friendly chat with the Border Officials we set of toward Lac-M├ęgantic through Chartierville and stopping in La Patrie for a wonderful breakfast at a place called Exquisite Pizza!!  The breakfast was awesome... and saw us through until supper at 9PM on the boat to Matane!! Scotstown was the next little Quebec village that we passed through.  This Bruce gave a thumbs up to the Wallace behind him the sign passed from our view - the last jovial thought for the next few miles... After breakfast and a second cup of coffee we'd set off toward Lac-M├ęgantic.  Yes, we were going to see for ourselves, but we also went out of compassion for a community that was suffering.  Heading i

Ramadan Road Trip (Day 1 - Part II)

Its Friday morning and Al is still snoozing...  a few minutes to write. Leaving yesterday we headed toward St. Stephen, NB under overcast an overcast sky.  An hour into Maine and it began to pour and did not look like it was going to ever clear... the raindrops were the size of golf balls and the toughs in the road were filling up... there was one pucker moment... and then we stopped at a little country store with an overhang on the porch and donned the rain gear - preparing for the worse! We no sooner had the rain gear on and Al quipped "Look, its beginning to let up..."  Well, it did and it didn't... and then it did! There are many beautiful moments on any given motorcycle trip: a vista on a mountain road, a sweeping left hand turn followed by a tight right hand cure... but one of the most beautiful is the experience of driving out of rain into a clear or clearing sky.  One moment, your glasses are fogged, your face-shield is coated in water-drops and your wind-

Ramadan Road Trip (Day 1)

You're leaving again... OR Where is my supper...? Well... another bike trip and another blog entry.  The two go hand in hand for me.  As I have said elsewhere when I am on a trip (or in the case getting ready to leave on a motorcycle trip) my mind seems freer to reflect and ponder life's questions through writing. Later this morning Al Wallace and I will head toward Vermont.  We have no destination in mind - only to follow the road for a day and a half and then turn toward home.  Ideally we will find some twisty roads with scenic views and a good meal or two along the way. As I prepare to depart I am mindful of Muslim colleagues and inmates who are fasting for the Holy month of Ramadan.  Yesterday I had planned to have all the Muslim inmates who are fasting over to the Chapel to distribute the food items they had purchased for Ramadan.  Unfortunately we were locked down as a result of work being done on the electrical system.  This no doubt made the day very long for i