There's a reason most Canadians have only been to 9 provinces.

Fall 2008

It is extremely frustrating when you constantly send out resumes and then hear nothing back. 

It was in this frustration that when a Newfoundland company called and offered me a job, I took all of 20 seconds before jumping on the opportunity. 

It may have been a rash decision, but I hate Edmonton and Calgary; so if I had to move for work, why not go to the only province I haven't been to? The contract was only for 6 months, so if I was break-down-and-cry-daily unhappy, I could cut my losses and still be ahead by living a more fulfilling life through seeing more of this world and checking more of it off.

On Wednesday, I was in the D late into the night; so I obviously woke up late and hurting come Thursday morning. 

I stumbled into my clothes and shook Don's hand before leaving. The drive home is only 30 minutes from his house and I was struggling with that - it was apparent that it was going to be a long day of driving east. 

Once I got home, I finished packing my car and I was super thankful that my mom had packed most of my clothes, hockey equipment and other amenities already.  I said goodbye to the old man and I was on my way. 

The bridge was no problem, but I was shook a little when the border guard said, "ok, here's your id. Good luck with your new life."

I had one last bit of business in Michigan as my friend Red had offered me his presidential vote in exchange for a bottle of Boone's. I stopped by his residence and dropped the bottle off. Red wanted to hit something or know what was going on on the weekend, but I pointed at my jammed up car and stated that I was on my way to Newfoundland right now.

He wished me the best of luck and thanked me for the bottle of Boone's.

^I use the baseball analogy when it comes to women like no other,
so I had a good laugh at the '3rd Base Drive-Thru Party Store' near Toledo, Ohio.

I would get on I-75 until Toledo and then head east through Ohio & Pennsylvania.  I normally enjoy driving long distances, but my brain was extremely cloudy and my stomach was churning.  I was headed to my Massachusetts' friend's house and at about 5 o'clock I gave Kristen a call and she said I was still about 8 hours away.

It was a extremely long and arduous trek due to my predicament. I was growing extremely tired as I neared her house in Raynham; so I resorted to sucking down extra strength Halls and singing Outkast full volume with the windows down in an attempt to stay awake.

I eventually got there around 2 a.m. and got some much needed rest.

My friend had to be at school the next day, so I had to be up at 8 o'clock.  We got in the car and headed to MassArt as we were going to have some breakfast. Kristen had me drive around the school looking for a parking spot until we decided to park in a tow away zone since we were only going to be 15 minutes at the maximum (Kristen had class at 9 o'clock). 

I ended up getting far more than I bargained for. After breakfast and goodbyes, I came out to find the ole' intrepid gone! WTF? Those chowderhead0 fucks towed my whip!

I rushed back inside to try and catch Kristen before she disappeared into the MassArt tower.  Thankfully I caught her and told her what was up.  We went to the MassArt public safety campus police deal and they phoned up the city lot and let me talk to them.  We got directions and it was onto the Boston Metro System (the 'T') and through the city.

0 - I have enough Massachusetts' friends to be able to use this term.

We took the subway exit one stop after the tow lot and had to walk through the Boston 'ghetto'.  While Kristen was all worked up about my car getting towed, I was amused as we walked through these apparently mean streets of Boston; growing even more amused when she explained that, of course, a thug here would have a Masshole accent...

"Errr, ah, give-ah, me yah, chowdah! Chowdah!"

Anyway, we realized we were walking down the wrong road, so we turned around and hit the correct road which offered a nice view of Boston.  After about 30 minutes of walking, we got to the Impound Lot and paid the $46.

Thanks Boston. Now I can update the wikitravel article with: "get your car towed. see the city! $46"

Kristen didn't know how to return to MassArt from the tow lot, so we ended up on some road which reminded me of Lakeshore in Chicago1.  Along with that road, we also saw Fenway, the Hahvahd Medical School and the hospital where a couple of my friends work.  After dropping her off, I got turned around a bit and ended up seeing some ridiculous graffiti, architecture and the holy shrine known as TD Banknorth Garden.

People have always found it funny that with how much I have travelled, that I had never been to Boston.  After this day, I've now seen more of Boston than most non New Englanders.

