It will be a long ride.

Rod Germaine
On the steps of his law school in Halifax (Nick Pearce photo, courtesy of Dalhousie University)

The Codger has done it. His crazy journey ended on August 7.

This is the blog of Rod Germaine’s bicycle ride across the continent in 2011. Accompanied by his good friend, Soe Naing, Rodger the Codger left North Vancouver on June 2nd. He did not stop until he got to Halifax where he attended his class reunion. It was the 40th anniversary reunion of the Dalhousie Law School class of ‘71.

Among other things, the ride was a fundraiser for the Just Aid Foundation: www.justaid.ca. The total raised was close to $35,000. Germaine is genuinely grateful to all who donated so generously.

It is worth mentioning that none of the donated funds were used to pay expenses. Germaine paid for the ride with his own money. And the long succession of cheap motels and mostly mediocre meals cost some real money. He did not keep track but a member of his family did; the cumulative total was well over $8,000. Soe Naing was more frugal but he also spent a few thousand dollars of his own money by the time they got to Toronto. Covering the costs out of their pockets was consistent with the policy and practice of the Just Aid Foundation. It is maintained by volunteers; expenses are limited to accounting fees, a modest honourarium for the bookkeeper and the charges imposed by online service providers and credit card companies. Subject to these unavoidable costs, all funds raised by the Foundation are used to support the Mae Tao Clinic (www.maetaoclinic.com) and the Back Pack Health Worker Team (www.backpackteam.org).

Germaine extends his thanks for all the support he received from friends and family, from new friends he made along the way, and from Burma activists in many towns he visited. Four individuals deserve very special thanks:

  -Soe Naing, without whose company and assistance he may not have made it to Toronto;
  -Bob Blair who cheered the team, carried the gear and guided the ride through Southern Alberta;
  -Murray Clemens, whose company and assistance through the Province of Quebec must have cost him a small fortune but was immensely appreciated because it was especially timely and great fun; and
  -last but most certainly not least, his angel Adeline, who transported his gear up the first big hills on the Hope Princeton so he could cycle on a light bike, and who worried constantly but patiently tolerated and even supported a project she considered completely crazy.

The daily blogs follow in reverse chronological order. The blog on the top was posted only recently and it is the last. Earlier blogs are accessible by clicking on “Older Posts” at the bottom of this page. You can contact Germaine at info@justaid.ca.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day eight - Christina Lake

Tomorrow's long uphill haul was on our minds when we set out in an uncomfortably cold grey morning. I was thinking about the treat I'd given myself the previous evening when, instead of risking the second period of game 4, I looked up the numbers of old friends at Eholt, a few kms east of Greenwood. I don't think I've talked to any of them since the early 80s, but Faye answered the phone and her report was all good. She and Paul have raised the kids, both of whom are thriving. Maggie and Dennis still live nearby. All in good health. It seemed about perfect. A pickup going in the other direction startled me out of my reverie. The driver shouted greetings; it was Paul on his way to work! A minute later, a car stopped and out stepped Faye herself. A hug and a brief exchange, with reliable Soe Naing wielding a timely shutter. It was wonderful to renew contact, if only momentarily. May you all continue to be well.

First moose sighting a few minutes later as we neared the Eholt Summit (1028 m).

We unfortunately missed Paula's mother in Grand Forks. Our timing was bad. She had generously offered us her hospitality but not today. She was attending her granddaughter's graduation. So we thawed out over breakfast at a cafe downtown and departed Walter's Grand Forks, where I first met Secretary Orders.

The sun finally emerged and we enjoyed a relaxed ride to Christina Lake where we have settled into an old cabin at Camp Beverly Hills. I kid you not. Our host, Sheldon, has been helping us prepare for our assault on the Paulson-Blueberry Summit tomorrow. He's a kind man; he saved us a trip to the cold beer and wine store.

Faye and I a few kms east of Greenwood.

Today: 65 kms. To date: 553 kms. Total "earned" pledges: $322.12

1 comment:

  1. Hey Rod & Soe Naing,
    Great to see you're nearly out of B.C. after only a week--and you managed a bear sighting while you were at it!
    Also a nice surprise to see my colleague, Rob Hewitt, join you on the road. (But surely he's the SECOND "additional Just Rider," not the first--or did my rain-soaked huff-and-puff across the Iron Workers Memorial not count, heh-heh?)
    Best of luck through the rest of the Kootenays and into the Rockies.
    Cheers,
    Dan

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