Learning The Hard Way

I am on my way home from my long journey to Churchill – The Great Northern Adventure, I am calling it. It has been an adventure for sure, with a few twists and turns to keep things interesting. I’ve learned a few tips that I’m going to write down in my book of lists under the heading of –Learning Things The Hard Way-.

First though, the positive experiences of my journey. Before my children were allowed to complain about being away from home, they had to come up with three positives first. Sometimes by the time they were finished thinking up the positives they couldn’t remember what they were going to complain about. I think this habit serves them well.

Positives –

The train ride from Winnipeg to Churchill had fun spread over forty-six hours and no one was murdered the way someone is always murdered on The Orient Express according to Agatha Christie who penned the mystery in 1934.

I found a netted jacket that completely covered my upper body, including head and face, to foil the vicious intent of mosquitoes the size of ping-pong balls.

I could walk everywhere I needed to go and didn’t have to pause once for construction and my well-worn hiking boots fit right in with the fashion of the landscape.

I had to fly back to Winnipeg from Churchill because of the pending VIA Rail strike and the threat of being stranded on the tracks somewhere between A and B. So, I got to miss out on forty-six hours of train “fun” for a second time.

I wore a mask everywhere I went. I continued to wash my hands several hundred times a day. Plus, I have had all the vaccinations Nova Scotia has provided me with. But Monday morning, in the middle of the night I started to cough and by 8:00 a.m. I tested positive for the evil adversary Covid. I quickly threw my belongings into my car and hurried me and my germs out of my cousin’s residence and I hit the road feeling very much like –death warmed over-, as my mother used to say. I drove from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay, stopping on the side of the road at least six times to rest and attempt to cough up a lung. The good news is I now have some travel tips, as I mentioned earlier, to add to my book of lists.

Things I Have Learned The Hard Way –

Don’t arrive late on a Monday evening in the summertime in Thunder Bay and expect to find a hotel room. You can blame it on your Covid-riddled brain not to have planned ahead, but it doesn’t change the fact that you will now have to sleep in your car.

Parking in a Walmart parking lot between a grouping of RVs does make you feel somewhat safe, but also makes you look homeless.

If you are going to be a car-dweller while travelling, a Kia Soul is not the right companion for such outings, especially when the back is full of every emergency scenario you could think of, except for the all-important sleeping in your car.

You can’t outrun Covid even if you are exceeding the speed limit. It can keep up and just when you think you’re starting to feel better it knocks you down and makes you cry out for mercy.

Never leave home again.

That’s the wisdom I have acquired from being on the road since May 17th. I’m in Sudbury tonight, staying in a pre-booked hotel room. I’m running out of clean clothes, but at the moment, that is the least of my worries. The fact that my cousins have all fallen victim to Covid, too, thanks to my sharing nature fills me with regret. As I try to drift off to sleep, I will be clinging to the many positives of my incredible journey – the chance to walk where my great-great-great-great grandmother walked. I will never forget the awe-filled experience and my gratitude is abundant. Stay safe, everyone! Covid isn’t done with us yet.