It’s Friday evening in a six bed dorm room at the Backpackers Hostel in a seedy part of downtown Halifax, $28 a night. It’s 9:30PM, and the ony one in bed is a tired cyclist. He decides to leave the one window wide open despite the disco right across the street booming a monotonous drum track. The ladder to his bunk is covered with girls clothing; pants, a bra, panties. Should he touch it-move it- to climb up to his bunk- or just step on it? What would Ms Manners do?
He decides to just climb on it.
Around 1:00AM the disco is still going strong. The last roomate comes in and slams the window shut. Great. Six hot breathing bodies in a smallish bedroom. At 3:00AM the disco closes. The room is stifling, humid and hot. The cyclist climbs down over the womans clothes and throws the window back open. The fresh air helps all to sleep.
TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF ME- DON”T TOUCH ME- JUST GET AWAY FROM ME!!! All us roomates sit bolt upright in our bunks as this is shrieked by a woman just outside our window. It goes on a few moments- a male roomate declares it is a rape and pulls some pants on to go out and help! A few minutes later I hear a car door slam and drive away. The roomate returns dissappointed. “It was just a cop arresting some girl” he says. We all try to go back to sleep.
6/22/2013. I wake up first. It is 7:30 AM, late for me. I realize that I am the only one awake and attempt to be very quiet climbing down on the girls clothing. I walk to the Farmers Market and get info about bus schedules. I return about 10:30. Everyone is still asleep.
Halifax Farmers Market- Just Wonderful, held every Saturday. Indoors is a good idea in their climate.
Jane and Eric are Warm Showers hosts who offer to let me stay at their house- even though they aren’t there- they are away at a Folk Music Festival. As part of my training I am trying to learn to graciously ask for and accept all good things. This is very hard for me, I don’t want to put people out, and I am so damn independent. But I have some good models for this in my life. Jane texts me with the lock code for the back door. I cycle and ferry over to Dartmouth and the code actually works. The door opens and YOWLLLL.
They have a pudgy Calico cat who wants out desperatly. I want to be the prefect guest. Do I let the cat out or keep him in? I decide that keeping him in is the safer choice. He settles into being my best friend after a serious investment in petting and opening a window for him to look out of. They have a book “The Barefoot Architect” that I have been wanting to read and I devour it. The cat reminds me constantly that I have duties.
6/23/2013 I leave early and head towards Prince Edward Island. I ride highway 2 out of Dartmouth. It is fantastic cycling, gently rolling, little traffic, and lake home scenery. Towards Schubencadie on 2 the road becomes more rollie farmland, very pleasurable.
I am heading for Truro to see a tidal bore. Not a total bore, I could just look in the mirror. A tidal bore is when a wave caused by the incoming tide goes up a river and can actually be surfed in a rubber boat. I have been told there is an abandoned hotel that is a good place to watch the tidal bore here in Truro. The visitors center knows exactly what I am talking about, and gives me a map directing me to it. It is located on “Tidal Bore Road”, how appropriate. The problem is that I just missed it. The bore did it’s thing a half hour ago. The next bore is at 12:50 AM, the next is at 1:22 tomorrow afternoon. I cycle out to the abandoned hotel on Tidal Bore Road and study the brownish river. Nothing going on here.
I cycle back to the visitors center and ask where do the kids go swimming. They know exactly where, Victoria Park at the falls. I explain I am a traveling cyclist and am looking for a place to stealth camp, do they think Victoria park would be appropriate? I am sure by the raised eyebrows and the attempts at diplomacy they have never been asked that question before. I decide to go for a swim and see for myself.
Victoria Park in Truro is where all the families go on a warm summers day like today. The park centers around a creek which runs down a valley. Wooden steps and walkways criss cross the valleys sides. It is all quite elaborate. I push my bike up to the falls, unzip my pant legs, and jump in. Man is that refreshing. I enjoy all the kids playing in the natural pool. Adults lean over the rail and grin sheepishly. I wash the sweat of the day off in the most casual manner.
Kids reminding us how it’s done.
No stealth camping in Victoria park. I must find somewhere. It is 4:00 PM. I rememnber a shopping area that I rode through on my way to Tidal Bore Road. I head there and poke around behind the backs of all the box stores. After about 20 minutes I find the place. I camp behind a fast food resterant, a hotel and a tire store. A little scrap of forgotten land with some trees and elevation hides me.
Where is Shawn? He’s writing after riding a 72 mile day.
There he is- but you’d never of found him if I hadn’t shown you.
The wind hits the tent hard with a one/two punch, and it starts to rain. No worries. The traffic noise is muffled by tentdrops. Must figure out how to cook a pizza with no oven.