Rising Tide Tour

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Thursday, September 18, 2008 - Tuesday, October 28, 2008
October 28, 2008
And the winners are... Peanut Butter Purchases and the Performance at Leo Hayes High School
As the sun sets over the skyline of Saint John New Brunswick, the Rising Tide Tour 2008 comes to a close.  Although we only had one well equipped odometer on tour (which somehow managed to reset itself multiple times) we believe the Rising Tide can provide stunning and accurate statistics about our two month experience.  Here are some wonderful numbers we felt that YOU, yes YOU, just HAD to know:
Number of provinces visited: 2
Number of days on the road: 48
Number of flat tires on tour: 15
Number of flat tires in one day: 6!
Longest number of days gone without showering: 7
Number of people who snored loudly: 4
Number of times we played bladiator: 1
Number of times Kevin wanted to play bladiator: 10
Number of bikes crushed by large trucks: 2
Number of jars of peanut butter eaten: 70
Number of hurricane warnings while on tour: 2
Number of row boat trips: 7
Number of alternative transportation suggestion listed by Suzy News: uncountable
Number of kilometers biked between cities: 1,338 km
Number of those which were done on a lumpy tire: 100km
Largest audience performed to: 750 people! (Leo Hayes in Fredericton)
Total audience: 4,163

Signing off and sending love to the wonderful, whimsical women and men that we met along our travels.  Thanks for the support, the yurts, the houses, the food, the warmth, the friendship the laughs, the sharing, the excitement, the enthusiasm, the inspiration and most of all the world changing.

Be the change.

Julie and Leah for the Rising Tide Tour 2008


October 23, 2008
Recycling as confusing as poutine
I was told we'd cruise the maritimes on our bikes
And share a play
Far and wide!
Now I wish I could go for another ride
With Otesha's Rising Tide.

We sailed all the way 'round the coast--
How I wish I were on Otesha now!
Our clothes were sweaty and covered in dirt
And unbearable odours filled the yurt
Inspire 'em all...

Our schedule was always busy and packed--
How I wish I were on Otesha now!
Our bikes were never long in park
and we'd keep on going in the rain and dark
Inspire 'em all...

We crossed over into New Brunswick--
How I wish I were on Otesha now!
The road was flat and the potholes mean
and recycling as confusing as the poutine
Inspire 'em all...

Turning south to Fredericton--
How I wish I were on Otesha now!
Our panniers were full of Frenchy's and gorp
and the rest was owned by Irving Corp.
Inspire 'em all...

Now Triple H was quite the show--
How I wish I were on Otesha now!
A splendid day without a moment of doubt
Despite only having 2 people come out
Inspire 'em both...

A hundred K got us to Saint John--
How I wish I were on Otesha now!
The sun had already set on the day
And the gale force winds nearly blew us away
Inspire 'em all...

Our first impression of the city was dim--
How I wish I were on Otesha now!
Bikes were run over by a truck
And it seemed we were running out of luck
Inspire 'em all...

Big whoop, we still had one last play--
How I wish I were on Otesha now!
Our lines stayed fresh with something new
And we danced around the kitchen--cockadoodle do.
Inspire 'em all...

So here we sit at our final retreat--
How I wish I were on Otesha now!
After 2 months now we're parting ways
But the memories will last 'til the end of our days.
Inspire 'em all... 


October 21, 2008

The twinkle in one's eye
the unstoppable laughter shared between beautiful people
the way a seed put into the ground sprouts leaves and grows into a plant, sometimes as big as a pumpkin
the fire that warms the body, soul and heart
a feeling of serene contentment around others
a smile, a sigh, a desire to reach out and touch one another
a community of people working together to reach a common goal, learn about similar things, change the world
I'm forever seeking magic in a world that makes very little sense to me.  I'm here to find it,
as the wind blows on my face while racing down a hill
As we stop for lunch, through a beautiful path to arrive at the ocean front of flat stones
As we dance to the beat of an African drum
As we listen to a story about a rock or a bike
I would like to convince myself and others that there's more to life then a 9-5 job a shiny new television and a hot body
We need to create magic to get people excited about doing something different
we need to create magic to create change
We  have been able to experience quite alot of magic in the past couple weeks.  
Just to touch on a few that are sticking out in my memory right now.  

