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Return Trip, Days 1 and 2

Pai and I had a stellar summer, getting lost on clay roads, meandering through clover fields, and riding the beaches.

It’s fabulous, when lost in a Very Scenic Place, to come across some random guy who is willing to take your photo. (Hard to tell from the pic, but the blue sliver in the distance is the ocean).

Riding the shore at the cottage.

She even got more than her ankles wet.

Swimming!

Leaving PEI isn’t really made any better by the fact that fall is in the air – the fields of grain are ripe or already harvested, the morning air is cool (6 degrees C for my sunrise swim day before yesterday – nippy!), and here and there, a solitary tree has turned red or yellow. Leaving is still like leaving the love of your life. Even when you know you’ll be coming back.

At Cap Pelée, I had an overwhelming urge to turn around. “You can go back for just one more day…”

What did make a sad day better was arriving at Junie and Larry’s at the beautiful Riverside Iroquois RV Camp, where Junie had a big meal waiting – veg quiche and a beautiful salad and gorgeous fruit with blackberry liqueur for dessert. It was like arriving home to family. The Scoot sequentially made himself at home on various laps, including that of Norma, who owns the joint. On a last minute thought, I had packed up some of the quick step-in electric fence posts I’d intended to leave behind in PEI, and so Pai had a great big temporary paddock and could hog down on grass – since it was the end of the season, the oasis was quiet, and we practically had the place to ourselves.  It was a very good night.

Larry and Scooty Patootie

Pai giving some loving to Junie and Larry.

This morning, Junie sent me off with a massive care package of sandwiches and snacks for the road. Thanks, Junie!!!

The Tire Issue

Now, changing a tire doesn’t exactly rank up there amongst World’s Greatest Technical Accomplishments, so I don’t know why I felt like a superstar for changing mine, but I totally did. Maybe it was because I hadn’t changed one in over ten years. Maybe it was because I whipped that baby off and the new one on in twelve minutes flat.

That was yesterday, when, after a lovely lunch of lobster salad under a shady tree, I hit the road again and, minutes later, the truck started juddering like a washing machine on spin.  Was it the road? The road looked perfectly smooth. I peered at passing cars to see whether they were shaking like I was (not helpful). The brain slowly clued in: tiiiiiiire? I pulled over onto the next on-ramp, and, yup. Tire was about to blow.

Good times in New Brunswick. Good times.

Today’s tire was more dramatic. Minutes after gobbling up Junie’s lunch, as I was trucking along to the delightful strains of Spem in alium  (hey, thanks for that musical tip, Fifty Shades), I heard a massive bang and felt the trailer jump. Horse down? Nope, no further sounds, just the single explosive bang. Moments later, the smoke from the left hind tire clued me in: another tire.

Not only did the tire blow, it destroyed my aluminum fender. I am now so totally ghetto, it’s not funny. After prying and hammering the fender back to a reasonable shape, I bungied bits together to keep them from flapping. Classy. All it needs is a little duct tape, and we’ll be golden.

Turns out, ten year old tires, even if lightly used, become, in the words of our Nanaimo tire guy, ‘sketchy.’ I did not know this. My dad, however, does know this. This evening, when I uttered the words ‘ten year old tires’, he explained about butadiene and polymers and UV light and deterioration, and how tires are black because of the finely divided carbon (essentially, soot) that is added to them to strengthen them. He keeps his car in a garage year-round. His ten-year old tires will not give him a little thrill as he listens to 16th century choral music.

It was a nervous 300 or so km from explosionville to Cornwall, given that the two remaining tires are of exactly the same vintage as the two blow-outs, and I was out of spares, but we made it. Let it be said that I am feeling pretty smug that I ignored Mr. Andrews’ scoffing at my determination to have not one, but two trailer spares.

So looking forward to not driving tomorrow.

And hoping I have no use for all the other emergency gear I brought along.

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