Here's a recap of the month of August as it came and went. I kept the goings-on in point form so please excuse the ellipses and stabbing-style of prose. I've expanded on some moments here for your amusement. There were many, many more adventures to be expounded upon over a cold drink when next we meet.
August 1 and 2 - Prince Edward Island. Camping in the "white way of delight" on Finally Farm, outside of Bonshaw. Thanks to Cam and Karen….We took some time to see the beaches, replace the windshield on Goldie, and meet with the Artistic Director of the festival to pitch our shows. Finger's crossed, eh?
August 3: drive to Liverpool, Nova Scotia to stay with Andrew Bursey and Linda Lane. Catch-ups are in order. Andrew and I met on the Fringe circuit oh-so-many years ago and a nicer soul you could never meet. He and Linda showed us the grandest of times.
August 4 - see "Jake's Gift" at the theatre in Chester, N.S. We hang with Jules and Dirk and catch-ups are in order. I think I've seen that show four times now, and it NEVER fails to bring me to tears. Oh boy.
We have a BBQ at Andrew and Linda's place to close the night.
August 5 (My Birthday) - Breakfast, followed by a beach day with Andrew and Linda and Jules and Dirk and Onalea. It's a great way to celebrate another walk down life's road.
August 6 - Drive to East Pennant (Pam Halstead's place). She's out of town, so we have the run of the place which is nothing short of gorgeous.
August 7 - Pam's place and painting. We pop into Halifax to have dinner with my Uncle Brian and Aunt Hughena. They are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and are full of stories and tales. They light up when Onalea tells about her "Requiem Project" and have a litany of suggestions for people and places to connect to. We leave inspired.
August 8 - Pam's place and painting
August 9 - Pam's place (she returns) Dinner with Pam and Rob and we lay out the map to get an idea of the province and what we should/could do. There's so much, and we'll have to return at some point to do it all.
August 10 - drive back to Chester and stay at Graves Island Provincial Park. Spend the day on the beach with Chase Padgett and then see "6 Guitars" at the theatre, have late dinner at Chase's place and hang with him. More catching up. Chase has had an incredible year; a heart-attack and new love all in one. He tells us that he's planning to propose and he beams with delight. I'm thrilled for him and can't wait to meet his lady-love.
August 11 - breakfast with Rebecca Auerbach (what a surprise!) who pops by the campsite with eggs and laughs. She's on a road-trip as well, and we share our travel stories and look to the future. Rebecca and I did a show at the Caravan Farm Theatre a few winters ago. She has the world's most infectious laugh and never ceases to delight. We all huddle under an umbrella to keep cool around the picnic table. It's far too short a visit, but we have to be heading on. So, we hug our farewell, pack up Goldie and then drive to Whycocomagh Provincial Park (north shore of Bras D'or Lake, Cape Breton).
August 11 - painting and reading - a drink at the Auld Brass Door, the local restaurant with wifi access. Office work, you know what I mean? We rummage through receipts and paperwork, attempting to collect ourselves after so many days of contacts and conversations about future projects. We also have booked a very expensive ferry trip to Newfoundland have to be mindful of our expenses.
August 12, 13, 14 - Whycocomagh campground. I paint and paint and paint. It's brutally hot and we have no shelter at our site, so we move about the campground, seeking shelter and a reprieve from the heat. I stupidly decide to walk barefoot for most of the day and my feet soon become covered in bites and swell to the size of ski's.
August 15 - I get a long over-due haircut in Sydney, NS and then we catch the overnight Ferry to Argentia, Newfoundland, Newfoundland. We splurged on a cabin, and I'm glad that we did. ($700). It would have been an exhausting trip otherwise, and there's signs like this all over:
August 16. - Onboard the ferry I wake with the fear that my shingles have returned. The swelling and pain in my feet is unbearable. I get up in the morning and see the nurse who seems to think that it's not shingles, but advises a Hospital visit in Placentia to look at my feet. We oblige at arrival, and it looks like I really just have a bad allergy to bug-bites. Ah well. We soak 'em up, apply lots of medicine, and then we have lunch in Placentia before we drive across the island to the beautiful little town of Renews.
August 16, 17, 18 we are in Renews with the Chidley's. Mike and Mary show us the time of our lives. We get the full tour of the area and it's amazing. Up and down the coast we travel, seeing light-houses and coves and ocean and land and so, so much. Mike and Mary are a fountain of history and stories. It's wonderful. We even go up to a lighthouse and meet a grizzled-looking fella named Tom Corrigan. Oh man, you couldn't ask for a better character. He's been the lighthouse keeper for years, retired now, and spends his days out there showing folks around and being a bit of local colour.
