August 31. That's a wrap. Again
I can't say it enough how grateful I am to everyone who followed along and who supported this ride. Thank you! Thank you!
It was incredibly encouraging and very cool as each of you signed on.
I was able to pass my distance goal of 400 km. You all were able to pass my financial support goal of $500. And, even though there were days I didn't feel like doing it, I actually got my butt in the seat all 31 days of August.
Thank you for supporting this important cause. It's been a privilege to do this with all of you! Have an amazing Autumn season.
16C + 21km winds. In August. Weird weather.
Had to bundle up for the ride.
Didn't keep this bee from working though.
Well, once again, I've spent the month of August having to repair wheels on the bike ... specifically replacing tubes and tires. Since that seems to be the theme, one of my projects today was to change the wheels on the Fridge Door Live Theatre trailer. I'd put it off for some time.
This Summer marks 11 years with this puppy and I've gotten away without a spare wheel. The rims were well rusted. One tire had a slow leak and the tread was getting low. So, I bit the bullet and bought some new wheelies! So the trailer looks spiffy with new white rims.
The theatre company has gone through an evolution of transporting flats, lights, and props.
First it was with the Honda Element, making flats only 6' high so they could fit in with the seats down.
Then, my oldest brother provided us with a small utility trailer and my dad built a 4x4x8 plywood box to mount on it. I felt like we had moved up big time, and we had! I fastened FDLTC banners on each side. After a few years, that trailer was sold to someone that wanted to transport mini ponies or horses or something like that.
That was at the time we got a grant from Libro to buy this 12' trailer and it's done some serious travelling carrying some very heavy loads. And I don't bang my head, as much, on the roof.
Time flies when you have wheels!
Speaking of wheels, two more days left of the Cycle Challenge!
PHOTO 1: The first small wooden trailer.
PHOTO 2: Check the new wheelies on the present trailer.
Last Summer, I had planted several sunflower seeds and only had two grow. This year, I planted many throughout the gardens and not one grew. In late Spring, two sunflower plants sprung up in my raised planter box. This week, the flowers finally opened up. I have no idea how the seeds got in there but the one has reached the eaves of the house.
Tomatoes, beans and peas are all done for the year. The cukes keep on crawling and producing.
With a string of things to accomplish today, I ran out of time to get on the bike, and so I darted out around town before the sun disappeared :)
One job to get done today was to empty the theatre trailer from the past two weeks of Theatre Camp at the Strathroy Museum. The youth presented short historical plays that I had written. With a small group this past week, they performed two of the 5 scripts from the previous week. One of them was "Stolperstein," one of my more recent favorites. It won the People's Choice award in a festival in Oklahoma last year. This past week, the youth performed a condensed version of the original script since they only had 3-half days to make it happen. They performed well and I loved hearing from parents who enjoyed it and didn't expect the ending.
The full script was also performed by 2 actors in their 20's when it was staged and recorded in my garage for Garage Theatre (GarageTheatre.ca) during the pandemic. The performance is uploaded here: https://garagetheatrecanada.gumroad.com/l/nUNcj
The idea for this play came during a stop on a cruise in Germany. We took the train to Rostock and we "stumbled" on engraved stones in front of a home. One of them was 11-year old Ruth Zuckermann. I was very intrigued and immediately started doing some research. I wrote most of the first draft on our flight home from Copenhagen. Ruth became one of the two characters.
A stolperstein, literally “stumbling stone,” bears the name and life dates of victims of Nazi extermination or persecution. In 1992, the Stolpersteine Project was initiated by the German artist Gunter Demnig and aims to commemorate individuals at exactly the last place of residency or, sometimes, work which was freely chosen by the person before he or she fell victim to Nazi terror, euthanasia, eugenics, deportation to a concentration or extermination camp, or escaped persecution by emigration or suicide. As of December 2019, 75,000 stolpersteine have been laid, making the project the world’s larges decentralized memorial.
With the town having a power outage, I hopped on the bike to ride at least the final 10 km to surpass the 500 km mark. At 8.5k, I blew the back tire on something sharp enough to cut through the tire. Determined to get the last 1.5 k in, I replaced the tube and zipped out for a few more passing the 500 mark today!
Tomorrow is the final day of the Summer Theatre Camp in Strathroy with a couple of short performances for families and friends.
With the wild, wild weather, I was almost sure today would force me to miss, but I actually slipped out between downpours and constant rumble of thunder and the lightening.
Back in my flying days, weather seemed to always plague my cross country trips.
While at school in BC for flying, I was attempting to do a flight from Langley (near Vancouver) to Calgary and then Edmonton with an overnight stay. It was February and despite the weather over the Rockies not being in my favour, I attempted it anyways. By the time I got to Enderby I had been forced to fly the valley because the cloud had chopped off the mountain tops. I kept pushing, hoping the weather would improve. It did exactly the opposite and I was into flurries when I got to Revelstoke. I attempted a canyon turn to turn around and get out ... and by some miracle, avoided clipping the tree tops with the wings and escaped. I made a stop at Kelowna airport where regathered what sanity I had left, closed my flight plan and refiled another. I made it back to Langley after spending more than 5 hours in the air.
On another trip, I flew to Ottawa and Montreal from Hamilton in a Piper Arrow and took my dad with me. On the way back from Montreal Dorval, I had planned to fly South of Lake Ontario through Syracuse, Rochester and Niagara Falls, but a weather system forced a change in plans. We landed in Kingston, changed the flight plan and then continued North of the lake with a stop in Kitchener (I don't remember why), and then back to Hamilton.
On my mother's first and only time flying with me (props to her for being so trusting!), along with my dad, we flew from Hamilton down to Mount Holly, NJ with a night flight over Atlantic City. A couple days later, on the way home, we ran into a blizzard over Buffalo (in November!) and Air Traffic Control closed the area to VFR flights. I checked the map for the closest airport to put down which ended up being Olean, NY, a little single runway uncontrolled airport on the top of a hill in the middle of nowhere. We called for a taxi and stayed at a hotel for the night. In the morning, with full intentions of getting home, we returned to the airport only to be faced with a very high 90 degree crosswind. I attempted a departure anyways, feeling the wind push the aircraft sideways across the runway towards the edge.
Weather has its way of making your well thought out plans meaningless.
Global Warming: All the cool planets are doing it!
Passports. I grew up never having one because all our travel was to the US and it wasn't required. So today, I applied for a renewal because my last 10-year passport expires in March 2024. I'm a bit surprised that 10 years has gone by since I renewed it last. Where did that time go? Although, in the last 10, I've been fortunate to have done lots of travelling.
As kids, we were fortunate to travel, much of it to Florida, where my grandparents and uncles lived. I have truckloads of wonderful memories from those family trips. Mom & Dad tell of the trips where they would put money in envelopes for each day to spend. That is mind blowing amazing. What an investment they made. It's because of them that I have a travel bug and that I put it high on the priority list of things to invest in.
The other day, Rebecca, Winona and I were figuring out when each of us took our first airplane trip on our own. We had a good laugh when I thought about mine and discovered that my "first solo" flight for my pilot's licence was my first. A full 10 minutes.
The list of places to see is long and the time to do it is short. But every trip, even when there's some hiccups, has been and is worth it. Now, I just need to get my money's worth out of my new 10-year passport.
(Photo: St. Augustine Beach, Florida, 6 years old)