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Update from Saskatchewan

Day 53 of the JTFW…and I’m off to a late start (from just east of Swift Current, Saskatchewan), so gotta keep this short.

Everything is going very well: Public support is amazing, media support is running a close second and political support is a very distant third. Obviously, I’m hoping the political support catches up to the other two…and much sooner rather than later.

I have never experienced such wild weather in all my life! In the blink of an eye, it can go from sunny and hot to thunder and lightning, high winds and heavy rain. I know this from first-hand experience. While I have gear for all weather, I got caught in a major downpour 2 days ago. It was so bad, several cars stopped to offer me a ride. I thanked them for the offer, but told them I was soaked all the way through, it wasn’t terribly cold and my van was just a little ways down the road. I would have drenched the inside of their vehicles.

Anyway, gotta get goin’!

Til next update, take care…and again, thank you all so much for your support.

P.S. A big “Thank you!” to RUNNERS SOUL in Medicine Hat for the new pair of runners they gave me…for less than half price! Very much appreciated…and hopefully that will inspire even more generous ‘corporate sponsorship’.

Day 45 — a well-deserved day off, if I may be so bold — finds the JTFW in Medicine Hat, Allberta…and the Saskatchewan border is only 2 days away!  Yee hah!

Yesterday was the absolute worst day of the entire trek (weather-wise), thus far.  The day before (Day 43), one of our Saskatchewan colleagues called to ask where I was.  I told her (I was east of a place called Tilley)…and she told me there was a tornado warning for that area!?!  Conversation was difficult as the wind whistled by me and my phone (I’m guessing the winds were at least 40 – 50 km/hr)…and even just walking in a straight line was challenging at times, as stronger gusts hit me.  But other than the strong winds, it was a great day; mostly sunny, warm and clear (I was very comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt…and runners, of course).  I had a perfect 360 degree view of the horizon…and checked it frequently for anything that resembled a tornado, but it was fine.  I assured Lynn that it was all good, to which she said, “Not according to the Weather Channel; there’s a big purple dot over your area!”  I can only assume tornadoes are represented by purple dots on the Weather Channel.  In any case, I survived.

As I said, yesterday was much worse:  The early morning was reasonably nice, but then the same strong and sustained winds returned, with a vengeance; this time, it was much colder (next time I got to the van, I bundled up like an Eskimo and put on some winter gloves) and, to really make things interesting, Mom Nature threw in a whole bunch of rain and even a little hail!  It was brutal!  I had never been so tempted to call it quits for the day, but persevered…and, about 11 hours after I started, completed my 42 kms.

There was a picture of me (and a brief caption) on page A2 of today’s Medicine Hat News…and I did an interview with “Power 93.7”, a local radio station ( www.power937.com ).  I spoke with Warren (the general manager of the station) a couple of days ago.  John, the reporter, told me today that normally there would be some discussion among the staff as to whether or not they would do the story at all, how they would cover it, etc.  But in this case, Warren just told John to “go get the story!”  Clips of the interview will air on the news (at the top and bottom of every hour, between 6:00 and 8:30 a.m….or 5:00 and 7:30 B.C. time!?!) tomorrow, July 15.

I continue to be amazed by the level of public — and, more and more, media — support for the ‘total eradication of the global tobacco industry’ idea.  In fact, of the dozens (perhaps a hundred or more) of complete strangers I’ve mentioned the idea to over the last 45 days, there has not been any opposition whatsoever.  Not even any ‘neutrality’; the vast majority of those people have been very enthusiastically agreeable and supportive.  And all of that just has to translate in POLITICAL support…and much sooner rather than later.

That’s all for now.


Update from Alberta

Six days after starting treatment for a pretty serious infection in my lower right leg (at Mineral Springs Hospital in Banff), I was back on the road…getting back into it gently:  July 1, I did 10 km; July 2nd 20, July 3rd 30 and July 4th, I did the full 42…and have continued to do that ever since, with no problems whatsoever.

By the end of today (July 8), I will be about 60 km east of the eastern city limits of Calgary.

Still rather desperately hoping a philanthropist or a sympathetic RV dealer will come through with a small motorhome:  I love my Dodge Caravan minivan, but it’s not the most comfortable ‘home on 4 wheels’.

