Thursday Tidbits

Posted on August 28, 2019 under Thursday Tidbits with 4 comments

Crab traps at Pleasant Bay

In a world that has seemingly gone mad, it’s nice to know that there are still lots of people who exhibit acts of kindness.

I’m going to keep this post brief. Today was a long day and I have been posting tons of stuff on Facebook.

The people in Pleasant Bay were extraordinarily kind to me as I hunkered down to weather the storm on Tuesday. I was afforded rock star treatment as I was given free accommodations and free meals for the better part of two days. I was even chauffeured home after dinner at the MidTrail Restaurant.

I hope I don’t miss anybody but a huge shoutout to Shana, Crystal, Nicole,Morgan and Donna at the Rusty Anchor Restaurant.

Thanks to Dawn and Shane at HI- Cabot Trail Hostel.

Joanne , Doris and Vicky at the MidTrail Restaurant gave me an awesome meal.

Thanks to CJ, Candace, Cassandra and Carolyn at the Mountainview Restaurant for two breakfasts. If your name doesn’t start with the letter C , I don’t think you can get a job there!

Thanks to Arlie and the folks at the Whale Interpretive Centre.

Tonight I am staying at the Highlands Hostel in Cape North. Patricia and the children welcomed me earlier today and told me that I could stay at no charge for two night. The building was originally a church but has been transformed into a wonderful place to put your head down at the end of the day,

I hope I haven’t missed anybody.

So, what’s it like to walk the Cabot Trail? In a word – hard. Harder than I thought. The good news is that I am halfway there -150k. Most of the hard climbs are behind me. I’ve had perfect walking conditions and I’ve had Simone beside me all the way. When I was staggering up North Mountain this morning, I thought about Simone’s long uphill climb.

We’re inching ever closer to the $5,000 mark. I will continue to collect donations until I finish the walk sometime in early September. In case you misplaced my e-mail address (!), you can send an e-transfer to me at lenpdmacdonald@gmail.com.

Thanks to my Facebook friends for the hundreds of messages. I can’t possibly respond to them all but please know that your comments fuel me when my energy flags.

I’m going to take a side trip to Meat Cove tomorrow with friends… by car!

Friday I plan to get to Ingonish unless the hurricane blows me off the road!

Have a great weekend.

 

Highland Hostel

 

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Monday Morning Musings

Posted on August 25, 2019 under Monday Morning Musings with 2 comments

“And the fiddle tunes flowed like the clear Margaree”

As you can tell, I’m posting this from my phone. Carrying a laptop around the Cabot Trail is not advisable! I’m posting this today for two reasons: I won’t have any cell phone or internet connection all day tomorrow. And… I lost my charger today between Belle Cote and Cheticamp

The first two days of my walk for Simone have been very rewarding. The weather has been spectacular. There’s no humidity and there’s been a steady breeze. I’ve met many wonderful, kind people mixed in with a few first class arseholes.

A special shoutout to James Andrews, the bartender at the Fire Hall in Margaree Forks for wearing out his fingers trying to call everyone he knew in the community yesterday to take me in for the night.

I hit the jackpot with a recommendation from a former neighbor on Ross Street who recommended Bill C. Bill and his late wife raised 8 children of their own and fostered 200 others. That’s not a typo. I was #201! Bill was warm and generous and even made me a bologna sandwich. He has a great sense of humour. Thanks to MFR.

Also, a big thanks to Molly and Pat from Detroit, Michigan who stopped to check on me just outside Margaree Forks. They pulled up and asked me how I was doing. We had a great chat and they gave me an ice cold Stella. Lovely people.

About the aforementioned arseholes. I was standing in line at a lovely new ice cream shop in North East Margaree. A 40ish couple came into the shop. They were in the lineup BEHIND me. They saw the Simone banner on my knapsack. I told them what I was doing and that I needed a place to stay in Margaree Forks, 8k down the road.  The woman told me that they were from the Forks but that I couldn’t stay with them. They were too busy . They then proceeded to jump the queue so that they could get ice cream for themselves and their dog who was waiting patiently in their SUV.

Passing through Grand Etang today, I saw a sign for North Indian food. It’s right beside the Coop store. Two young Indian women, students from Cape Breton University, served me a delicious lunch. We had a great chat and I hope to interview them for my book.

I want to send a special shoutout to Raymond at the Silver Lining Motel in Cheticamp for giving me a free room for the night.

I am pleased to report that my fundraiser for Simone has reached $4,700. Keep up the great work.

Tomorrow I tackle the Highlands. Please bring oxygen masks and beer!

Have a great week.

 

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Thursday Tidbits

Posted on August 22, 2019 under Thursday Tidbits with no comments yet

Happy Trails

 

And… they’re off and running!

No. That’s not quite right.  It should read, “I’m off and walking.” This Saturday, August 24th, I will start my walk around the Cabot Trail. I am looking forward to the physical and mental challenge and all the time I’m walking, I’ll be thinking about my friend, Simone MacDonald who suffered a severe stroke a month ago. I know that she would dearly love to be doing a trek like this as she was an avid walker.

Over the past few weeks, I have tried to nail down some accommodations along the way with not a whole lot of success. This has not deterred me in the least. I’ll figure it out as I go along.

On Saturday, I plan to leave the Red Barn in Nyanza and head west through the Margaree Valley and then north through Cheticamp, Pleasant Bay before reaching Cape North. I’ll cross over to Neil’s Harbour and then onwards to Ingonish, Wreck Cove, the North Shore, St.Ann’s, Baddeck and back to the Red Barn. The Cabot Trail is pretty well exactly 300K. I have been asked how long I expect the walk to take. I think it will be somewhere between 10-14 days. There are some very big mountain climbs which will undoubtedly slow me down but I am looking forward to the challenge.

So, if you happen to be driving around the Trail in the next few weeks, honk as you go by. For those of you more adventuresome, you might want to walk with me for a day.

I plan to continue accepting donations for Simone until the conclusion of the walk. So far, you have generously donated $3,100 of my $5,000 goal. Thanks to all of you who did e-transfers, mailed cheques or stopped me on the highway during one of my recent training walks. Keep up good work. If you want to support Simone with her recovery, you can send an e-transfer at lenpdmacdonald@gmail.com or mail me a cheque at 8-9B Court Street, Antigonish, N.S. B2G 1Z7. Of course, you can track me down on the Cabot Trail and give me a donation in person!

I have received a copy of my new book from the printers. It is a prototype. It needs a bit of tweaking but I expect it to be available by the end of September.

Have a great weekend.

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