Canada’s 100th Birthday Celebration



My Stopover At St. Jean Port Joli
July, `77

It was as if someone had grabbed both my feet and tossed them up toward my
waist. It was a rude awakening at 5:30 a.m.! When I was traveling yesterday, I
wondered if the St. Lawrence had tides. The surrounding area appeared
as though it did, but I didn’t pay close enough attention because I
was now scrambling to get out of the water that had just spilled over
into the spot where I was sleeping. I threw my sleeping bag farther up
the bank, and I got my bike to high ground before the flood. That was
the quickest incoming tide I had ever experienced. Yes, the St.
Lawrence Seaway is just that, a seaway. The tide swooped in on me, and
I did not escape dry. I now have my tarp and sleeping bag drying in
the sun, and I just put a couple more sticks on the fire. If the tide
comes in any further, it will flow over the three-foot bank that
separates me from the seaway. Last night was a full moon. Maybe that
had something to do with this high, high tide.

It was a half and half day, yesterday. When the rain stopped the wind
started. As I look over my shoulder right now, I see a cloudbank
moving in and the sun being blotted out. This has happened three days
in a row now, and two of those days I had to face rain. I wonder if
old Mother Nature is going for a three-peat. I’m beginning to think
westward biking is going to take some time.

Around 6 p.m. last night, I entered St. Jean Port Joli. There was
live music being played in the town square, so I decided to hang out,
catch up on some reading, and enjoy the music. This was a big year for
Canada. It was their one-hundredth-birthday celebration. There were
art exhibits and special pavilions set up. Many of the celebrants were
dressed in traditional costume, and, after paying special attention to
the folk dancing; I decided to find a place to crash. That’s how I
came to be here now, on the shores of the St. Lawrence; and, except
for the high tides, it’s been a delight.

While looking for internet pictures of St. Jean Port Joli, I stumbled upon the photo of the girl above, which, in turn, took me to her blog. Below, in her own words, is description of her experience peddling through some of the same territory I visited in the past couple blogs. Her bicycle trip (a joint venture with two other girls) set out from Vancouver, B.C. destination Halifax, N.S. Apparently, we—the girls and I– are comrades from different times buy not dimensions.

[“From St. Jean Port Joli to Riviere du Loup we had the biggest headwind I think since the prairies, and it was COLD! A lot of putting my head down and realizing that my odometer was reading 11, 12, or 13 km/hr. It rained in the morning (surprise, surprise) but then only lightly misted and then even “cleared up” (well, was foggy and cloudy but stopped raining, blessedly)… The rest of the afternoon was spent battling a wind so strong you couldn’t concentrate on anything else but PUSH PUSH PUSH PUSH. The fog obliterated any scenery along the Fleuve-St. Laurent beyond 200 m, so if you asked me if it was pretty, I wouldn’t really know!!”]

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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One Response to Canada’s 100th Birthday Celebration

  1. ElizOF says:

    I don’t know why or how you did this! :-)

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