So much more to say, but time is so limited:  Gotta hit the road…and continue this incredible adventure.

Thank you, again, to all of you:  When the going gets tough, your awesome support really does help to keep me going.

Take care!

Yesterday (June 28), the awesome staff at a clinic in Calgary did an ultrasound, which ruled out a clot in my lower right leg.  And today, I had my last IV for the infection…and have been switched to oral antibiotics.  This whole experience has been quite a wake-up call for me, regarding the extreme importance of foot care and foot health on an endeavour like this.

The doctor, who is quite well aware of what I’m doing (the JTFW), advised me to take a few more days off.  But the campaign must continue so, giving my feet a little bit of a rest, I’m going to be doing a mall display here in Banff tomorrow, using all of the literature I picked up from the lung association, cancer society, etc.  It should be fun…and worthwhile.

With any luck at all, the JTFW will be back ‘on the road’ by Thursday or Friday (July 1 or 2) at the absolute latest.  Will keep you posted; stay tuned.

From Banff…


Some good news…and some not so good news.

The first day of the B.C. leg of the JTFW was absolutely incredible!  The first day of the Alberta leg; not so much.

On Friday, June 25, after 37 kilometres (from the B.C./Alberta border to Castle junction), I had to take a break…and we went to Mineral Springs Hospital in Banff.  The problem:  Either an infection (in my lower right leg) or a blood clot.  Until more test results come back, I’m being treated (an IV every 12 hours, etc.) for both…although the nurses are all betting on the generally-less-severe ‘infection’ diagnosis.

Fear not, though:  The JTFW will be “up and running” (pardon the pun) within a few days!

Again, a huge thank you to each and every one of you for your absolutely amazing and inspirational support.

More updates soon.

From beautiful downtown Banff (hey, there are worse places to be laid up!)…

Video Report #4

This one is by Jay Carr, a.k.a. killthemwithcolor. The footage is from the start of the Journey in Victoria, but there are interviews covering several British Columbia tobacco issues.

P.S. Errol finished today three km. short of Rogers Pass.

Greetings, EVERYONE!

My most humble apologies for not writing/updating long before now; this Journey has been a wild, crazy, hectic, whirlwind experience.  The days on the road are very long.. snack and lunch breaks included, often 9 or 10 hours.  And when media people (newspaper and radio) call for interviews, I have to try to find a way to get away from the traffic noise on the highway, creating even more delays.  Anyway, it’s all good!  And the blisters are healing well too… just in time for the Rockies!?!

A huge THANK YOU to everyone for supporting me and my ‘crazy’ project!  There are way too many of you to name, but you know who you are.  And a very special THANK YOU to all who attended the launch of the JTFW on May 31 (was that really only 17 days ago… seems like years); that was a real morale booster for me… and helped persuade me that I really could do this. Continue Reading »

CBC British Columbia aired a report on the JTFW by Bob Nixon on June 8. You can view it by going to Bob Nixon’s blog entry, Marathon Man, then clicking on “Anti-Tobacco Campaign” at the end of the article.

A report from Beyond Hope

Errol Povah on the Coquihalla Highway

Errol Povah on the Coquihalla Highway

Blogger and former President of Airspace Action on Smoking and Health Bob Broughton met up with Errol on the Coquihalla Highway, 15 km. east of Hope. Here’s his story: Errol Povah’s Journey for a Tobacco-Free World

It says that Errol will be in Merritt on June 11, and Kamloops on June 13.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Vancouver, here are a few details that may be of interest.

Lion's Gate Bridge

This shot, facing west/northwest, is taken from the world-famous Lions Gate (aka, First Narrows) Bridge.  In the background, you see part of West Vancouver, which is on ‘the north shore’.

Stanley Park Causeway

The stretch of road between the Lions Gate Bridge and downtown Vancouver is known as the Stanley Park Causeway.  While not obvious in this particular shot, traffic was so heavy and fast-moving (“What 60 km/h limit?”) that conversation was virtually impossible (okay, my deaf ear didn’t help either, but…). Continue Reading »

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