Archive for April, 2007
Monday, April 30th, 2007
We’re just leaving Quebec City. Last night we pulled off of highway 20 and found a gas station that let us park behind them and plug into their hydro for the night. It’s a good thing we had the heater, because the temperature really dropped during the night.
There’s still snow in piles and on the sides of the highway. I wonder how much snow Newfoundland still has?
It’s pouring rain now. We found 2 small leaks near the roof vents. For now we’re just catching the drips in a bucket, but when the rain stops we’ll try to patch them from the outside.
Well, we’ve stopped for the night in Sussex, NB. We’re not too far out of Moncton now. We’re ahead of schedule, so I’ve decide we’ll take a detour and drive through Fundy Bay Provincial Park tomorrow before catching the ferry to Newfoundland.
Not too much else to report other than lots of driving, rain and cold weather. I’m looking forward to starting my skate.
I’ve added a few new pictures. Right now you can find them under About Me -> Photos. I’ll be changing it a bit so that there will be a link to the photos right from the home page.
Sunday, April 29th, 2007
That’s about as much french as I know. But I figured that I should try since I’m now in Quebec!
We’re just outside of Montreal right now, but we’re hoping to make it to Quebec City before the sun goes down.
I’m actually writing while we’re driving right now! Having a permanent internet connection will be great during this trip. However, I have a feeling I may hit some dark spots with no reception when I’m in the Northern areas of Newfoundland.
The rain has let up now, so we should be able to patch one small leak in the roof of the RV. The vehicle seems to be pretty good for a ’78! It’s definitely appreaciated to have.
I’m pretty excited to make it back to Kingston in June. Judging by the reception I had over the past 2 days, I think I’ll have amazing exposure with tons of people coming out to skate with me when I return! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I may even be able to get an NHLer or former NHLer to come meet me, too!
I’m glad there’s no snow out here. The weather (other than the rain) has been great. I hope Newfoundland warms up a bit more in the next couple of days!
Does anyone know if the Canucks game will be broadcasted online anywhere tonight? Send me the link if you know it will. I doubt I’ll be able to make it to a TV.
Stay tuned for some new photos of the RV. It looks fantastic with the signs on it.
Friday, April 27th, 2007
I’m finally in Kingston working with my parents on the final preparations before the Skate For Hope begins!
I’ve been incredibly busy over the past few days, so I’m sorry if I haven’t responded to some of your e-mails yet. I’ll get to you soon! I’ll have a few days of driving in the RV, so I’ll be able to get caught up.
The flight from Vancouver to Toronto was great. I’ve never flown WestJet before, but I was happy with the service. My parents were waiting for me when I landed. Somehow they even managed to get through the security doors into the baggage claim area! Leave it to my dad to find a way in.
We arrived at my sisters house in Maple just as she was getting home from work. It’s only been 4 months since I’ve seen my sister and baby niece, but it felt fantastic to see them again. My niece has grown so much more! She’s just a year old, but she running around the house like a champ!
After dinner, my dad and I drove over to Bolton to pick up the RV (Thank you again CSV Transport). It is an oldie, but a goodie. It’s a 1978 Ford. I can’t wait to get it on the road.
When we got it back to my sisters place, My buddies, Adam and Matt, met me there to wish me well on my travels. It was really good to see Adam before I start on this trip. After all, he is the inspiration.
I had to stay up late that night to catch Game 1 of the Canucks vs Duck series. I should have just gone to bed. The Canucks looked like they were sleeping, anyway.
In the morning, we got up and headed for Kingston. We took our time since we don’t want to push the RV too hard. It has a very large gas tank and is insanely expensive to fill. I figure that fuel will be the most expensive part of the entire journey. So if anyone reading this owns a gas station or oil company and wants to donate some fuel, please e-mail me!!!