We had the opportunity to stay in a beautiful  yurt in the forest in Wolfville during our mid-tour retreat.  This is a large tent kind of like a tee-pee but with a round frame. www.lfy.com   Alex and Selene and their beautiful baby Yara were able to pass on masses of interesting and useful information on the construction of yurts and sustainable wood harvesting.   We visited the Just Us Fair Trade coffee museum just outside of Wolfville.  We were able to see exactly where the coffee and chocolate we have been happily consuming these last two months comes from.   We were able to participate in the absolutely inspiring  Move Your World conference, about 20km outside of Windsor, NS  Which was a great opportunity to connect and hear opinions from youth all over the world.  We all left with inspiration and high hopes, which was a relief after the unknown extra 20kms we had to ride uphill in the dark.  We had magic dancing  in the kitchen of the susty house in Sackville.  More recently we have had five absolutely incredible performances in Fredericton.  We also put on a great day of workshops at the YMCA in Fredericton.  With the intimate audience we had it was a great chance for us to learn from and teach each other as a group. We shared our stories and we able to do some positive reflecting on the tour so far with Kendra, an Otesha alumni now living in Fredericton.  It was a great day of laughter, jokes, and warm fuzzy memories.  It is pretty exciting to think some of experiences may soon be recorded in a book.   It has been an absolutely wonderful, incredibly busy past couple weeks.  A lot of us are having a hard time believing the tour will be coming to a close in only 5 short days. 

I hope you all have the chance to experience some magic in your lives, because we certainly have.

peace and bicycle grease
otesha rising tides tour 2008



October 8, 2008
The Songs We've Sung-- Otesha's Privateers

As one might imagine, there are many long stretches of road along a 2000km bike tour.  As one might also imagine, many of those kilometers are filled with laughter, but also with songs.  Some new songs, some old songs and some entirely made up songs.

Here's one of our own creations, enjoy! 

Oh the year was 2008--
How I wish I were on Otesha now!
A call came from the Otesha staff
To join the tour and have a laugh
Inspire 'em all...

I was told we'd cruise the maritimes on our bikes
And share a play
Far and wide
Now I wish I could go for another ride
With Otesha's Rising Tide

The Otesha staff they searched the land--
How I wish I were on Otesha now!
For 14 souls all Hooligans who
Would make for them the Rising Tide Crew
Inspire 'em all...


At the start of fall we headed east--
How I wish I were on Otesha now!
A hurricane poured in like a beast
But nobody cared in the very least
Inspire 'em all...


Training week flew by like a spinning clock--
How I wish I were on Otesha now!
We learned great things from many a talk
And parted ways with Across the Rock
Inspire 'em all...
From there we set off on the road--
How I wish I were on Otesha now!
The trailers were ready to be towed
And our bungees held down quite the load
Inspire 'em all...



October 3, 2008
Rainy Days and Good Company

Hard to believe it's already October--nearly a month since we came together for training week.  It's starting to feel more like autumn around here: the trees are starting to turn, and ocean views along the highway are replaced or enhanced with beautiful red and yellow forested landscapes and lots of farms!  Seems like there's always a need to add or subtract layers of clothing with the weather, stops which happily (and strategically) take place close to apple trees along the side of the road.  The more gentle terrain through the Annapolis Valley is a welcome change from the hilly South Shore, or maybe we're just getting stronger...  

We left Weymouth on Thursday, after having presented both to the grades 1-3s and 4-6s, with workshops for the grade 4s.  While at the school, we were interviewed and photographed for the Digby Courier newspaper.  It was an exciting chance to share our story with the press for the first time!  The article can be found online right here!  We arrived in Digby, where we stayed at the Wesleyan Church.  It was a great space, and everyone enjoyed the delicious meal, including organic apple crisp and maple syrup! Mmm. (Anyone who's seen the play knows this dessert is an important feature! We thought it was only right to give it a shot ourselves.)  The night ended in guitar jamming and card writing for our Across The Rock friends. (We miss you!!)

