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Crossing Canada Day #20: Heading Home...arrest

We continue our Chronicles of Crossing Canada. Welcome back!

I woke up refreshed but with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. We are heading home today. Back to the mighty province of Nova Scotia.

We're Glad you're back (New Brunswick), Jaime Lee Lightle (2022)

Jim writing…. It might be long…..

Today we are heading back to a government inflicted quarantine. We need to vote today, but first we need to see my niece and nephew. They stopped by in first thing in morning with their mom, so we were able to get to spend some time with them before we head to prison. They were full of energy but were headed off to school.

We said our goodbyes to Mom and Dad Lightle and headed on the highway towards home. I was missing our pups. Odin is getting older, and we had a scare with him before we left. The summer had been hard on the old boy. I just wanted to see his face. Dory with her brown fur, just waiting to rub her drool on our clothes. The mighty truck house was on the last leg of the journey, and it had done good by us. The wildest thing we saw on the road today was a Septic truck that was painted like a pumpkin.

The Pumpkin Septic (photo credit: James Lightle)

When we entered Nova Scotia, we had to show our ID at the provincial check point. Show me your papers!!! (Insert German accent). As soon as we crossed over, our two-week quarantine would begin. It made me frustrated that we were able to drive across the this great country but came home to a checkpoint in Nova Scotia. They are taking away my freedoms, I feel this in my heart of hearts. I wish others would notice that this has become an illegal overreach of our rights

Arriving home, the dogs greeted us with happy whines and tail wags. They missed us but I had a feeling that our dog sitter was spoiling them with extra walks and extra play time in the river. It felt good to be home. After everything we had witnessed across this great nation, I could still see the beauty that brought us to Nova Scotia in the first place. When we arrived home, we had a new neighbour. We didn’t get to meet her when she moved in because we were already on the road. The RCMP showed up in our neighbourhood and went to a few houses, ignoring ours. This made us a little nervous. We still needed to vote so we headed out and voted at the Legion. We saw the signs across this country and figured it was going to be an interesting election. Again, an election in the middle of a Plandemic, weird. Ah well, I cast my vote and we headed home to watch the results.

Frustratingly, they called the election before a single riding out west had tallied their votes. They called it as soon as the poles closed in the golden horseshoe. As I looked at the map it made me realize that Ontario east decided who was going to be Prime Minister. Not a single vote mattered from the west, there are too many seats in the ridings of Ontario and Quebec. If I lived in North-Western Ontario, I would be a little frustrated. We headed off to bed knowing that any hope for end of the divisiveness was now null and void. FML.

Jaime writing:

Sarah and the kids dropped by Jim’s parent’s house early in the morning before we headed out. We hugged them as though we may not see them for a while. We then hopped in the truck and continued our journey east – Nova Scotia bound.

What I forgot to mention in our last excerpt was that we had to register for Nova Scotia’s safe check-in prior to entering our home province. We did this reluctantly while en-route to New Brunswick the previous day. In addition to our address, we had to disclose the number of people living in our household and our COVID-19 injection status to the Nova Scotia Public Health Authority. I completed the process for both James and I on my cell phone and received a confirmation email and registration number that we would have to presented to the border agent at Aulac (border town NB and NS). This process made me feel uneasy.

We have made this drive from Oromocto to Round Hill many times, so I cannot say that there was a particular part of the drive that was unique, but I will tell you a story about the first time we did this drive after we sold our house in Ontario.

Back in 2015, when we moved from Pembroke Ontario to Nova Scotia, we were fortunate that the military coordinated our move as it was James’ last posting. The only responsibility we had was to get our vehicles, ourselves, and our dogs to our new home and the movers took care of the rest. So, in convoy-style, James drove his red Ford Ranger with Dory as his co-pilot, and I drove my Volvo with (the late) Odin taking up the back seats and (the late) Diego the sausage dog taking up the front passenger seat. The 1,300 km drive for the most part was smooth, well until we got to Nova Scotia.

At Amherst Nova Scotia, 30 km past from Aulac, there is field of twenty wind turbines on the south-west side of the trans-Canada Highway. I was following close behind the red Ford Ranger, the boys paid no mind to these massive spinning giants however, I noticed that the truck did a quick jerk. Promptly, James got on the 2-way radio and told me that Dory saw the wind turbines and let out a big, “booooooowwwwwww” which startled James that he almost lost control of the truck. Dory is a big newfie-lab mix and although she was quiet for the whole trip, seeing these turbines was a new experience for her. It was a big move for all of us and this was a memory I think about every time we pass this place.

Amherst Wind Turbines by Jaime Lee Lightle (2022)

Getting back to 2021: When we touched down in Round Hill, 550 km from Oromocto it was a sunny afternoon. We opened the door of our house and Dory and Odin pilled out to greet us. We were so happy to see them that we just pet them, and they returned the love with ample sniffs and licks.

