The ongoing story of a girl and her van on an epic journey across Canada.
I’ve been told that when introducing people, you should always share an interesting fact about each party. That way they can continue on a conversation — if they wish to — while you slip off to the kitchen to sneak sips from a hidden bottle of gin. Thanks for the tip, mom!
So, Emily, something interesting about Internet…did you know that as the most complicated and sophisticated data archiving system in the world, it’s used primarily to look at porn and lol cats?
And Internet, did you know that Emily has just recently completed a three month walk around the perimeter of Nova Scotia?
That’s right folks. Emily got it in her head that circumnavigating Nova Scotia, by foot, was a swell idea. So to all the people that thought I was nuts for driving across Canada alone, I’d like to present Emily as exhibit A in my defence. If she’s not certifiable, how can I be?
Armed with a red backpack and newish running shoes, Em left Halifax in May and headed south. Over the next three months she walked approximately 40km a day, taking one day off every two weeks. She stayed with friends, walking enthusiasts, and B&Bs, and encouraged anyone and everyone to come out and walk with her. Which I did.
Day 89 (Fri, Aug 6th)
But then I didn’t.
So, the 10am departure location it was! And thank goodness for that. Considering how freaking sore my hips were at the end of the day, I’m not sure I would have survived the additional two hours of walking.
But I’m skipping ahead.
So, I did make it to the 10am rendezvous at Oyster Pond. And I was thrilled to discover that I got Emily all to myself that day. Being so close to town and all I thought I’d have to share her with other part time walkers such as myself. Together I think we did about 32km, with only a short lunch break. She’s strict! I got to hear all about her travels, including a brief history of the health of her feet. I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just say they do not sound pretty.
The last hour was challenging, what with the previously mentioned hip aches, and also some blisters on my toes that suddenly appeared and wanted to PARTY! We arrived in Musquodoboit Harbour just before 5pm and ate what for me was the most refreshing orange popsicle of my life. Then Emily’s billet for the evening graciously drove me back to my van. Watching the days walk fly by the window in 15 minutes of driving was a little annoying.
I drove back to Tina’s and spent the evening whinging about my sore feet and hips, and wondering how in the hell Emily was able to get up every morning and do that again?
Day 91 (Sun, Aug 8th)
After three months and almost 3,000 kilometres, Emily walked her final day. The Heart and Stroke Foundation threw her a little party in the Halifax commons to welcome her home. We all got free neon green t-shirts that say “Walking Takes Your Places” (when I first read mine I thought it said “Walking Takes you Paces”, which I think is a punnier slogan), and snacks and there was a percussion band and speeches and everything.
Well done, Emily! On behalf of the entire internet I would like to say that we think you are amazing, and have inspired a lot of people in more ways than you will ever know.
And please send our regards to your feet. Hopefully they feel better soon.
All photos by Sarah Gignac
“Emily and her pack”
“Our Walking Route”
“Emily and her entourage returning home”
This article was first published on Raggedy Threads in August 2010.