A long time coming

Wayne Hamm is preparing for the trip of a lifetime, one where he vows to live each moment to the fullest

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Man standing by motorcycle

Wayne Hamm will be spending much of his summer on the road as he travels across Canada. — Wayne Hamm

Beginning in Alberta, I will be making a solo motorcycle tour of Western Canada and the Atlantic provinces, starting in late July and going until the end of August. I have ridden motorcycles back home to Prince Edward Island on a few occasions, but have I really embraced the experience? No, I have not. What a waste!

Many years of my life and too many years of my thoughts have been consumed with the rigors, heartaches and horrors of policing in a major metropolitan area. I was living in suburbia, watching our population swell and hearing the daily news reports of escalating violence and constant wailing sirens. The eerie sound of those sirens makes me wince and wonder, “Whose life is being turned upside-down now?” I retired from policing, changed professions and still working too much. This adventure is a self-initiated reality check.

Taking the time

On at least two occasions, I recall riding across the Confederation Bridge, which connects mainland New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island. The bridge in itself is an engineering marvel, but I was too preoccupied with my thoughts and never really saw the bridge. I didn’t take the time to smell the salt air that would have been coming off the Northumberland Strait, and I didn’t see the bright red soil PEI is famous for. Shame on me!

This time will be different. I suspect there are many people like me: closer to 60 than 50, and wondering where the time has gone. I’m ready to clear my head and smell the roses. It is time to get away from it all and embrace life and this beautiful country.

This adventure should take about four weeks. I am certainly not taking the direct route and rushing; I will be taking as many back roads as possible. I will first be heading north to Cold Lake, then east to Northern Saskatchewan. From there, it’s on to Northern Manitoba, Northern Ontario and Northern Quebec. Then, it’s south into New Brunswick, east to Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton Island—the National Historic Site of Fort Louisbourg is definitely on my agenda—and Newfoundland.

Cherishing the journey

This is a huge country and there is a lot of Canada between Alberta and the Atlantic region. In past trips, I have stopped in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and will be stopping again at the Terry Fox Memorial to pay respects to that young man. I met Terry ever so briefly on PEI in 1980. Prior to the beginning of his Marathon of Hope, Terry ran onto Prince Edward Island heading into Charlottetown. Local media asked for people to support Terry by running with him. I did my small part and accompanied him.

I will be doing something I never thought I would do: tow a small cargo trailer behind my motorcycle to carry my equipment. Remembering that the journey is half the fun will not be forgotten and that will be my driving force. I intend to feel every pothole in the road. Ideally my adventure will inspire many of you to take that important break from the hustle and bustle. This has lit a fire in me: I’m excited, I’m apprehensive and I can’t wait to get going.

Thank you to Tony & all his staff at Riverside Honda & Ski-Doo in St. Albert, Alberta. Those knowledgeable folks helped in my planning and made sure I had the right equipment for my adventure.

Take a break and enjoy summer,

Wayne Hamm

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