After three days of heavy rain in Gander I ventured back on the trail and camped near Island Pond. That next morning as I scrambled out of my tent for a morning pee I saw standing before me three small moose. This is a filmmakers dream but my camera was in the tent and my pants were at my knees. I did manage to get the camera though and as my heart raced captured a few moments.
As I head for Norris Arm later that day still smiling from my morning exchange with the moose I caught some loose rock and suddenly found myself flying off the bike and the trail into the forest beside me. Fortunately unscathed but for a few bruises I collected my things, or so I thought, and resumed my journey. Five hours later however I realize I had in fact left something behind, my tent. After muttering a few profanities I saw in a distance one of those side by sides. A lovely couple from Browns Flat, New Brunswick, Beth and Bill Paisley, stopped and said they had seen my lost tent quite a ways back on the trail and offered to double back and go look for it.
So they kindly went to look for it and my disappointment evolved into relief until they came back a while later and said the tent was gone. My spirit deflated like a popped balloon.
“You know what, you can have our tent,” they said and like the Grinch my heart grew three sizes.
And that is the way on the trail. The T’Railway in Newfoundland is oddly its own Camino, no shrines of saints and church steeples, but a journey of the heart softened daily by the random acts of kindness of strangers sharing a path.