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Story from Around & About, Oct. 5 issue:

Journey for a Tobacco-Free World – Errol Povah, President of Airspace Action on Smoking and Health continues his journey walking across Canada. At the estimated rate of 42 km a day, six days a week, the cross country, shore-to-shore trek is expected to take six months. Errol is a 57 year-old BC anti-tobacco activist who made his way through Massey, Webbwood, Mckerrow and Nairn Centre on Thursday, September 30. Errol’s mission is to raise awareness about the continued scandalous practices of the tobacco industry which annually kills 47 000 Canadians (more than alcohol, drunk driving, car accidents, drugs, murder, suicide and AIDS combined), and five million (and rising) globally. Errol’s goal is to put the tobacco industry out of business! He is asking for your assistance in spreading the word about his journey.
Tax-deductable donations are available through Physicians for a Smoke-free Canada http://www.smoke-free.ca
If you would like to follow Errol’s Journey across Canada or would like more information visit the website http://www.tobaccofreeworld.ca

Contacting me by telephone will be a little more challenging than usual for the next few days:  My cell was run over by one or more vehicles on the Trans Canada highway just south of Wawa, Ontario… after I left it on the roof of the van, completely forgot about it and drove off.  It’s pretty mangled, but I’m hoping to retrieve the hundreds of pictures I’ve taken with it.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a new phone (with the same number!?!) in Sault Ste. Marie by Wed or Thu at the latest…and, with any luck at all, no more areas with no cell coverage too!?!

A real quick “Hi!” from Schreiber, Ontario…a very nice, small town; population 1,000.  And it has a library, with Internet access!!!

Night lows are very close to freezing, but days are generally nice enough for shorts and a t-shirt.

I’ve developed a couple of blisters again…for the first time since B.C./western Alberta.  Some pretty big hills here…and one scene that looked amazingly like the scene from the top of the Malahat (Saanich peninsula, Gulf Islands, etc.).  This time, it was northern Lake Superior…and some of the small islands just offshore.

Gotta run! 🙂

Thanx again to everyone for your support…and sorry, I just can’t respond to individual comments on the JTFW site right now…will try to get to some of those later.

From CKDR-FM in Dryden:

B.C. Man Trying to Kill Tobacco Industry
Errol Povah has visions of a tobacco-free world and he’s determined to see that through.
Povah is walking and running from Victoria, B.C. to Montreal to raise awareness and money.
The Vancouver man stopped in Dryden Wednesday.
Povah says its his goal to put the tobacco industry out of business.
He notes tobacco companies have no morals and no ethics and are targeting area youth to keep their product strong.

Note: The cell phone coverage here isn’t very good. If you’re trying to phone me, well, just keep trying.

I’ve reached Ontario!

The subject says it all.

Feeling a little guilty…

August 2, 2010 was an extremely important date…and I completely forgot about it, until just now (15 days later).

August 2 was the first anniversary of the death of our very good friend and colleague, Roger Perron.

For those of you who didn’t know Roger, he was an amazing guy who died — because of the tobacco industry — way too young (56).

For more info about Roger, check the Endorsements link. Or, better yet, read his book:  My Addiction to Smoking.  Before he died, I jokingly gave him hell about that title, telling him that smoking, per se, is NOT addictive:  While nicotine is the most addictive drug known, smoking is nothing more than a habit…sometimes a very powerful habit, but still, nothing more than a habit.

A big “Hello!  And so sorry I missed the first anniversary of Roger’s passing.” to Michelle (Roger’s sister) and the rest of the family.

And to you, Roger:  I really miss you!  You volunteered to be (part of) my support crew (the driver) for my Journey for a Tobacco-Free World!  And it’s all your fault that I have to do the same 21-kilometre stretch of highway twice (both east and west), instead of a 42-kilometre stretch once, dammit!  Kidding.  Take care!

– or – ’CSIS’ and ‘ROASTS’ take on whole new meanings!

For me, CSIS means ‘Constantly Soaked In Sweat’ (although with a sudden change in weather over the last couple of days, I may soon have to change ‘Sweat’ to ‘Snow’)!  And “ROASTS”?  Well, besides very accurately describing what I’ve been doing quite consistently for the last few weeks (as temps, with the humidity factor, hit 40 degrees Celsius), ROASTS is my acronym for ‘Risk Of A Severe Thunder Storm’ which, along with the high day-time temps (and it doesn’t cool off much at night), is a very regular occurrence, along with very high winds and heavy rain which, as you may have heard about, has caused severe crop damage throughout the Prairie provinces.

