August 31st, 2007
I’ve been in the Lower Mainland for a few days now and I’m starting to get anxious to get home. So you can imagine my frustration of being so close but not being able to actually sleep in my own bed! I woke up in Abbotsford today and we drove back to Mission where I would be starting my skate for the day.
Exposure has been getting better as I get closer to the finish line, so I was caught completely off guard when an irate motorist screamed out the window at me to “Get Off The (fill in blank here) Road!” I hadn’t been on my skates for more that 25 seconds when this man decided to express his opinion of cancer research. Obviously this guy was immune to cancer, I guess. To make my day even more surprising, yet another angry driver yelled at me as I came through Aldergrove. The weird thing about both of these encounters is that the drivers were both in the on-coming traffic. I can see why drivers behind me may get impatient if they get stuck behind me, but these guys had no excuse. I’d be lying if these type of situations weren’t disheartening. To think that I have come over 9,000 km on nothing more than my inline skates and managed to raise nearly $40,000 towards cancer research and people still show animosity towards me can be very discouraging. Especially since I’m finally coming into my home area.
Fortunately, the encouraging honks, waves and cheers greatly out-numbered the scoffs. I even had 2 wonderful women stop and donate today at the same time. The first woman to pull over told me that she missed me in Abbotsford and wanted to catch me today! The second woman had actually crossed my path in Northern Ontario and couldn’t pass up a second opportunity to help me in my cause. It’s people like these ladies who make it easy for me to forget about the very few jerks that I run into along the way.
40 kilometers after starting, I rolled into Boston Pizza in Langley on the Langley Bypass and it was only 2:30 in the afternoon. In order to kill some time I headed to the bank to deposit some donation money. I got chatting with some of the tellers who had heard about me on the radio. They were all so excited to meet me that they now plan to collect donations at their pot-luck lunch tomorrow! Great ladies at the BMO!
It was a quiet night at Boston Pizza, but the staff and owner, Ken, turned it into a great experience. Everyone in the restaurant, customers and staff, knew I was there. And as a result, the evening was very successful. It doesn’t take much…it’s all about awareness. Thanks for everything Ken, Rod, and the rest at BP! I tried to get a photo with Ken, but he insisted I take some shots with the staff instead. I even got one picture in which I’m having a sword fight using my skates with one of the servers!
Rather than pulling into a campground tonight, I figured that we were close enough to my friends’ place that we would just drive over and park there for the night. Although Kent, Matt and Chris weren’t home when we got there, Louise was there to welcome me home. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen my friends, so it’s an amazing feeling to start seeing them again. To make the evening complete, Crystal came over to see me again, too! Since we weren’t far from her office, she decided to have a trial night with us in the RV and she could just go to work from here in the morning. You’ll be spending a week in these tight quarters with us, so I hope you can handle the smell of my skates!