It's already well into the month of October and these days of travel and movement have blurred together in a delirium of dreamlike surreality. I do love to travel, but it can lead to some levels of stress.
Packing and unpacking, town to town, up and down the dial… as it were.
Onalea and I have put thousands of kilometres on Goldie (the minivan) since we borrowed her from Jan and Grant Gilbertson back in January, and the month of September was a big one. I won't bore you with the minutia of the day-to-day, but give you an overview so you have an idea. Suffice to say, the camping and the travel and the sights were enough to fill an artist's imagination for a lifetime.
I long for a time when I can set up a studio and devote myself to painting some of the sights I was witness to.
We began the month in beautiful Newfoundland, camping at Trout River in Gros Morne National Park. Days were spent painting, sketching, and walking the stunning path through the Tablelands, which is natural wonder of the world where the earth's crust can be seen.
From there we drove North up to the town of Cowhead for a few days, and as the weather began to turn to rain we packed up and went all the way to the southern part of The Rock to camp at a place called Burgeo (which had the most astonishing white-sand beaches and was practically deserted).
September 12 was our last day in Newfoundland and both Onalea and i felt a tugging in our hearts for that place. It was hard to leave.
Via the ferry we soon landed back in Nova Scotia and drove the Cabot Trail, camping along the way. If you've never had a chance to see that part of the world, I cannot recommend it enough. So beautiful. A word of caution: make sure to have decent brakes and take it easy on those mountains. Goldie's brakes started to smoke at one point and we took advantage of our CAA membership to get a little help on the way down. Safety first, friends.
Across the northern part of Nova Scotia we went, camping all the way. I've been playing navigator on this trip and it's my belief that Google Maps has a few unexplored tricks which should be utilized when making a decent-sized trek. First of all, a gentle reminder that Google is not always correct. Be open to possibilities along the road. Second, under the settings tab, under navigation, I highly recommend clicking on "avoid highways" as the views are often 100 times more beautiful outside of the "standard" way to go. The road less travelled, as they say.
We practically blew across New Brunswick, only stopping for one night outside of Fredericton before doing the big drive to Quebec City where we treated ourselves to a hotel in the old city for a night and took full advantage of the bathtub and room service (thanks again to Carole Zaza).
Onwards to Montreal to experience the anger and aggression of drivers in that city. Boy, do they have somewhere to go and quick. The Calder exhibit at the Gallery there was not to be missed.
It was not long there before Onalea and I were both longing for some time in the country.
My cousin, Bryan offered his lovely cottage out in Sharbot Lake, Ontario and we jumped at the chance to spend some time there. We'd been there a year ago and it was nice to return. We popped into Ottawa to have some business meetings and get charged up for the trip to Stratford.
This is now year five of the Undiscovered Shakespeare project, if you can believe it. Rebecca Northan, Kevin Kruchkywich, Raoul Bhaneja, Belinda Cornish, Sophia Perlman, Ijeoma Emesowum, Bob White and Renata Hanson have been slugging away at figuring out an elegant way to interview someone about their life and then improvise a Shakespearean comedy inspired by the story. The project started as a seed in Rebecca's head and has slowly emerged through the hard work of this brilliant group. We had two "showcases" here in Stratford and four in London (Ontario) this week. After a day of working in verse the brain feels practically fried.
And now - back to the road…