I wore my “TOBACCOFREEWORLD.CA” t-shirt into a Royal Canadian Legion last week.  I do wear it quite a bit (besides when I’m doing my marathon a day), but that was the first time I’d worn it into a bar.  There were a couple of dozen people in the Legion (mostly vets)…and I was expecting someone (possibly a smoker, but not necessarily) to say something to me about military personnel fighting and dying for “freedom and choice” (to smoke, etc.) but, much to my delight, that didn’t happen.

Then I wore it to an awesome outdoor concert in Spanish, Ontario (about half way between Ste Saint Marie and Sudbury)…with April Wine, Prism and Honeymoon Suite.  Al Harlow, lead singer of Prism, got me in for free (tickets were $96).  It was a smoke-fest…and I had an interesting conversation with a young First Nations fellow who, while not terribly impressed with me or my t-shirt, acknowledged that he was a little drunk.  So I gave him my card…and he promised he would call me the next day, when he was sober.  I’m still waiting for that call.

Lookin’ forward to hitting the road again tomorrow, starting about 30 km east of Winnipeg.  Hope you’re all well…and say a few prayers for some (better late than never) Corporate Sponsorship for me, will ya!

Update from Winnipeg

I start from the west side of Winnipeg today.  42 kilometres per day is, relatively speaking, a piece of cake; it’s the incredible heat (high 20s, low 30s), combined with very high humidity (or the “sweat factor”, as they call it on the weather reports) that’s the really brutal part.  In the exact same way that the ‘wind chill’ factor can make 5 above feel like 5 below, with the sweat factor calculated in, the temperature on a couple of recent days was 40!!!  I’m seriously looking forward to fall/winter weather.

As always, time is very limited…so I’ll sign off for now.  Thank you — ALL OF YOU — again, for you awesome support.

Story by Allison Werbowetsky in Prairie Post: B.C. man makes stop in Swift during anti-smoking walk across Canada

Update from Manitoba

Well, it’s DAY 66 of the JTFW.  And it’s a Wednesday, which means it’s a “day off”!  So why am I sitting in a library for at least an hour doing this update, to be followed by contacting a bunch of media down the road, then laundry, shopping, wash and vac the van, shower at the rec centre (I might have to go to Brandon for that), etc.???  Some day off!  Okay, enough of my whining.

I’m currently in a small town called Virden, about 40 kilometres east of the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border.

If I kept some sort of a daily journal, I could refer to it for these updates…and they’d be a litttle more comprehensive/interesting.  But I have neither the time nor the energy — nor the organizational skills — to keep a journal.  Consequently, one day just blends into the next, it all becomes a bit of a blur and I’m (permanently) forgettting a lot of pretty cool stuff.  My sense of time is completely shot; run launch day (May 310 simultaneously seems like just yesterday and ten years ago!?!  Having said all of that…

A couple of days ago, I had my first ‘close encounter’ of the red and blue flashing lights kind.  An RCMP officer from Wapella (a very small town in southeastern Saskatchewan) ‘pulled me over’ while I was walking just west of town.  He asked me what I was doing, I told him and he was suitably impressed.  He told me that someone had called in and reported a guy with a Canadian flag on his back (that’s me!) wandering into highway traffic.  I plead guilty.  And explained to him that I did do that occasionally, to remove debris…mostly bits and pieces (and sometimes whole) blown semi tires, but only when it was safe to do so.  He was satisfied with that, but wrote down my info anyway (just ‘for the record’), then left.

I’ve always thought getting crap off the highway ASAP is important, especially after seeing, first-hand, the aftermath of a fatal accident in Calgary 3 or 4 weeks ago.  In case you didn’t hear about it, a young woman was killed on the Trans-Canada Highway after a semi in front of her (both westbound and, presumably, doing at least 90 km/hour) hit a piece of debris (specifically, a piece of another semis’ brake drum), it ‘kicked up’ and went through the windshield of the woman’s car, hitting her in the head.  She survived for about 10 hours before she died.  Last I heard, police were still looking for the driver of the semi that lost the brake drum, but nobody is to blame; it really was just a very tragic freak accident.  Anyway, moving along to slightly more pleasant things…

Just in case you think I’m lonely on those long stretches of boring (very long straight stretches, no curves, no hills) of prairie highway, think again.  I ‘chat’ with (and sometimes pet and take pictures of) lots of horses, cows, birds, ground squirrels, etc.  Okay, the petting applies almost exclusively to the horses, but…

And on that note, this computer is winding down fast, so I’ve got to sign off.

Thanx again to all of you for your awesome support; it really does keep me going!

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