My Bicycle Trip Across Canada: Day 64: Grey Islands

June 30th: Corner Brook, NL: rest day

Woke up hung over. Not badly, but still a rude awakening. Ate breakfast that Mike made. Right now I’m in a park writing, about to head over to a coffee shop. Might rain.

Mike’s roommate Kenny seems really cool. Climbs, caves, and sea kayaks.

I need to get back into volunteering: reset my priorities [I did begin volunteering again about 6 months after this trip: I volunteered on a suicide crisis line in Hamilton with the Salvation Army]. Focus on school and research [I graduated in August 2013], future career stuff. Oh, and apply for medschool [I did and didn’t get in].

What does it say about me that I’ve been to Arizona, Paris, Prague, Germany, and Spain, and now biked across Canada, all in the last year, and yet I’m stressed about doing more. Have I truly appreciated what I’ve done? So what if I miss the Cabott Trail or Gros Morne? I’ve hiked Sedona, the Grand Canyon, and been to the fjords in Norway, hiked on a glacier, hiked a mountain, been to the Alps!

Relax Alex: you’ve done well. Plus: Kentucky in October! [this refers to a 9 day climbing trip I had in 2013 in the Red River Gorge] Enjoy it!



I’m at a coffee shop called Harbo-Grounds reading The Grey Islands. It’s fantastic! Read:

‘Night on the island is full of power. In the dark the land and sea are released from the spell of logic and industry the sun’s light places upon them. The water, the trees and hills rise up. They roam and assume what shapes they wish.’

‘At one point last night I stepped out of the cabin and was startled by the gigantic glaring presence of the moon, its reflection reaching in a broad flashing path down the sea, like a river of cold light falling straight to the cabin door. I had never seen the moon so large or so white, and its light seemed too sharp, too keen and alert: as if grinning – not hungrily exactly – but with knowing, exultant power, like some great animal.’

‘It moved briskly, this creature of light, crippling its body with easy energy. And I stood swallowed up, gazing into it. But I could not bear it for long. It was too massive and too cold to confront alone. In a rush I turned to the cabin and opened the door: the relief! the lantern throwing its cone of warm light over the table, my book, the woodstove crackling contently.’

How many times have I had this kind of experience with the moon?

High on shrooms with Sam and Ryan when we camped outside, and then again snow tubing. Andrea and her lunacy. Lake Superior on this trip

The Moon by The Microphones

Another gem from Steffler. Reminds me of [David Foster Wallace]’s This is Water:

‘It’s enough to record what’s obvious. Here in the foreground. But always this is what’s hardest to see. The habit of straining your eyes craning to get above obstacles is the biggest obstacle.
The doubt that there’s any value in doing things.’

Left the cafe and went to find a towel at Canadian Tire. The place was run by teenagers, I swear.


Made my way to Brewed Awakening and finished The Grey Islands. Picked up a book about Malcom Lowry [an author I like for his book Under the Volcano]

Around 7 we went to a BBQ. Lots of cool interesting people there. We left around 6 with Laura, and I showed her how to fix her front wheel on her mountain bike. Went to Mike’s place and then we all chilled and drank and talked all night. I would love to come back and go kayaking and climbing with Kerry.



About dontdontoperate

28 year old originally from Barrie, Ontario, Canada. H.B.Sc. from UofT with a major in chemistry and a double minor in philosophy and math. M.Sc. from UofT in physiology and neuroscience. Finished my Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at McMaster in the fall of 2013.
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