Sunday, November 14, 2010

the Journey to Masstown



a good morning indeed. there's something wonderful about waking up on a tiny island. the sky is clear and sunny, it's gonna be a warm day. we head back down the partridge island path and return to the mainland. in order to get out of town we will have to walk all the way back to it, and then to the other side before we can stick out our thumbs.

this time we have to hit the grocery before we hit the road. there's no knowing how far or not we will make it, best to be safe and stocked rather than risk going hungry. not that we'd starve, there's wild berries everywhere, as far as the eye can sea.

we take turns going into shops so the other can wait out front with our packs. i came out of the grocery and shawn was surrounded by a small gaggle of nine year olds on their bikes. they were quizzing him about hitchhiking. i thought for a moment about all the times parents had stopped their children from talking to us to avoid such questions being asked.

now fully loaded with food snacks and water, we head for the end of town. it was a bittersweet goodbye, we always love to get moving, but some places are so hard to leave. we step slow and steady as the sun climbs high. the stretch of highway between Parrsboro and Moose River was long and lonely. sometimes 20 minutes would pass before we would even see a car.

by mid afternoon the sun was so intense, we had to seek shade to hide out in for a minute. the task wasn't so easy.. the land on either side of the highway is a steep rocky slope toward the road, with the only flat wide open parts being low lying wetland. we finally found a dwarf apple tree to pull over under on a mound of tall grass close by the road. close enough to drop the packs and stick out our thumbs, if ever someone were to pass us.

we sit and blaze in the shade, and wait for a while to cool off. not too long though, gotta keep moving before things begin to ache. spirits high we return to the road. two hours later, we arrive at the Moose River sign. we snap the 'Yeti tracks' crossing the highway, and a minute or two later, we finally score a ride.

yet another mother! the moms, they seem to love us. she gives us a lift to a tiny produce shop off the side of the highway, right outside of Five Islands Provincial Park. when we arrived at the store, her son was waiting in the parking lot to be picked up from work. he eyed us unhappily, and scolded his mother for picking up hitchhikers. she shook her head and smiled at us.

we went inside to grab some produce, and shawn's hope for coffee came true. it was cooling off now, the highway was snaking back towards the coastal breeze. the store clerk tossed us some oranges for free, and i busted one open as soon as we got to the road. i said to shawn, i bet if i open an orange right now, someone will stop to give us a ride. i barely had a moment to finish my sentence and sure enough, a woman in a brand new Escalade pulled over.

i stopped walking for a second, stunned in disbelief. is this woman really stopping for us?! that's one hell of a car to let some dirty hitchhikers into. the woman smiled, "get in get in!"..we told her what we were up to, and she shared her story with us too. the car was a rental, she'd just had her car break down, so they hooked her up the fancy truck.

as it turns out, her and i found each other strangely familiar. her eyes looked so familiar to me but i couldn't place it. she asked if i was ever a foster kid, apparently i reminded her of a little girl she had years ago. i was a foster kid, but not here in Nova Scotia. she told us of all the kids she had, and the wonderful life she gave them, many of them native kids who needed a better chance at life. she is wonderful, kind and very humble.

"the truth is, i couldn't pass you two without picking you up. i just found out my mother has several months to live rather than just a few days, it's a blessing from God. i had to pass the blessing along..." she had a tear in her eye, but she was smiling. she was losing her mother to cancer, and she was worried about crying in front of her children about the pain of losing a parent. "i want to buy you dinner, i insist, it's the least i could do".. she drove right past where she was going to meet her husband, gave us forty bucks and dropped us off at the next truck stop diner. she wished us luck, and i felt kinda sad to see her drive away.

she insisted to buy us dinner, so we went in and ordered the biggest meals we could fit in our stomachs. we were warm, full, and further along the highway than we thought we would make it. we walked right into Masstown, past the giant market we were told about. the sun was about to set so we had to push on past the crossroads to find a place to camp.

we followed the highway right into a rural neighbourhood, there were no places to hide out of sight. we were starting to get a little worried and considered asking someone to camp out in their yard. we passed a lumberyard and turned the bend to find a dirt road leading up the hill to nowhere, the only uncleared lot along the way. we looked around to make sure no one was watching, and darted up the hill and into the trees.

another beautiful blessed day out on the road has passed, and we're exhausted. the lot looks to be overrun with deer, but we're too tired to care. we pull up a spot on a red dirt hill. this night was the coldest yet, thank goodness we were too tired to notice. tomorrow will be an early morning, we have to hit the road before we're seen. sweet nova scotia dreams...

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