Lucy and I woke up in Fredericton, New Brunswick, just over three hundred kilometres from our final destination at the family farm in rural Prince Edward Island.
And frankly, I think we were both really ready for the trip to be over.
It was a beautiful sunny day, no real lingering trace of the harsh winter storm that had chased us to the motel the night before.
We let ourselves sleep in, and after checking out hit the Sobey's down the road for groceries--which at that point in my life consisted of butter croissants, chocolate chip cookies, Nutri-Grain bars and a few oranges as a concession to my health.
Time have definitely changed. At least I was drinking plenty of water, I guess.
I also bought some dog food for Lucy and then set out toward the farm, inadvertently making a wrong turn right out the hop and driving eight kilometres in the wrong direction before I could turn around. Inauspicious beginnings!
I had toyed with the idea of chasing some trains on this last leg, but really, I just wanted to get home and see my mom and let Lucy run around her new yard, so we kept the pedal to the floor all the way to Moncton, where I stopped for gas and to search in vain for a working car wash before we set out again.
By mid afternoon we were at the Confederation Bridge, and I bundled Lucy up and took her out into a bitter wind to get her first look at the Atlantic Ocean. She looked about as cold as I felt, and we didn't stay long.
Something in my nature won't let me visit my parents with a dirty truck, so we made a quick detour into Summerside to wash 7,500kms worth of accumulated road grime and North American winter from the Taco. Then, at last, we were driving the last 20kms or so through pastoral, wintry farmland to the homestead.
It was a hell of a drive, and a hell of a lot of fun. As I write this, it's late April and I'm preparing for the next leg of #ProjectNomad. As you read this, Lucy and I will have already driven back to the west coast, and I hope that our journey will have been as largely painless and free of headaches as our trip eastward.
Certainly, I hope that I ate a little better, the second time around.
The Tacoma performed beautifully, this first round. Lucy endured. I'll cherish the miles we spent cruising some backwoods highway, chasing trains with the radio blasting and her chin resting on my hand on the shifter.
As I covered the last miles, I felt grateful that the weather had held out on us, that we'd found places to sleep at night and that neither the dog nor I seemed any worse the wear for our twelve days on the road.
Pretty soon, we were slowing at the driveway, and I could see the house through the trees and knew that somewhere inside, my mom was waiting for me with a hug and a smile and a hot-cooked meal.
I'd enjoyed the first few weeks of #ProjectNomad. But Lucy and I were sure ready to settle down for a while.