Saturday, August 10, 2013
Riviere-du-Loup, QC - Grand Falls, NB
Distance: 185 km
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Grand Falls - Florenceville, NB
Distance: 80 km
Saturday we left Quebec. Quebec was a really beautiful province to travel through.
The first three days in the province, we were on the north side of the St. Lawrence, with hills and farmland on our left, and houses and the river on our right. When we took the ferry across to the south side we basically saw farmland and houses or small villages along the entire road, and the river on our left, with mountains on the opposite shore, and hills far to our right.
Leaving Riviere though, we headed east, and started climbing. The guys have said that the hills here in New Brunswick are like being in BC again. Not as high in elevation, but big, and lots of climbing and descending. The hills are covered with trees or farmland everywhere. Small towns are encountered occasionally.
After the first 50 km, Evan joined me in the van, because the climbing was hurting his knees.
For the first break, Dave got there first, then Luke a while later and Evan a bit later still. Dave was already waiting for us at the New Brunswick border when we got going, but got cold because of the wind, so he left about 4 minutes before we got there. So we drove ahead to give him some food, thinking that Luke (who we thought was maybe 10 km back) would wait for us at the border. Luke was actually only a few minutes from the border, so between the time that we caught up to Dave and came back around, Luke passed us. Not realizing this, we waited for 20 minutes at the border and then decided he must've gone by already. So we took off, and caught up with him a while later.
Then we had to go from there to meet Dave, who had said "45 km farther", but by the time we got to him, he'd gone over 60 km.
We waited for Luke there, and finally went on to Grand Falls, where we met relatives of Evan's at a Tim Horton's.
Evan's Grandpa, Handy Nevers, and great-aunt DoDo bought us dinner at Timmy's and we chatted there for a while.
We stayed the night in the basement of Assomption Catholic Church.
Now originally, our plan had been to ride from Grand Falls to Fredericton, about 220 km away. But we'd heard from the Redkas that they knew people in Hartland, which was 100 km from Grand Falls. We also had contacts for our two nights in Fredericton, so we figured we'd ride 100 km today (Sunday) and then do the other 120 the next day.
The people from Hartland, Pastor Dale Shaw & his wife, pastor Family Worship Centre in Florenceville, 20 km north of Hartland. They invited us there to be in their service, and to meet their youth group, and also to take us our for lunch. So we got there around 11:30, talked to their congregation for a few minutes (small group of less than 50 people), and were prayed for by them.
The church also took up an offering for us, and we raised $500 for Ratanak, thanks to their generosity!
After spending some time taking photos and talking to everyone, we were taken out for buffet lunch to a place called Grama's.
We ended up being billeted with a family from the church, who live in Florenceville, and then in the evening we were taken to another family's house for homemade pizza. We hung out with the youth from the church again, who later took us out for ice-cream.
It also turns out that our contacts for Fredericton, who are relatives of the Thorntons (Dave and Luke's cousins), are in Burtts Corners, NB. Burtts Corners is northwest of Fredericton. So we'll ride from here to Fredericton, to get the distance done, and then drive back to Woodstock to spend the night and the rest day there.
After our rest day, we'll drive back to Fredericton and start riding from where we left off.
We've met lots of friendly people across Canada, and we're sure to meet a bunch more here in the Maritimes before we finish, so we're hoping to keep making connections. If you know people out here, have them contact us.
We're still looking for billets in Charlottetown, PEI; New Glasgow & Port Hawkesbury, NS.
As of today, we're at $16,343 for donations, which is about 65% of our $25,000 goal! However, we'll be home in 11 days, and we still have a lot to go. We really want to meet our goal, so we can help support Ratanak and all the work they do in Cambodia.
We've been blessed through this whole trip with heavily reduced expenses, through many people giving us places to sleep and providing food for us. So far, we haven't had to use our emergency budget for anything, so we expect to have a surplus of funds when we return home.
We'd like to see our donations rise to $20,000 by the time we arrive home. So that's another $3,657 in 11 days, or about $332 a day, or even just 183 people giving $20 each! Between everyone we know, and have met on this trip, we have probably come into contact with 1,830 people! So can you help us out by donating, and then tell one person about us and Ratanak, and ask them to donate. Thank you for your help and sacrifice!
If you're not really familiar with Ratanak, check out their website, where you can read about the history of Cambodia, how Ratanak started, and what they do. The work they do and support helps bring the love and healing power of Jesus directly to the broken people of Cambodia.
-EPIC to the end!
Ratanak International - www.ratanak.org
Donate to Ratanak - www.epicriders.org/donate.html