Mobilize March -- Travel Blog

Day 40 — Well…the GPS says our Hotel is this field…so…tents anyone?

I can’t believe there is only one more drive to go. While it’s been a long trip (and I’ve basically lost all grip on space and time), I still can’t believe it is almost over. As I stated earlier, I’m really going to miss my time on the road once this is over—I’m going to have to find a hobby. Maybe I’ll take up whiddling…or knitting! I could knit myself a scarf! Or a blanket! Or some other straight object…I tried knitted when I was younger and I wasn’t real good at corners.

I’m not the only one blown away by how fast things have gone. This morning while I was calling to set up media coverage for our arrival in Ottawa, Sam started trying to get my attention and whisper something at me but I couldn’t quite understand what she wanted with the phone plastered to my ear. When I hung up I asked what she wanted and she explained, “You told them the rally is this Sunday. It’s next Sunday!” At first I had a moment of panic, which was quickly followed by a certainty that it was June 13th and I hadn’t lost track of time THAT much! After assuring Sam what day it was she paused for a moment, blinked, and asked “Holy, is today seriously our second last drive?” Definitely coulda fooled me too!

I had a pretty horrible sleep last night, I was just sore all over and couldn’t get comfortable in the bed for some reason. Despite the lack of restful sleep, I woke up with a TON of energy this morning—I was totally bouncing off the walls. After grabbing some breakfast, joking around in the breakfast room and packing up stuff, it was time to hit the road for the second last time (ever?). The sun was out but it wasn’t too hot and there was a bit of a breeze to start.

All in all the drive went pretty well, except that nature struck again in several interesting ways. Firstly, flies and other flying creatures were absolutely obsessed with Pete’s van today. He literally had a swarm of insects around him at all times, flying in and out of his open windows. During one of our stops, Pete decided to try driving regular speed and see if he could get rid of his little groupies, leaving him to tear off down the road with a sizable black cloud of desperate little bugs trying to keep up with him. It was pretty hilarious. Secondly, we picked some remote roads for this drive, providing some tremendous scenery. Unfortunately, with the scenery came a lot of road kill…a disturbing amount of it. They were like smelly, disgusting little land mines scattered all over the road. Luckily, we did manage to see some living wildlife though! On several different occasions, I came across what appeared to be ground hogs that had burrowed little nests through the cut grass along the side of the road. I’d be driving along and out of the corner of my eye I’d see this little brown head pop out from the foliage, take a look at me and dug back in before I could get a good look. Eventually we saw one of the ground hogs perched beside the road (he ran away once we got close, before we could get the camera out), soakin’ up the sun and generally enjoying the day.

I was pretty sore after the drive, but all in all it was a decent run. It didn’t rain (wahoo!) and while it did get a little hot in the middle of the afternoon, it was really manageable out on the road. We also got some encouraging phone calls about the rally on Sunday—although it sounds like it may rain, I’m still optimistic that we’re going to have a good turn out! I know it sounds like a real bummer to walk through the rain and have a rally in the gross weather, but it’s really important we show the members of parliament how serious we are about these issues. If we are willing to march through the rain then they will know we mean business!

Well, I’m pretty tired after the drive and the bed is looking mighty enticing, I’ve even got Pete warming up my spot. And by that, I mean I’m totally going to steal Pete’s spot after I’m done writing this blog. Tomorrow is a day of rest before the final push and I’m going to use it to the fullest. I’ll also be compiling and uploading the 2nd last video blog tomorrow showing the events of the past week—we’ve got some really cool footage from the road, it’ll be the best one yet! Unfortunately, we don’t get wireless Internet in our room here, so the video blog may not get uploaded until after we arrive in Ottawa, but I’ll definitely try my best!

Oh one more funny moment. We’ve had some troubles the with GPS…basically the entire trip…that thing is better at getting lost than it is finding places. For instance, it claims Cobourg City Hall is in the lake. Today, Margaret took us to an open field and claimed it was our hotel. I think Sam was totally down with roughing it for the night but I was really bankin’ on a nice warm bath once we got home. Turns out the hotel was a few blocks before said field. Who knew!

So anyway, to bed with me and I will be back soon. I’m stayin’ strong and keepin’ the faith—by Sunday we’ll be in Ottawa. By Monday, transportation for all!

– 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.