Oct 12, 1999


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What's New!!

Update from Riviere Du Loup, PQ

October 12th

When I leave these things too long, I never seem to be pleased with my update. I  try to say too many little things without focussing on some of the incredible things. But they`re all wonderful, really, to me... And life after all, is made up of everythings, little and large.

Let me sum up the past two weeks: new friends in Trois Rivieres, first French TV interview, first French radio interview, snow in Quebec City, the French language, Jane has returned to Vancouver, the Charlevoix region is very pretty but it rolls like the Rockies, I have been moved by the Atlantic Ocean and I`ve been thinking about yardsticks.

But by the way... Have you sent a postcard to St. John`s yet? For those of you  joining us late in the program, I am trying to get the good people of Canada to send "Happy New Millennium" post cards to the people of St. John`s, Newfoundland (or to me). I will deliver these greetings on New Year`s Eve in a triumphant ceremony, or something... (check www.runninginto2000.com under "postcards" for more info)

Now back to Trois Rivieres (which is really just one river that splits into 3 because of 2 islands, but that`s okay with me). Francois Roy at City Hall set up a greeting for Jane & I which included Councillor Jean-Francois Philibert. After the gather, Jean-Francois invited Jane & I to his home for the next two nights where we met his wife Sylvie and their two daughters, Genevieve and Isabelle. Sylvie and Jean-Francois were a lot of fun and we were all reminded that language differences do not need to be a barrier in getting to know people. It can actually be fun.

Quebec City is a beautiful place to visit, even if it`s snowing. And it was. The colours were still in their glory, but the snow just couldn`t hold back it`s own glory. It butted  ahead in line and showed off it`s specialness, which was short-lived. I suspect it will be back again sometime...

As Jane & I were packing up on her final visiting day, a French TV crew showed  up at our Motel (courtesy of my Uncle Ray`s sister, Terese Aubin). I was a desperate blather of Frenchlish but apparently they aired it that evening. Terese taped it and that`s one interview I would love to see sometime...

French is really quite fun. They even have an actual word for the RoadRunner. A newspaper reporter called it a "Triporteur" and everyone nods as if they`ve known about it all their lives, "Aaahh, Le Triporteur,  oui, oui, oui...". Too bad for Jane they don`t seem to yet have a word for "vegetarian" which resulted in some strange pasta arrivals on her side of the table. I silently chuckled as she received a plate of spaghetti with no sauce, but a whelp of melted mozzarella cheese covering it. Another time it was a plate of spaghetti drizzled in tomato  soup. Funny stuff...

So then Jane leaves... What a shock that was to the system. It`s been a 30 day visit and now it`s time to re-learn solo travel. I keep looking in my mirrors for a little green station wagon but I don`t think I`ll find another with Sweet Jane inside... Can`t stop looking though...

There were two route choices for me from Quebec City to Riviere Du Loup.  Some Quebec City folks said "Do the North Shore. It`s beautiful!" So I did. Holy smokes. Sure, it`s beautiful, but wow, what hills! Over the past 4 days, I`ve slogged 20 travel hours doing 150k with an elevation gain of 2000 metres. And then 2000 metres back down (well, actually it kind of yo-yoed). And these are not gradual hills they have here in the Charlevoix region. No sir. These are the big French grades with the signs saying 10, 11 and even 12%! My largest grade in BC was 9% for a very short distance. Here in Charlevoix, we call that a "flat zone". Sure, it`s beautiful, but the south shore route was a flat road viewing the St. Lawrence Seaway, which I`m sure would have been lovely...

With the North Shore option, I saw Mount Saint Anne (with snow), Baie Saint Paul and lots of pretty villages. I ended up in St. Simeon on the Trans Saint Laurent Ferry to Riviere Du Loup.  We travelled the salty waters of the Atlantic Ocean and it dawned on me that I`ve covered a lot of ground this year.

I wonder if we are all as slow to realize our actual progress. Perhaps when you look at your year from a certain perspective, you`ve also covered a lot of ground. Be careful not to measure your progress using someone else`s yardstick.

If someone who was weight conscious were to evaluate my progress, they would see that I, RoadRunner and my gear weigh approximately the same as when we started. They would conclude that I was ineffective in lowering the weight of the load as I learned what I needed and what was excessive. And that is true. But I also do not really care about lowering the weight of the load, so what does it matter?

I encourage you to find your own yardstick for your own life or don`t even use one. But please do not measure your life with someone else`s yardstick.  It`s totally irrelevant and often confusing. Especially if you care more about their yardstick than your own life.

Next update is from my brother`s home in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Holy smokes... What a country...

May you find your dreams, live your dreams and help others to keep on  dreaming.

Riviere Du Loupily Yours,

Kevin Thomson

Previous Journal Entries

September 30, 1999 Ottawa, ON to Trois Rivieres, PQ
September 4, 1999 Vacation Time in Toronto, ON
August 13, 1999 Sault Ste. Marie, ON to Toronto, ON
August 4, 1999 Wawa, ON to Sault Ste. Marie, ON
July 23, 1999 Ignance, ON to Wawa, ON
June 30, 1999 Kenora, ON to Ignance, ON
June 21, 1999 Winnipeg, MB to Kenora, ON
June 11, 1999 Brandon, MB to Winnipeg, MB
June 3, 1999 Regina SK to Brandon, MB
May 21, 1999 Gull Lack SK to Regina SK
May 11, 1999 Medicine Hat AB to Gull Lake SK
May 4, 1999 Fort Macleod AB to Medicine Hat AB
April 23, 1999 Cranbrook BC to Fort Macleod AB
April 15, 1999 Grand Forks BC to Cranbrook BC
April 4, 1999 Osoyoos BC to Grand Forks BC
March 28, 1999 Hope BC to Osoyoos BC
March 21, 1999 Vancouver BC to Hope BC
Pre-Trip - Jan 26 - March 15 Vancouver BC



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