We spent the rest of the day cleaning out the RV, packing and running errands. One of the errands was to find a company who could print a sign that can be fastened on the RV to display my website. I had received a quote in Vancouver for a single banner roughly 6 feet long and 2 feet tall for $120. I figured I should have a sign on both sides and the back. So I was prepared to spend roughly $300-$400. I found a Kingston company who prints signs and actually stick the vinyl letters directly onto the RV. This seemed like a better alternative than just using some bungee chords to hold a banner on. But I knew it would also be pricey. I took the RV over to their shop for an estimate. When I told them what I was doing and what I needed, they decided to give me all the material for free!! And the man who actually puts the letters on offered to donate his time for the labour! They are an unbelievable company and did a fantastic job in a short time. I have a few pictures of the finished work and will be posting those shortly. Thank you Jet Signs! You guys are amazing.
Last night I made my first public appearance. I was invited to be a guest speaker at an Optimists Club meeting. If you don’t know what the Optimists Club is, they are group of people who are devoted to helping the youth in their area in anyway they can. They were all very receptive and seemed to enjoy hearing about my upcoming journey. Thanks for having me, Optimists!
Well, I’ve got to get back to packing now. Still a lot of work before we head to Newfoundland on Sunday.
Tuesday, April 24th, 2007
It’s crunch time! I fly out tomorrow morning! I know I’m going to forget something in Vancouver. I just hope I don’t forget something important, like my rollerblades.
The Canucks put on a magic show lastnight. I was pleasantly surprised to see the boys make it into the next round. It’ll be interesting to see them faceoff agains the Ducks tomorrow.
Just a few more loose ends to clean up at work and I’ll be heading home to finish packing. Is it too late to back out?? Just kidding. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything!
Lookout Ontario! Here I come!
Sunday, April 22nd, 2007
My daily journal postings may not be updated everyday for the next week or 2. But I’ll Try my best. There’s a lot of loose ends to tie up before I leave on Wednesday, so I don’t have a lot of time to be online.
I was able to raise a few hundred dollars from a raffle and 50/50 draw held at a recent company dinner. Thank you everyone for participating.
Thursday, April 19th, 2007
It is quite obvious that Vancouver is ready for Summer to start. I skated past a record number of morning rollerbladers today … 3! Sure, it doesn’t sound like a big number, but considering I haven’t really seen anyone during my early morning sessions, 3 is pretty significant.
Only a few more days of work until I fly out! I’m on an emotional rollercoaster now. I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m anxious, I’m a bit of everything.
Tomorrow night my company is having a dinner cruise for the employees. During the cruise, I will be having a raffle with some great prizes! I’ll also be having a 50/50 draw. The proceeds are all going to the Skate For Hope.
My feet are almost used to the new blades from Rollerblade. I’ve got a couple small blisters, but they are healing fairly quickly. I actually used Crazy Glue to fasten a band-aid over one of the blisters for a couple days! It worked like a champ! Ideally, I’ll have proper tape for my ankles/feet so I won’t have to worry about blisters.
The Canucks have a huge game tonight! Home ice advantage and they only need one win to knock Dallas out. They’re looking good so far. I’ve been most impressed with the rookie, Hansen, in the playoff, so far. Go Canucks!
Wednesday, April 18th, 2007
It’s been an interesting and stressful last couple of days.
Monday morning started off with a distressed phone call from a family member who informed me they had serious concerns of colon cancer. Not the easiest way to start off the last week before I leave for Ontario.
However, blood tests indicated low hemoglobin which is a sign that there is not bleeding from the intestines. This was very relieving news. But a colonoscopy will still be performed to make sure. The last couple days have begun to look more promising. We’re now thinking the problem maybe gastro related.
Yesterday morning, I find an e-mail letting me know that my Grandmother had fallen on the weekend and broke her arm. The fall must have caused more damage than initially discovered. Yesterday she was taken to the hospital with fairly extensive bleeding. When she arrived at the hospital, she had no pulse. However, doctors were able to revive her. It looks like there was some internal damage caused by the fall. She is currently in the ICU. Unfortunately I don’t have many more details yet.
But on to more positive news. I met with the Weather Network yesterday at lunch for my first TV interview! It was fantastic! We spent most of the time getting footage of me skating around the Coal Harbour area. They told me the story should be played on May 1. They were going to put it on sooner, but decided it would likely be best to wait until just before I start.
