Less than 100 miles to Maine and the USA border…. Yes MILES! For the benefit of my American friends, and all my new Stateside followers I will be using both metric and the imperial miles systems during my USA stage of the World Jog.
Metric will of course be the dominant system and small imperial distances will be estimated with the exception of grand totals and important milestones which will be accurately calculated using the standard formula. 1 Kilometer = 0.621371192237334 Miles
I expect to cross the Canada/USA border on Saturday or Sunday. The American segment will probably take about 6 months to complete including my short timeout when I reach the west coast.
There is a possibility that I may be altering my USA route in the next week or so. At present I am heading for Hudson, Mass. I may then run directly west, Tennessee way to avoid the bad weather.
Sun. 12th Memramcook, NEW BRUNSWICK 39km
Monday 13th. 48.3km Salisbury. (Transit back to Moncton for the night.)
Tues 14th. 55km Sussex.
Wed. 15th. 37km. Hampton. ( Transit back to Sussex for the night.)
Thursday 16th. 38km Saint John.
Fri. 17th 57.5km Penfield.
Sat. 18th. 52.5km St. Stephen.
Total for 46 Road Days = 2,055.2 km = 1,277.04 Miles
Sunday 12 December after a very late start I crossed the border from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick, my third and final Canadian province.
Now I am running towards the traffic and on the left side of the road. Since about a week there is also a large median separating the traffic. At times the median is huge and the other directions flow is behind a small hillock or even on a different level to mine. That’s why I haven’t had many signpost snaps lately and also missed the ‘ welcome to New Brunswick ‘ sign. I will try to get that on my side when I leave!
Alfred had a contact called Russ in Moncton. He had previously worked for Russ. It was arranged that Russ would come out onto the road at 4.30 to pick me up wherever I may be. I would photograph the location and continue from that exact same spot when he dropped me back on Monday. He picked me up at Memramcook East about 15 km east of Moncton.
We stopped at the Running Room shoe store. The Running Room is a nationwide running store chain which posts the forum that looked after me so well in Newfoundland. As I don’t have a shoe sponsor I have to use every contact I can to get whatever discounts I can. Shoes are becoming a major factor. I have worn out 2 pairs and 2 more wont last more than a couple of days. So that’s about a pair every 500km! I bought 2 pairs in the Running Room and later Russ gave me an unused pair ( fortunately my size ) that he doesn’t like.
Russ is a very successful businessman, well connected. He came up with some very interesting ideas and offers of trying to source some PR and sponsorship ideas for my world run. We discussed this over a pizza dinner in a very nice restaurant, chosen because for the last few days I had been frothing at the mouth to get my teeth into some spicy triangles.
Next morning I am once again spoilt by Russ’s wife, Chris! Nothing is too much trouble for her.. A huge breakfast. Then big thick juicy sandwiches with a packet of sliced ham and cheese and what seemed like a huge saladbowl of crispy vegetables in between the whole wheat bread slices for the road!
As the family invited me to stay tonight also it was a rare oppertunity to run without Nirvana! Russ asked me to call him when I arrived at the Big Stop service station in Salisbury. It was a lovely day. So good to be able to run free, unhampered from the pushing and prodding to keep the buggy moving forward. Oh! how wonderful to be able to let out a stride. To alter my steps. To swing my arms out wide. To rotate my hips and shoulders if I so wished! I didn’t go mad… Just ran a nice steady 9km per hour. I always have to think of the next day and want to avoid an injury at all costs. I am especially careful on the downhills.
I stopped at Magnetic Hill for a coffee. So called because if you park at the bottom of the hill, put on your handbrake you will have an optical illusion of the car driving to the top of the hill! Oh what a pity I don’t have Nirvana with me today!
I finally reached the Big Stop in Salisbury. 48.3km of pure joy! I bumped into a seaweed exporter that knows the west of Ireland so well as he pays regular visits to Galway. I meet all kinds! Giles kindly lent me his phone to call Russ.
So Russ arrrives and asks do I like steak!
My answer to questions like… “ Do you like…..?
Is…. ” You mustn’t read my blog as then you would know I eat everything… Even the carpet out the door! ”
” Good we are having a bar-b-q tonight! ”
So the big juicy steaks are dished out! my iron levels are rocketing up! Chris says she will stick one in the fridge for me tomorrow… I told her about the moose hunter called charles in Deep Bight that said the same thing and then I went off without it
” No Tony you won’t need to set that reminder on your phone! ”
Chris went to pick up their daughter Emily from University in Halifax for the Christmas break today.
Russ says: ” Honey how was your drive today? ”
Chris says, ” It was great except we decided to stop for coffee on the way home and just followed half a dozen trucks off the exit to a ‘ cafe ‘
” It turns out they were driving off the highway to the weighing scales? ”
” Ha Ha! Did you weigh yourself? ” I asked.
” Very funny and we couldn’t get out we were stuck in there for ages as they had us blocked in! ”
I sent off a few emails and then we had a power outage due to a storm.
