20-years-ago today I reached New Glasgow, Nova Scotia on my 38th day on the road. I had arrived in North Sydney, Nova Scotia a week earlier and made my way south along the edge of Lake Bras d’Or, which is actually an inland sea, of partially fresh/salt water in the centre of Cape Breton. With the blue and white and pink and purple Lupines in bloom, I could feel I was picking up my pace with the arrival of spring. It was on one of those first few days in Cape Breton that the road team made me stop while they took some pictures at the edge of the road along the shore of Lake Bras d’Or. This was the 1,000-kilometre mark. It was a time to reflect and remember just why I am out here. We should all do that from time to time. My reasoning always became clear to me whenever I thought back to the time Jesse and I spent on the road together three years earlier. Jesse represented so many kids living a life with a clock that keeps on ticking. It underscored the need to persevere. Part of the persevering was staying with what many might think of as a boring routine. Part of that routine was the daily need to soak my feet in salt water twice a day. My friend Ed Coxworthy, whose every sentence seemed to start with the words ‘By the Jesus’ said to me, ‘By the Jesus Johnny, you got feet like pigs’ ears.’ I think it was a compliment.
Sometimes life on the motorhome was like a revolving door of people coming and going in and out of my life – and it was wonderful. My great friend Dave Meadows, who I had known for 30 years at that time, was there in North Sydney, along with his wife Susan, to welcome me and the road team to his home province of Nova Scotia.
A few days later, on the 17th of May, just outside of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, my good friend Rich Beharrell, a cameraman I had worked with at CFPL television in London and who now lives in Prince Edward Island, joined us along with his wife Cindy and their sons Ben and Jonathon.
On the road I thought to myself how these two dads who I had known for a long time, came along to help another father. I remember liking to think that I would do the same for them if the situation was reversed.
Who do you know who is always there for you? And in tough times, would you be there for them?
And so it went along the road as I finished another day and another 33 kilometres.
Stay tuned. The journey continues…