LABRADOR XI

12/4/2021 

Pulling back into Labrador City just before dusk, Tom secured his same hotel room and needed to celebrate. Unknown to him, he became a minor celebrity. It seems the “Homecoming” crowd had spread a story of the “American Explorer” who traveled east down that mysterious road, all the way to Goose Bay. After an excellent steak dinner, Tom headed off to the festival grounds to join the 1,000 or so revelers that were there on the graveled battlefield where citizens and beer vendors went toe to told. Finding the crowd he hung with 2 nights ago, Randy spotted him and hollered, “Hey Tom, did you make it?” Tom grinned and said, “what do you think? I traveled 1800 miles by plane and car to get to your shindig. Did you think my 1064 kilometer round trip to Goose Bay and back was going to stop me?” Tom handed out 12 business cards from his Happy Valley motel. The Canadians congratulated him, and Tom bought beers for his new friends he would never see again. That is how life is for a traveler, you never return to an exotic location; there are too many more to see. Tom bid goodnight to his crowd as he was departing early the next day back towards Quebec. His exact route was unknown as he had 3 days to catch his plane in Quebec City. As he departed, Randy queried, “what was on that road you finished today?” Tom responded, “It took 7 years from the time I saw that highway until the day I completed that goal. I don’t live here, but you do. I’m not telling you. Go down that road yourself.” And with that, he turned and left alone, back to the hotel with Lumberjack Larry and his unique handshake, back to Baie-Comeau, and back to Quebec City via highways and sideroads. The next 3 days introduced parks, lakes, trees, and all kinds of rock clusters that Tom had never seen before and never will. Tom even went down a dirt road that ended up in someone’s back yard. He had to pay $10 to get out and back on the highway. Life is full of unknowns and adventures: this is why we explore. 

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