Mobilize March -- Travel Blog

Day 35 — Arrived in Napanee…DON’T TELL AVRIL!

Last night, as has become my pre-drive ritual, I was memorizing the route and checking the weather, only to discover that once again I would be facing a day in the rain. Although not calling for a lot of rain, the weather man as expecting it to rain off and on for a majority of the day–no matter when I left, I was going to get a little soggy.

With this in mind, we got up early this morning to check out the weather and see if we could put a few kilometers behind us before the rain hit. To our surprise, we woke up to discover a nice warm sun without a cloud in the sky. I immediately checked the weather report online and it was still saying we were going to get rain starting around 11am. With this in mind, we grabbed some breakfast and started packing up–maybe we could hit the road by 10am and beat some of the rain. Well, by 9:45 we were almost packed up and it was still really sunny out so we decided to slow down a bit, eat breakfast and take our time because, honestly, Pete and I had no idea where this whole “rain” stuff was going to come from given the lack of clouds in the sky.

I decided to try and save my poor, deeply tanned arms by wearing my jacket this morning, but the humidity was so thick when I began that you could cut it with a knife, so I had to go to the t-shirt and sunscreen lotion combo right off the bat. To describe today as “hot” would be a profound understatement–so much for that rain, Weatherman! Although not the longest of drives, today’s drive was definitely one of the most grueling. The humidity, mixed with the lack of wind, basically cooked me alive on the road today. It is unbelievable how hot it gets on the pavement in the middle of the day, you can actually feel the difference in temperature merging from the road to the shoulder. While it was another really scenic drive, unfortunately there were very few trees directly beside the road, meaning I was taking the full brunt of the sun almost the entire drive. Miraculously, my arms are in pretty good shape–I applied and reapplied sunscreen almost constantly and hoped I wouldn’t get burnt to a crisp. Having said all this, I really do enjoy the heat, it’s definitely my favourite temperature, so my spirits were up the whole drive. In fact, I couldn’t wipe the silly grin of my face for most of it.

Leading the parade for the first time today was really cool, I think I like it a lot more than being sandwiched between the two vehicles. Although the lead car is only a mini-van, I really felt like I could “see” so much more on the drive today. Seeing the road stretched out in front of you, unobstructed, is a pretty amazing view–it’s like I can hear the road daring me to conquer it. I’m not sure if it was because the road was narrower or because Sam wasn’t in front of me, but I really felt like the cars were passing me much faster and much closer today. Having said that, I wasn’t in any real danger–just had a couple surprises when vehicles would come flying out of my blind spot past me. Despite this, I think we will likely stick to this strategy for future runs because I have more fun in the front and I won’t have to worry about face-planting into Sam’s bumper because it’ll be easier for her to keep pace behind me than trying to guestimate my speed from in front.

All it all it was a really good run and we safely arrived in Napanee. I was a little tired and pretty hungry after the run so we decided to just order in some food before falling asleep, so unfortunately I won’t get the chance to really get out and visit this city much before leaving for Kingston tomorrow. I suppose it’s probably for the best–this way I don’t have to worry about saying something bad about Avril. We did, however, drive past a skate park which did have some skater boys there. I was tempted to hop out of the van and show them what an electric wheelchair can do on a half pipe…then I realized the lyric “he was a wheelchair boy, she said see you later boy” just doesn’t have the same ring. Oh…and there’s also that thing called “gravity”…nature’s party pooper…

Anyway, Napanee for tonight, Kingston tomorrow. I cannot believe we’re almost in Kingston. I also cannot believe there was a tornado warning in London tonight(?!?!?!). Apparently Helen Hunt is trying to assassinate Sam. Well back off Ms. Hunt, I need Sam back tomorrow! Go find Bill Paxton or something…

– Jeff

By Jeffrey Preston

Born with a rare neuromuscular myopathy, Jeff has spent his life dedicated to advocating for himself and others with disabilities. With a PhD in Media Studies from Western University, Jeff's research focuses on the representation of disability in popular and digital culture. Jeff is currently an Assistant Professor of Disability Studies at King's University College @ Western University in London, ON.