September 8th, 2007
It’s hard to keep focussed today since I know that this will be my last major blading day. Sure, it’s only about 50-60 km from Duncan to Nanaimo. But knowing that I’m so close to the finish line is exciting.
The sun may have been shining down on me today, but the conditions were far from perfect. My worst enemy decided to make one last appearance. The Weather Gods were huffing and puffing trying to deter me from reaching my goal. It’s never enjoyable skating through wind like I was today, but I’m pretty sure I would have bladed through a tornado if I had to today. The road was smooth, but generally up hill most of the way. I had a few nice downhill grades, but for the most part I was battling into the wind and towards the sky. About an hour after starting from Duncan, I rolled into Ladysmith where we took a break for food. I also had a chance to stop at the local BMO to deposit the latest donations.
When I finally arrived in Nanaimo, the Police met me at the south end of town to escort me through the city to Boston Pizza. Crystal strapped on her blades and joined me through the city. The Officer in fornt of us had his lights flashing and sirens blaring for the entire escort. My Dad looked in his rear view mirror to see a 2nd officer join the convoy. As we got north of the city, the wind picked up more and the ground was a constant incline. Crystal hopped back in the RV and I tried to speed through the last few kilometers. As if uphill and into the wind wasn’t hard enough, the pavement suddenly turned extremely rough just as I passed Departure Bay Road. It just seemed like nothing was going my way.
My determination hasn’t let me down yet, and today was no exception. I pushed through the conditions until finally arriving at Boston Pizza where a local reporter met me for a few quick photos. We thanked the policemen, met with the BP staff and headed over to Jinglepot Campground sos I could have a shower before coming back to the restaurant later tonight.
With the help of Dan, Ricki and Alvin, the evening was very successful. The store offered a draw for a $50 gift card at Boston Pizza for anyone donating to my cause. Being a friday night, the restaurant was busy and donation rolled in as soon as Ricki announced I was there. Alvin suggested we stick around until after 10pm since the Clippers hockey team would be coming in with 100 other people. We tried to drag our feet, but by 8:30 we were exhausted. Tomorrow is going to be a big day and we know we need some rest. So we didn’t get to meet the hockey team, but I raised a lot of money regardless.
You can imagine how anxious I am to get back to Vancouver tomorrow. It’s been 4 and a half months since I was last in my own apartment! But the day is finally here. I’m excited to see all my friends and everyone who is waiting for me on the mainland. It’ll be hard to sleep tonight, but I need to have energy to complete the last 30 kilometers from the ferry to English Bay.