A good friend of mine printed me some Skate For Hope t-shirts yesterday, too. They turned out amazing! I’ll post a picture of me wearing one soon. I’ve already had requests from people who want to buy one. I wasn’t really expecting people to want to buy them. I just wanted a few so I could wear them around town and promote the website. But if anyone does want one, please e-mail me. I don’t have a system in place for purchasing online, but I’ll see if I can work on it.
The weather is still a bit below seasonal here, but it’s still warm enough for me to wear shorts in the morning. The morning skates are still enjoyable. I just don’t like the 6am alarm clock. I think I may start around 7am once I get on the road.
I just want to say Thank You to Hostway.ca for finalizing my sponsorship contract.
Monday, April 16th, 2007
Perfect weather for the Vancouver Sun Run yesterday. After the dust had settled from the 54,000 runners, I set out to take advantage of the sun. I skated through Kits, Point Grey and did some hill training near Jericho Beach. I followed 4th Ave up to UBC and circled around the campus. I finally ended up down near the Airport in Richmond. By the time I got home, I’d covered about 40 km or so.
Sorry for the short journal entry today. I’ve got a lot of business to tend to.
Saturday, April 14th, 2007
Well, the Canucks lost so I decided I should sleep in a bit. When I rolled out of bed around 9:30 I took a stroll with Crystal to the Running Room to pick up some new socks. I’m hoping some good socks will be donated to me, but I had to buy some for now.
After a bit of running around the city, we were finally back at home and I had to get ready to go back out to train. Before I left, I bumped into my building manager. She was nice enough to put up a few posters in our building telling everyone about me and what I’m doing! The response has been great. Hopefully I’ll raise a lot of donations from the people in my building.
I decided to put these new socks to the test. I warmed up with my typical 12 km route around False Creek. When I got back to English Bay, I continued along the seawall, past the lost lagoon, through Stanley Park and over the Lions Gate Bridge. I wanted to hit a few hills with my new blades and socks. I don’t what came over me today, but I thought I should go through North Van and cross the Second Narrows bridge. The first time I ever crossed that bridge I swore I wouldn’t do it again. But for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to try the new equipment on the rougher terrain. Once I crossed the bridge, I went through a few streets in Burnaby before heading back through East Van and back downtown. All in all, it was a good session. Lots of hills, wind and rough roads. The harder the training, the easier it’ll be when I start in a few weeks.
I got my first hit from a television station yesterday. The Weather Network e-mailed me and wants to run a story about my upcoming journey! I’m pretty excited. That will be really good exposure!
I’m not having much luck with the Confederation Bridge in PEI. They don’t allow pedestrians to cross the bridge, but I’m hoping to get special permission. It’s not looking good so far, but I’ll keep pushing. If anyone has any ideas or contacts in PEI, send me an e-mail!
I think it’ll be a quiet night tonight. Maybe just grab a movie or something. The Vancouver Sun Run is tomorrow. I participated last year and signed up this year, but I’m not sure if I will. I don’t want to risk any ankle injuries so close to my departure.
Friday, April 13th, 2007
All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go. I’m standing here out side your door. I hate to wake you up to say goodbye. But I fly out at 7am, so I have no choice but to wake you up! Ok, I made that last line up, but you get the idea.
Yeah, that’s right! I have booked my flight to Ontario. I am officially flying in to Toronto on April 25. I arrive at 2:30 pm. I’ll spend a day in Toronto before heading to Kingston to pack the RV for the trip. Then it’s off to Newfoundland to begin this crazy journey!
A few more sponsors are beginning to fall into place now. I still have a long way to go, though. I have friends in Kingston who will be organizing an event when I arrive which will help raise a significant amount of cash, too. The plan is to possibly hold a volleyball tourney at Philthy McNasty’s Bar and Grill in Kingston. Thanks Matt and Dan. Looking forward to it!
I’m really hoping I can get ahead of schedule in the first few weeks of the trip. With the new skates from Rollerblade, I seriously think I can cover a lot more ground than originally predicted. Of course weather and terrain will always play a huge factor. If anyone can help melt the snow out east, that would be great!