At a pub on the nearby south shore, we chat with the friendly staff who recognize Mike and Mary and playfully tease them. I do a quick napkin-sketch of Tom Corrigan for the staff, who seem to get a kick out of it. The proprietor even threatens to frame the napkin. I end up doing sketches of all the waitresses for a lark.
We stay an extra night in Renews to see a show about the historic wreck of the Florizel (sp). Many people lost their lives right there in the harbour. The show is done under dim lights at at the local gallery which John Chidley runs. It's beautiful and moving. Local stories by local artists is exactly the kind of thing a HoboSapien needs to juice the soul.
August 19 we move on to St. John's to stay with Murray and Kate (and Manny, the beautiful pup).
August 19-25 in St. John's. Onalea takes many meetings with folks there to pitch "Requiem". I paint and paint, and have a lovely breakfast with my old friend, Andy Jones who I did Christmas Carol with for the last two years in Ottawa. He gives us a few suggestions for local spots and has us laughing and giggling the whole time.
Up the hill from his place is this beautiful statue, housed in an old convent.
When we were in Renews, Mike noticed that the tires on Goldie were getting thin and at his suggestion we found a tire-shop in St. John's and put a new set on the old girl. That's another $600 invested in our trip, but it's better to have a new set of tires than need them out in the middle of nowhere.
Saturday, August 25 - we drive a few hours west to the little town of Dildo. (Yup, you read that right.) We stay with Dave Reid and his daughter, Sophie in the house that Dave built with his father back in the early 80's. The property looks right out onto the water and is gorgeous. I'm grateful to have a bed for a few more nights.
Sunday, August 26 - Dave treats us to a boat-tour and Cod Fishing (I caught 4, if you can believe it. Two at once!). It's a process called "Jigging" where you drop a line with a big weight and three hooks on it into the water until it hits the bottom. The skipper has a fish-finder on the boat (sonar kinda thing) and he can see where a school of fish is hanging out. You just tug the line back and forth in the mess of fish until you feel a tug and away you go. This is the first time I've been fishing and caught something. The skipper and 1st mate are characters of a first-rate variety. Oh man, I caught 4 fish, but only about 3% of what they were saying.
Monday, August 27 and Tuesday August 28th we spend the night in Trinity. It's a beautiful little town right on the water. We pitch our tent on the point behind the theatre as per the suggestion of Murray and Kate. We sleep on the softest grass overlooking the town and it's pure heaven , graced with silent nights and the brightest moon I've seen in ages. Tuesday night we see the show with Grant Tilley in it at Rising Tide. We have an impromptu lunch with him out of the back of Goldie in the parking lot of the theatre… a surprise to be sure. Thanks to facebook, otherwise we'd have no idea he was there!
Wednesday, August 29th we get up early, strike the camp and drive the long haul across the island to Gros Morne National Park and camp at Trout Lake. It begins to rain early in the morning doesn't let up all day. Thankfully, we went for the "dryness guarantee" on our tent. The drive into the park is like entering another world. Mountains and coastline rise up from the woods like the opening shot of an epic fantasy movie and I'm so glad we opted to head straight here.
Thursday, August 30 and we get into the van and drive to the town of Woody's Point nearby to keep dry, warm, and caffeinated. I hammer out the bulk of my update while nestled in the local pub and drinking the local swill. We go looking for live music, though Onalea soon realizes that we may be the entertainment. There's an open mic happening, but we're too shy to get up and decide to head back to camp and sing around the fire instead.
Friday is a day around the camp as the sun is out and we feel refreshed from our "office day" in town. We take a few hours to "play van", as we call it. This entails cleaning and tidying and finding new systems to organize our home. Mid-afternoon we meet up with Murray and Kate and their friends, Al and Alanna and hike the Tablelands trail. At the trailhead we meet a Parks Canada guide named Freddie who regales us with the info about what we're about to walk into. It's ancient and massive and full of history. Glaciers moved through here and it was once under the ocean. It's here that the theory of plate tectonics was developed and it's unique in the world. Think: Drumheller meets the Frank Slide. Unbelievable.
And that, friends, is the month of August for your Hobosapien.
Thanks for reading! I'll see you somewhere down the road.