1 - This was Storrow Drive.

I eventually found the Mass Pike, which led to the 93, then to the 95, where I could finally head north. 

After inhaling some Qdoba2 in Danvers, MA; I finally was moving along with the car in cruise and the radio in tune. Eight hours later, I would make it to Saint John, New Brunswick and decide to call it a night.

The next day was definitely odd. I had sworn off Nova Scotia when I had left 4 months earlier; thinking I would never see the Cobequid Pass3, Truro Nova Scotia or a Pizza Delight4 ever again.  Driving this route which had become such a staple for one year of my life, driving this route which I never thought I'd return to.

Anyway, when you come to Nova Scotia, you come to a fork in the road and have to drive either northeast or southwest. I would head southwest to Halifax for an hour to meet up with some old Nova Scotian friends.

It was definitely great to see them again and dinner was all too quick; but I had to be on my way to the northern tip of Nova Scotia for the night ferry.

2 - A Mexican chain restaurant that is a like a classy, clean, healthier Taco Bell.
3 - The mountain pass you usually take to get to Nova Scotia.
4 - Picture a bootleg Pizza Hut. They're popular in Eastern Canada.

I drove the 5 hours from Halifax to North Sydney in straight time. I arrived an hour before the ferry left, but unfortunately, it was full. I would have to wait for the morning ferry.

I drove into North Sydney to grab some Tim Hortons and found my dream destination - an old, closed, small town hockey arena - I couldn't believe my eyes. I got out of the car and took to finding an entrance...but no, it was sealed.

I know I should have more resolution to do what I want, but fortunately for me, I would give up and go to my hotel for the night; where I would use the internet and find that the arena was still open! Whoops! Good thing I didn't push my luck...

I woke up early the next morning because Sydney has an amazing skatepark that is second only to the one in Fargo, North Dakota4.5.  I pondered when the next time might be that I would ride a cement park since all of the ones in Newfoundland are wood5.  I also ate my last Taco Bell meal knowing there were no real Taco Bells on the Island of Newfoundland.

I wondered what I was getting myself into - especially when I came to the road which ended in a sign and the ferry loading dock.

4.5 - No pictures of this because I only had an hour and some guy stopped me and chatted it up about the park for 35 minutes of the time.
He was amazed that someone would go so far out of their way for a skatepark.
5 - Except for 1 park in St.John's, which is 8 hours away from my residence.

I boarded the ferry and got to exploring. This ferry was just a little bigger and more sophistocated than the Tancook Island ferry, so I was interested to take a look around.

Up a few decks, I peered outside and there was an interesting playground on a narrow spit that extended out into the ocean.

Floating away from the mainland.

Ahhh, blind Canadian trust!

(Looking around, the key had no apparent use.)

There was a kennel room which had a single, solitary, lonely & scared cat. 

I tried to coax him into some petting, but he wasn't having it.

Poor guy.

I spent about 2 hours exploring, 2 hours editing pictures on my laptop and then 3 hours in the bar once I realized there was one.

After 7 hours of ferry travel, the captain announced we would be docking in Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland in 30 minutes.  It was unbelievably windy on the deck, but I positioned to utilize the boat itself as a shield and watched my new home come closer.

Don later asked me if it was weird to live on an island and if it was weird to ferry over to your home. I told him that it sort of was. It's far more permanent; you can't just pick up & drive anywhere in the country - this ferry controls your travel.

The ferry would reach the dock and I drove off onto the island. I had now been to all of the Canadian provinces.

It was incredibly windy and desolate. The cars quickly exited the ferry and hurried off with the few remaining daylight hours. I took my time to get out at the visitor centre and take this picture. The land was windswept and barren, with large rocks jutting out from the land and small brown shrubs covering the remainder. It was quiet and all you could hear was the wind.

Welcome to Newfoundland.

Since I get this question so much, it has snowed once in the 3 weeks I've been here6. It was on the 3rd day and I couldn't believe it.

Although, it has been beautiful every weekend so far and we will have to see how bad this gets.

6 - We're talking October here.


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