But this was not the end of our adventure for we had yet to go vote as it was voting day for our Federal election. We got the truck camper off the truck and safely on its four jack posts. This lightened the load on the truck’s suspension substantially. As we were preparing to leave for our polling station in Annapolis Royal, we noticed a RCMP vehicle driving down our, quiet dirt road and pull into our next-door neighbour’s driveway. After a few moments, the police officer pulled out of her laneway and drove down to the next house and went to our other neighbour’s door. This was strange we thought with a little suspicion. Since we registered with Nova Scotia’s safe check-in, we thought maybe the police were checking in to make sure that we were home and not spreading COVID in the community – sounds like paranoia, right? But we have heard of first-hand accounts of police showing up at people’s homes based on non-compliance reports by community members and neighbours, maybe we were not being irrational.

Travel House parked (photo credit James Lightle)

Although a little shaken by the uncustomary visit of the RCMP in our little, sleepy community, we did not let this stop our mission to vote.

When we returned from the polling station, we finally got a moment to relax and take it all in. Later that evening, we took our seat on the couch and turned on the CBC for the first time in months to follow the coverage of the election. By 10 PM AST the dismal reality of the political makeup of the 44th Parliament was called by CBC. I wrote in my diary that night: “Well, there’s a lot to say but today was election day. Tomorrow is a whole new world. It’s here…whatever it is. I am grateful for our safe arrival, that our dogs are happy, that my vote was cast, and finally, I am grateful for my health and my home.”

Epilogue (Jaime Lee)

I have been loathing to write this final excerpt because it feels like I am revisiting a difficult part of our travel story. I remember feeling pretty low at the time honestly. What was I feeling low about? Answer: A Public Health mandated 14-day quarantine. No, we were not presenting any evidence of illness and nor was our Public Health Authority (NSHA) concerned about our wellbeing or our health I believed. We were classified as non-compliant because we did not subject ourselves to a medical procedure. Thus, the mandate felt more like a punishment than anything else. We were expected to check-in with the health authorities every day or face a minimum $2,000 fine. Although we were able to freely move across the country, by contrast, in Nova Scotia, we would have to check-in with NSHA daily and follow a strict limit to our movement and visitations. Fortunately, we were allowed a maximum of one hour off property for “exercise”. A privilege incarcerated individuals are familiar with.

Epilogue (James)

Sept 28th 2021

Today I woke up angry.

This day may hold little significance to anybody reading this. Yet to me it is my survival day. We are under quarantine still. Up until this point of quarantine I have been somewhat calm. I was thinking of it as being confined to barracks which happened in my military training in the past. But today is different, it's September 28, 2021. Before this trip started, we were called subversive by a friend for me to wanting to live my dream of crossing Canada.

Today we woke up as usual but under quarantine. I worked out to try to get the anger-energy out. The issue for me is, on this day 16 years ago, I was laying on the back of a Bison bleeding out in Afghanistan. When I signed on the dotted line, I was willing to give my life for this country. What I gave to our country on Sept 28, 2006, was my body, my mind, and a large chunk of my soul. I am trying to keep calm. I exercise and take multi vitamins and eat a healthy diet to help with my PTSD. I would suggest the same to the people that have me in quarantine. Again, my frustration is building. I want to ask, our government: What have you done for the greater good of Canada, or your community? I know what I have done, I know what I have sacrificed. I gave my all for my country and community. Even now with PTSD I try to do my best by everyone I meet. This quarantine has put a spike in my heart. I fell in love with my country on this trip. I realized that Canada was worth my sacrifice. I was proud of everything I had done in my past because Canada was worth it, yet the spike was driven into my Heart by the people who live in fear. I still love Canada, but the politicians need to take a good hard look at themselves for they are the ones causing the divide. They are the ones spouting hate speech. They are the ones attacking the people who gave more than enough for Canada.

Truth is for most Canadians getting the JAB, this was their first virtuous act for their country. There are many things that one can do for their country and community, I just feel an experimental vaccine does not justify these regulations and restrictions.

Sometimes when Soldiers retire, they just want to be left alone like a Bear in hibernation. This government is poking a bear. Do right by the people of Canada and please let the bears rest for they have more fight than you can imagine.

I will never be locked down on September 28th again. Come and poke the bear if you like.

Left to right: Cpl James Lightle, Cpl M. Maidment, Bison (Afghanistan 2006)


James and I would like to express our gratitude to all of you who have followed us along as we recounted our journey of Crossing Canada during a very historic time: during a Global pandemic and a battle for democracy. Some of you shared some of your experiences travelling across Canada with us which we appreciated immensely.

Our next travel adventure will be shorter due to the skyrocketing fuel prices but a longer and more thorough trip across Canada is our goal…someday.

Our next writing project is in the works and although it will not be directly travel related, you might find it cheeky and fun.

I will end this final excerpt of our ARTIST TRAVEL CHRONICLE with a quote from two of my favourite Russian authors:

“The best way to keep a prisoner from escaping is to make sure he never knows he’s in prison.” - Fyodor Dostoevsky

“We'll meet again. We'll meet when years have passed, and years make such a difference, don't they?” ― Ayn Rand, We the Living

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