September 3, 2015
And now the conclusion of our tale….
We were up before the sun. It felt so magical to be the only things that felt alive and moving through the mist that tangled the trees. I prepared an actual breakfast instead of my usual instant oatmeal: cherry clafoutis. Or rather, a camping version of it. By the time the people in the sites around us began to stir, we had already eaten and packed up. One last walk on the beach and away we went east on the Transcanada Highway.
We stopped at the Agawa Bay Tourist Centre, mainly so that I could grab a coffee. Problem is there are three different buildings: one is a grocery, one has souvenirs, and the other one has souvenirs. Yes dear reader, you read that correctly: two buildings dedicated to souvenirs. Thinking coffee would be with food, I started at the grocery. Nope. Go to souvenir building one. Nope. The third building held a beat-up looking coffee carafe with nearby packets of pre-ground bargain coffee. No cream in sight but plenty of “coffee whitener”. I decided to forgo the caffeine and hit the road, after we had a walk of course. There is a pet area there with some pens. The pens are small but at least they are something. The dogs were unimpressed and stood at the door to be let out. So I took them for a jaunt around the lot
Around noon it was time for lunch so we stopped at “Bobbers” in Bruce’s Mine. Whenever I go to a new place, I always ask if they have a specialty or something that they are known for, something that people say “you gotta get this” and every time I get blank stares and confused looks and this time was no different. As the woman at the counter basically listed off the entire menu, I decided to order the fish and chips and this time it was for me. I wasn’t going to get the dogs another fish fillet. I mean I’ve bought them burger patties; I think that’s pretty generous.
I carried my food container down to the park behind the restaurant. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and it felt amazing to sit in the warm sun as I (and when I say “I” I really mean we) had our lunch. The dogs were kind enough to help me finish my fries and then we had a walk around the marina park before we went back to the car. We passed by some of the women from “Bobbers” on the way to the car and they had to have the obligatory dog snuggles. I’d get everywhere so much quicky if they weren’t so damned lovable.
As we passed through Sudbury finally, finally, I got a decent cup of coffee and a really good ginger molasses cookie. To fortify me for the rest of the drive. Yeah…that’s it.
And then, at 6:42 pm on September 3, we arrived home after driving 9619.9 kms over the span of 14 days.
We had met people from all walks of life. We met expats, tourists, and people that had uprooted their entire lives in search of a better one. People who invited us into their homes. People who needed an ear and to feel that there was someone out there that would lend them one. People who looked at the dogs and wanted for a moment, for just one moment, to reconnect with the dog they used to have. Yes it slowed us down, but one look at the wagging tails and stumps and I made sure that we would make the time.
We had crossed mountains and prairies, badlands and farmlands. We had dodged mosquitoes and wildfires. We had played in the sun-tinged waves of the Pacific Ocean and the fog-lined shores of Lake Superior. We had waded through mountain streams and ocean outlets. We had been buffeted by the winds of South Dakota, braved the cold darkness of Montana, and felt the sun warm our faces in Manitoba. We had watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean and watched it rise the next morning over far-off mountains. We had listened to loons and foxes, wolves and bison.
But mostly it was just the four of us passing through a world that would never know we had been, seeing what we could see. Together.
And for now friends, the adventure is over…or is it?