It was a simple desire. To get away from the grinding routine of going to sea daily for long hours. I’ve had my head down, working hard, trying to pull a living out of the sea with this vessel of mine.
But i needed to pick my head up, clear my mind, and do something, anything, to shatter my tunnel vision.
I needed an adventure, no, more. I needed some undecided, unknown mystery, and something in my own backyard.
“Fast riding is exhilarating and addictive… the problem with riding over your head is that the laws of physics are self-enforcing.” (David Hough. Mastering The Ride: More Proficient Motorcycling)
I needed something unknown, yet quick, for I had only one, single, solitary day. I’m incapable of waxing elegant over existential things. I’m too simply wired for that. What was my mystery? Something oh so simple. But it did the trick.
Sunday Morning I quietly got up, without disturbing my wife. I hemmed and hawed for an hour, thinking of the song lyrics, “Should I stay, or should I go now?”, but by 6 AM, the decision was made. I rolled the Yamaha Majesty Motorcycle out of the garage, twisted the wick, and pulled away. That is as existential as this story is going to get, so feel free to click to a new website right now.
It was a chilly 10 degrees Celsius, and I was glad for my new heated handle grips I recently installed. The warmth made a significant difference on a chilly morning. Rather soothing to the fisherman “claw” and the Carpal Tunnel in my hands and wrists too.
I headed out of West Prince, Prince Edward Island, not knowing where I was headed, or for how long. I eventually landed here after an hour.
I did not eat at the diner. As it is closed. I had to settle for the Tim Horton’s coffee with a spiced oatmeal cookie next door, calling it breakfast. I stood there beside my bike, sipping my coffee, not really thinking about much of anything, and still without a plan. But that was the point…. mystery……
I finished my coffee in the corner of the Esso/Tim Hortons parking lot, dropped my coffee cup in the trash, pulled on my helmet and gloves, and headed west towards Borden.
20 minutes later, on a back road, this scene came into view. I pulled into a Catholic Church Parking lot and snapped this picture. I wrestled with the idea of picking up a few pine cones on the ground by the pine trees there. But maybe they saved all the pine cones them for themselves, i wondered. Or would I be saving the lawn mower blades by picked some of them up? I left them there. A priest pulled up in his car, parking near the front door of the church, listening to music in his car. I pretended I did not see him, pulled on my helmet, roared the bike to life.
All I knew was this, I had to cross that bridge.
As I mindlessly crossed the bridge, I remembered that a choice was coming my way. Take a right, north, further up into New Brunswick, or Left, which was south into Nova Scotia. Canso came to my mind….
I really liked the idea of Canso Point. I have never been there, but rain was predicted for later in the day. I toyed with the idea of just going in circles on the huge Port Elgin round about, until a decision came to me…. but I turned north. New Brunswick it was.
The last place I wanted to be in was a city, but Moncton was the next thing down this road. So, I pulled over into a small over gown side road. Walked down the path a little and there I stood in the Loupins, as I warmed up in the now risen sun. I did not even remove my helmit as I stood there enjoying the nature scene as a huge bumble bee probed the Lupins i was standing among.
“What am I doing here?”, I asked myself.
“It does not matter why you are here.”, I said to myself.
I kept going North. I arrived at Moncton. Did the man thing by going to the newly opened Cabela’s store, not certain they were open on Sunday. They were, at 9 AM, and I was there, just then. I normally enjoy stores like this, but today it was more than I could take. “Junking up your life, Andy?” was all that went through my mind.
I came out with a package of sock liners for my 300 km hike in a few weeks. Hoping they would curb blisters, as others promised.
I stood in the parking lot asking myself, “Should I stop, or keep going further?” I was parked by the stop sign, so took this picture, as I tried to figure it out.
I head back south, but I was not ready to go home. I pulled over into Shediac, the “Lobster Capital” of the world.
I sent this picture to my wife, saying I was trying to get home, but was eaten by a giant lobster. As a lobster fishing captain, her simple curt cyber space reply was,
“Turn about is fair play.”
I wanted to eat seafood, but it was getting busy in Shediac now, so I drove through the congested main drag, passing by all the eateries. Eventually, I took a side street and came to a dead end at this water front. This is what I gazed at for some time, in silence. You could say I had my “church” right there, since it was Sunday. Had a tinge of guilt for not at least waving to the Priest in the parking lot back on Prince Edward Island earlier that morning.
There were mountains of wild roses to my right and left. Their fragrance saturated the air, and I reveled in the sensory overload. I needed it.
I started the Yamaha, pulled away from the roses, and drive the back roads to Cap-Pelé, where I stopped at the famed, but now almost defunct Fred’s Diner. Once on the main thoroughfare, but now bypassed by the new highway. It was good, as Acadian French ladies waited on me. I gave no indication I spoke French at all, and just listened, looking out the window, as I ate my fish. I left my waitress a 40% tip… for some mystery.
As I rode south, I could see rain was coming, and I was still two hours from home. I pulled over here, by this sign, to put my rain gear on.
A moose? Would it be a fitting way for it to end, for me, on a motorcycle? I remembered the true story about a couple who were married in New Brunswick. They left their wedding reception for their honeymoon and both where killed as they struck a moose with their car that evening. What a way for lovers to go.
I did not know where I was going that morning, and this was good. But now I knew it was time to go home…
It had been enough, enough to crack my tunnel vision so that I could see again, for a time.
I will be on the trail in a few weeks. Backpacking 300 KM on the Confederation Trail.
More time for mystery then.