Next morning the power was still off but nothing was amis as Russ and Chris prepared breakfast using the camping gas stove and toasting the toast on the bar-b-q grill out on their back deck.
So I packed up again. Steaks, juicy sandwiches and all. Russ dropped me back to the highway where I left off yesterday. Before I left he gave me an mp3 player with all his music downloaded… What a family! Just incredible and as always, breaking up is hard to do.
Out on the highway I did another interview for another newspaper.
It was like an Irish October day, mild to blustery. Can’t believe how lucky I have been with the weather. A storm last night and I am indoors. I come out and see a whole streets Christmas decorations scattered all over their gardens. I keep hearing about snow dumpings behind me and in front of me but when Tony arrives it seems just like the parting of the sea that I experience a parting of the weather. Then I hear about a million pounds of snow landing on a sports dome in Minneapolis and 7 foot of snow in London, Ontario. I tune into the local talk radio show and they are talking about record highs here!! They actually guarantee the weather here on this radio show or you can win a Caribbean vacation! You wouldn’t get that in Ireland!
So I ran on with my belly full. I felt strong. stopped for a couple of breaks on the way to my 55km today as I arrived in Sussex. The Magic Letter DETAILS didn’t work in the local motel as they just offered me a $60 room for $40. I wandered on through the town and came to a construction site with dozens of trucks around. Went into the security man asking for a room like a changing room or a canteen to crash down on for the night. said he wouldn’t be allowed to because of safety regulations.. I was outside in the dark just getting ready to leave when he knocked on the window ushering me back inside. he was on the phone and when he got off said if I just needed some shelter that there was a covered bridge which was no longer in use just down the road. I went down and right enough it was like a big barn over a bridge which was gated off. Didn’t understand why someone would build a roof over a bridge but right now I was delighted they had!
I settled down to sleep at 9pm and slept till 8am. this is one good thing about camping.. A long guaranteed sleep..No typing on the computer like I am now till 3 am.
I had been thinking about trying to get to Saint John’s in one day.. It’s about 72km. An awkward distance. I don’t like half days or bits of days as mentioned before. To do it in one day I really wanted an early start as I have an invite in a home there and a late arrival would not be fair. I missed my early departure, whats new.
I was musing over this predictiment when Ciaran came into the service station. I was having my second coffee and cheekily mixing up some instant oatmeal for my breakfast from my thermos as I stood near the heater.
Ciaran told me he was born in Dublin but moved here when he was 3 years old. He said he saw the Irish flag on Nirvana yesterday. Quick as a flash he was on his phone to his dad, Des Mc Carthy who arrived a few minutes later. Des told me he is from Ballsbridge and has been living here for 25 years now. He works in the tea import business. So to cut a long story short it was arranged for me to leave Nirvana in the station. Des would pick her up later and I would be able to run free for the 37km to Hampton. I charged up my phone in the store room,took his number. Des would pick me up in Hampden.
Oh Magic! Another free-running day! I stopped again for coffee in a service station…As usual the attendants were gobsmacked!
I don’t think they would have believed me about running around the world if it was not for the logos.
” What you mean you are running around the world.. But you got no baggage only that little red satchel on your back and a water bottle in your hand?! ”
” I don’t need any baggage ! You know about those Tibetan monks that use the power of their mind to raise their body temperature when they sleep naked in the Himalayan mountains?
” What! ”
” Well I went to the same school as them! ”
” Oh by the way do round the world runners pay for coffee refills!! ”
” Go fill it up! ”
” Thanks Gotta keep warm! ”
So I ran on to Hampden.. Expected a service station to call Des but there was none. So I went on down the hill for about 10 minutes out of my way and went into Tim Hortons. I texted, phoned his mobile and his office no reply.
I didn’t know what to do. Then this guy comes over and says he knows a man from Ireland but not Dublin.. I tell him I hear that dozens of times a day but he says no… It’s true… This mans from the English side of Ireland! Just then Des comes in and they start talking.
He tells me he didn’t bother checking his phone as he knew where everyone goes to in town…. Tim Hortons…
Stranger running into town and I’m thinking Clint Eastwood couldn’t figure things out better in one of those spagetti westerns.
Then he asks me if I like curry!
” Do I what! That’s on my wish list… You got a new carpet too? ”
” Eh? ”
So we get back to Des’s place. Ciaran lives in Moncton and as luck would have it he was only up visiting for the day when he spotted my Irish flag to alert his dad.
Des’s wife Angela can’t do enough for me. She is from my area of Dublin, Sundrive and even used to go to mass in St. Bernadette’s.
The chicken curry was delicious, so too were the seconds and the apple pie and cream.
Angela works as a special needs teacher. It’s a tough job but the life is great here. Sussex a town of 4,000 has just 2 pubs which are hardly visited.
I keep hearing about how wonderful neighbours are in towns like this where they look out for each other. If one person has a problem, it’s shared. When someone goes on a holiday neighbours take it in turns to water their flowers also mind their pets and houses.