Doug Bruns

Posts Tagged ‘New Brunswick’

Road-Trip Thoughts

In Death, Dogs, Happiness, Nature, Travel on June 26, 2012 at 6:00 am

Road-Trip Action

Road-trip thinking is the anthesis of distraction. Long-distance driving delivers you to a place of somnambulated stability that invites the mind to run wild. I observed this firsthand last week on our road trip through New Brunswick. Here are a few of the wild-running notions that skittered across the highway of my brain.

  • I should try to act more manly. I think people are inclined to take you (more) seriously if they deem you manly. For example, among writers, who do you take more seriously, James Thurber or Ernest Hemingway? See? I decide to resolve this by smiling less frequently. (I don’t know how this works for women. Women have too many challenges as it is. I don’t know how they do it.)
  • My favorite animal is the North American painted turtle. Its rudderless house on its back, affording complete flexibility and mobility, it’s apparent aimlessness–all qualities I admire. It is a simple animal, self-contained in its rambling and curious elegance.
  • What is the thought from Peter Matthiessen I just read? His life-long goal is not to simplify his life necessarily, but to simplify his self.
  • Of my good and dear friend Stuart, who just got a lab report from a biopsy: “It’s not good,” he said. We all die, so why is it so difficult when we know we are dying? I don’t know, but it is.

The thinking is interrupted as I see an object in the road and, too late, rush over it, recognizing it to be a bird. In my rear-view mirror I see it pulled by the vacuum of our truck and tumble like a wind-blown leaf. I pull over. It is a yellow-rumped warbler, just a little fleck of an animal. It is alive and blinks at me. Their bones are hollow and in my hand it seems to weigh less than air. I walk to the brim and place it in the tall side grass. Continuing on:

  • At camp last night, the dogs played like children. There is such joy to that, especially as the sun goes down and the fire is built.
  • When did I start sleeping in a tent? I used to sleep under the stars. Some things happen you simply can’t understand.

North, by Northeast.

In Adventure, Travel on June 18, 2012 at 6:00 am

Heading north.

You can drive to another country from Maine.

We are Canada bound.

If on schedule, we are, as you read this, on our way to Grand Manan Island, P.E.I., and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. That is the sketched-out draft. We are pointing the car and going north, unsure of schedule and destination.

“Travel is at its most rewarding when it ceases to be about your reaching a destination and becomes indistinguishable from living our life.” ~ Paul Theroux.

I haven’t been home from Nepal a month and am setting out again, albeit, this adventure is of a different nature entirely. This is as it should be and fills me with excitement to be on the move again. Another beautiful place in the world awaits.¬†Fortunately, no two-day plane rides are involved.

Stay tuned: No altitude sickness, of this I am sure. I am less sure, but almost sure, no snow awaits us. And we will be seeking out activities “only human beings do.” (See Saturday’s post.)

On Grand Manan Island we were advised that we select our campsite away from the cliffs, as at night the whales, if they are migrating, make too much noise for sound sleep. Let the whales sing. We are sleeping cliff side.

Check list:

  • tent
  • sleeping bags & pads
  • birds of north america field guide
  • spotting scope and bionoculars
  • hiking boots
  • whisky

Traveling light. Essentials only.

Stay tuned–and thanks for reading.


In my absence I have queued up a few repeat posts. I am sorry for this. But the road beckons and the whales are calling. Such inconveniences cannot be avoided.