June 17th, 2007
Today started off on the right foot with a great phone interview with Jim Elyot from Fly FM radio in Kingston. Wendy, Crystal’s mom, had brought Codie, Crystal’s little brother, over to join me for the day. I sat in the bedroom talking to Jim on the air while my parents, Wendy and Codie sat in the kitchen listening to the radio. I was pretty pleased with myself when I got off the phone and stepped out of the room to ask my parents what they thought of my interview. When I came down the hall, I could here everyone talking and laughing. So I naturally assumed they had enjoyed hearing my voice on the radio. But then I realized that they didn’t have the inside radio turned on. “Did you hear my interview?” I asked.
“I don’t think you were on. I think they just pre-recorded it,” my dad replied.
Then I noticed Codie was sitting outside in the screened porch. “Did you hear me on the Radio, Codie?” I asked him since the outside radio was playing loudly.
“Yup, I think I heard you!” he said.
As much fantastic work that my parents put into this venture, I have to keep a close eye on them. This is just another perfect example. They must have got yapping away and didn’t even recognize the sound of their only son’s voice when it came on the radio! Oh well, I know they’ll make it up to me.
The plan was to bring Codie in the RV while I skated from Delta to Lansdowne. Once we reach Lansdowne (Codie’s hometown), he would lace up his skates and we would blade together through the village over to his school where his classmates and teachers would all meet us. Just before we took off, our neighbours, Chris and Wilma, stopped in to say Hi and congratulate me on my journey, so far. They couldn’t chat long since we were all on our way out the door, but they dropped by long enough to make an amazingly generous contribution. Just to let Wilma and everyone else know, I will be updating the donations and the Buy A Mile pages as soon as possible. I’m pretty swamped right now, but I’m slowly catching up.
On our way back to Delta, the cell phone rang, which was unusually because the reception in the area is awful. My dad answered and was able to talk to the woman long enough to find out that it was Peggy (the woman who had stopped to donate and mentioned that my website was left out of the article in the Ottawa Citizen), and that she had made a call to the newspaper for us. She was pretty sure that they would run another short story to let people know how to donate. Thanks Peggy! I just have one question for you. How did you get our cell number?? I don’t remember giving it out!
As I approached Lyndhurst, I was joined by 2 fire trucks. My buddy, Dan, is a volunteer fireman for the Leeds and Thousand Islands Fire Department and had arranged to have an escort take me through the county. Al and Tony seemed genuinely interested in helping me through the area. But I think realistically they just wanted an excuse to flash their lights and block traffic for a while. Al was pretty proud of himself for driving in the on-coming traffic lane to hold the cars up, while Tony was more concerned with chasing down vehicles that passed the convoy without authorization. I didn’t get much chance to talk with Tony, but from what I hear, he is a lot like my buddy, Dan. And that scares me, because Dan is a loose canon. The only thing keeping him in line is Kim and his new boy, Carter!
Speaking of Kim and Carter, as the precession continued down County Road 3, we came directly past their house. Kim had Carter at the end of their driveway waiting in a wagon and a sign that read “Go Rich, Go!” It was pretty cute. They later gave me the sign which I’ve already fastened up in the motor home.
I also skated passed my Dads’ cousin’s home where a group of the Kelsey’s family came out to see me and snap a few photos. Although I haven’t seen them in quite some time, it was nice to have their support and the donations are very appreciated.
When we finally made it to the edge of Lansdowne, Codie was ready to burst with excitement. He put his skates on and we headed into town. We hadn’t taking more than a few strides when I glanced down at Codie to see him in an uncontrolled pirouette with arms flailing. One skate was in the air and the other was desperately trying to stay on the ground. The spinning stopped when Codie hit the pavement. But if you’ve ever met Codie, you know that he’s fearless and has learned how to land gracefully when he’s out of control. He bounced off his butt and right back up onto his feet with a big grin on his face. Nothing slows this guy down. He just needed to get the feel for the road. This was the first time he’d ever skated straight down the middle of the street! We came through town and could see the school off in the distance. An entourage of squealing 8-year-olds came racing to the side of the road to welcome us in. I’m not sure who was having more fun, me or Codie. I talked to the kids for a couple minutes and took a few pictures, but I had to keep moving because I had to be in Gananoque at 2pm. As we bladed away from the school Codie looked up at me smiling and said, “That was awesome. I feel like I’m famous!”
As we got to the edge of Lansdowne, I stopped at Rapid Valley Restaurant where they had a case of water waiting for me. I can never have enough water, so this donation was greatly received.
Codie hopped back in the RV so I could get my speed back up on the way to Gananoque. Just as I reached the gates into the city, 2 more police cruisers and the big Gananoque Fire engine came into my view. They were waiting to escort me through the busy streets of the city. With Constable Watson leading the pack and Brandon and Codie riding in the Fire Truck, we made our way to Milano’s Pizzeria in the heart of town where I was treated to a delicious lunch. Wendy was fundamental in organizing and creating publicity throughout Gananoque. When I rolled into Milano’s, I was impressed to see a reporter, a representative from the Interact Club of Gananoque Secondary School, various other on-lookers and also the Mayor himself! We mingled and chatted for a few minutes before Milano’s brought out a few complimentary pizzas for us all.
I stuffed myself and bid everyone farewell, then headed to the other side of town. The Police escort was still with us and made this leg of the journey very stress-free. I didn’t have to worry about any cars zooming past me, and it also helped to grab people’s attention. When I arrived at the West Gates of town, I decided to call it a day. I was scheduled to arrive at City Hall in Kingston tomorrow at noon, but I was only 28 km from town. So I’d have no trouble getting in there in the morning.
We drove back to the cottage for another night of the finer things in life (running water and elbow room). Dan and Kim came over for a visit with Carter the Artist. The evening was quiet and enjoyable, but Dan being Dan couldn’t leave without causing a ruckus. As he backed down the gravel driveway, I watched from the top of the hill. I could see the headlights moving backwards away from me when they suddenly stopped. I waited. No movement. Then I heard it. The sound of spinning wheels. But how? The gravel wasn’t loose or wet. What could he possibly be stuck in. Well, it turns out he wasn’t stuck ‘in’ anything. He had rolled down the hill and over a small rock ledge where the bottom of the car grabbed on. He was basically balanced on the rock like a giant teeter totter. There’s never a dull moment when the Elwoods are around. I was able to come down and help push the car off the rock. I’m not sure if there was much damage to the car, but Dan just chuckled and drove off into the night.
In case anyone missed it, or if you need a reminder, I’ll be at Boston Pizza on Gardiners Road on Monday June 18 form 11am-2pm. 10 % of all sales at the restaurant during those hours will be going to my cause! Please come out to see me. Order some food. Make a donation. Even take out orders help. See you all there!