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Paul's Book Excerpts ...
 

Here is a passage from "Two Wheels Through Winter" -- the 2007 winter trip.

“At one point I was going about 30 km/h when the visibility went from 20 feet to zip, zero, nada, nothing. I couldn't have seen a car even if it had been sitting on my lap. The isolation mixed with the cold and howling wind sends a sobering shiver down your spine accompanied by the realization that we, as human beings are very small in Mother Nature's battlefield. I started thinking that if I were to be hit by a rig whether it was coming from ahead of me or behind me, he would probably not even noticed and would keep on going. I got my focus back and kept on going.

10 minutes later I realized I made the wrong choice.

Now the road was as slippery as frozen snot and I had absolutely no control. I quickly grabbed the clutch, coasted down onto the shoulder and realized that I had much better traction in the shoulder (For now) than on the road. I put my hazards on and just scooted along at about 10 km/h for 15-20 minutes. During that time not a motorist went by. I was thinking "Hint! Hint Paul! There is no one, so the road is closed at one point!" But it was not. It was just a bad spot. I was in the middle of freaking nowhere, it was dark and I could barely see anything! Now what? I decided to drag my feet for a second and feel the road to see if it was getting slicker or not. Somehow it was not slippery at this point. (It is all relative to your level of sanity of lack of it) so I got back on the tarmac and kept going. After a while the loneliness feels like a blessing. At least if I fall I will not have anyone to drive over me, but then again I will not have anyone to find me if I am hurt. "Ahh! Shut up Paul!" I tell myself.”


Who said the road was lonely?

Here is an excerpt from "Iceman Versus Labrador" -- Labrador trip in 2008.

“There is 285 kms between Goose Bay and Churchill Falls! I am trembling because I am wearing what I have always worn so far which has kept me warm. 1 t-shirt, my long sleeve military spec under garment, my fleece liner and my jacket. Down I have one pair of sock and my long fleece military spec underwear and my pants. I have more stuff that I can add on but I have nowhere to stop to put it on safely. And if I try on the side of the road I will not be able to warm up again and it will only go downhill from there. I have ridden what feels like 100's of kilometers and yet I am still 130 km away from Churchill Falls. At 70 km/h I will be there in 2 to 3 hours at least! I stop many times, and each time is worse than the last. Few times I walk down the road as I jump up and down and I sit on the snow bank! Not a soul goes by. If I saw someone I would wave them down and ask to rest inside their vehicle. But no one comes by. Soon after that I start crying with exhaustion. I CANNOT go on anymore.

I walk to Frosty and do what I never thought I would do. I give up! I look at Frosty and say "I am sorry! I cannot go on anymore! I have to shut you down." Then, somehow I remember my propane tanks and heater. Another Duhness moment! I start to open the hack and the cover feels like steel. I try to undo the snaps and they all break but 3. I yank out the propane and install my heater on the ground between Frosty and the snow bank. I reach in my tank bag and pull out the matches. I open the box, turn the propane on and I quickly strike one match and light up the heater. I pull the tarp out and I am having trouble unfolding it. It is frozen solid. But after a few grunts and swears I succeed at wrapping myself in it. And then I hear "Pop!" the heater goes out.”

 

"Look around! What colour do you see?" -- "Motel clerk in Sault St-Marie Ontario"
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