A Few Excerpts From The Book "CANADA Coast to Coast to Coast, Vol. 1"

As the scenic view opened up a bit on the Northumberland Strait we were thrilled to see a whale about 100 yards off shore. I stopped to shoot some video and a few photos. In doing so, over a period of about five minutes, I observed it didn’t swim like a whale, being on the surface almost the whole time. Karen was watching from the van and came to the same conclusion. We both realized it was a rock and moved on.

Just beyond Drummondville the next morning there was a woman on my right trying to merge so I slowed to let her in. Nothing. I honked to indicate she could get in front of me. Nothing. I flashed my lights to signal her to come on in. Still nothing. I didn’t feel it was safe to stop, get out of my van and tell her to wake up and get in front of me so I blew by her with a wave of my hand. Some people should not be allowed to own cars.

As I was taking pictures there was a loud commotion on the hill directly behind me and I turned to see a truck speed down the grass hill, bounce across the road and careen into the bay. There was a middle-aged woman sitting at the wheel and although she was surprised and bewildered she appeared to be alright. By now several neighbours were onsite and they all looked quite calm (as though this sort of thing may have happened before) and after being assured she was alright instructed her to get out of the truck and walk toward them on shore. My first thought was that she was drunk, and she may well have been because I can just imagine her looking out the windshield and exclaiming, "Jases bye! Who put the friggin' bay here?!"

The first thing I wanted to know was what time it was, all the clocks I had seen since leaving St. John’s were different. Pierre explained that Saint Pierre was in the Greenland time zone, different from Newfoundland and the Atlantic Provinces, two hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. That clears that up – so what time is it?

Jerseyman Island shelters Arichat Harbour to the northwest. In the 18th century the harbour was a very prosperous port for cargo ships from around the world. Jerseyman Island was later attacked by American privateer John Paul Jones forcing the inhabitants to move to Isle Madame. A privateer wasn’t just your average raping, pillaging and murdering pirate; they were government sanctioned pirates. The twin muzzle loading cannons stand as an historic landmark of that period.

In general, housekeeping cottages had been a gem we discovered on our first trip to Newfoundland in 2014. They’re perfect on road trips, especially if you’re away for several weeks. Eating out can be extremely expensive, unhealthy and does get boring if you do it every day. A cottage allows you to plan and prepare your own meals and you can enjoy them in your underwear if you wish – most restaurants frown heavily on that.

We met a man on the path visiting from the States with his daughter and her boyfriend. He seemed to not quite get the fact that this was a very small mountain. He thought he was at about 20,000 feet. Rather than outright call him an idiot I didn’t even point out that the mountain was less than 2,700 feet at the top. We left him smiling; you poor disillusioned soul.

We stopped at the Visitor Centre again and ended up showing the attending woman how to look up the hourly weather on her computer. We wanted the hourly forecast because our life is that finely tuned. While this was going on the skies miraculously cleared and the sun came out – run, now’s our chance for a hike!

I quickly showed her that the flash was not going off because the camera was set on automatic. Lack of light was certainly not an issue so that flash would never activate in these circumstances. I showed her how to set her camera so the flash would activate while set to the manual on position, knowing full well that my instructions were falling on deaf ears. I took a few shots of them on their camera myself, with the flash, then we walked away to a final chorus of, “Did the flash go off?”

We left in good time, got away by 7:30AM. As we left I had a feeling we had forgotten something. It was much more powerful than the one I usually get. Before we were a kilometre away it hit me, Holy Shit! - our red suitcase containing all our everyday stuff including meds and my computer bag containing my computer, chargers and all our money. A quick U-turn and a hasty retreat got us back in less than a minute. As we pulled up it dawned on me, oh yeah, we never brought the cooler or everything we left in the fridge either. Just what did we pack?”

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