From Digby, we rode to Annapolis Royal, where we stayed at the United Church.  We spent the day wandering the beautiful town and checking out the bakeries! We also got a special tour of the Tidal Energy Generation Station--the only one of its kind in North America. It was a great opportunity to learn about how it all works, as well as other renewable energy projects in the province, and hear more about the history of the town and region.  Afterwards, we were given a presentation at the Town Hall about Annapolis Royal's unique composting system, and explored Fort Anne.  At night, we went to the Farmers' Market space, where we enjoyed a community theatre performance about the history of the area.  The songs are still stuck in our heads, for better or worse!  After the play, we went to the Legion and performed a few songs for Open Mic Night.  It was quite the day!

We left Annapolis Royal for Bridgetown, but not before checking out the Farmers' Market Saturday morning.  In Bridgetown we were staying at Valley View Provincial Park--lucky us, just in time for Hurricane Kyle.  Everyone had warned us about the hill leading up to the park, and I guess with a name like Valley View, we should have known we'd be in for a climb.  A 2-kilometre climb, as it turned out, with quite the view. We were told on a clear day, you could see all the way to Annapolis Royal, some 30-40km away.  When we arrived at the park, we were met by Darrell, whose son had been interviewing at the Class Afloat School in Lunenberg the weekend we'd stayed there, and who we'd met, along with his wife, and talked to about our travels.  Were we ever surprised--and glad--to see him!  He invited us for dinner at their house in Bridgetown, not far from where we were camping, mentioning they'd already baked a berry crisp for dessert and had corn chowder (including a vegan pot!) on the stove.  After a pleasant meeting with the camp ground hosts we made our way to the Warrens', a friendly couple from Dartmouth who loved the park and had lots of Hot Chocolate and cake to warm up the grey and wet afternoon .  What a way to spend a rainy night: delicious warm food, newly dried clothes, and great company.  Thank you, Darrell and Ellen!!  Our evening ended with a bang at the Lions' Club on the way back to the "mountain", where the Sister Fair Festival was holding a weekend which included an evening of guitars, drums, and other musical talent.  We returned the next day to join in the closing potluck and drum circle, a truly powerful and inspiring experience.  Thank you! 

We gathered up as many pears as we could from the abandoned pear orchard at the base of the ridge and headed through the rain to Kingston, adjacent to Greenwood, Nova Scotia.  We piled into the United Church and weathered the hurricane. It was hard to complain about the weather, since we hadn't had a single rainy biking day before the storm. 

We arrived in Wolfville yesterday for our mid-tour retreat.  Thirteen cyclists who haven't showered in a week living for four days in one small yurt tucked away in the woods behind the town: an indescribable experience (and smell!).  We celebrated Erin's birthday yesterday, and joined in for a film viewing and discussion about GMOs and food production at Acadia.  Today was spent at Horton High School, presenting in their gorgeous auditorium and leading workshops in the afternoon to four classes.  Everyone is looking forward to spending some quality time together (well, that's all we do...) and sharing knowledge, goals, and ideas in workshops on team work and group dynamics.  The retreat will give us a chance to revamp some systems, work on the new play, and get things moving with the Triple-H Otesha Jam in Fredericton.

It's been a wild ride.  We can't wait for another great month!

Peace and paved shoulders, 



September 26, 2008
Let the Long Rides Begin!

After performing in Shelburne to the eager young minds of the Environment Club, we bid adieu to the library and our gracious host, Joanne, who ever so generously camped out with us overnight, before we headed out to Barrington Passage. After 42-kilometre ride we would be met with a day off!

Barrington Passage is a beautiful area surrounded by water and amazing scenery. The group split and ventured to an organic coffee shop, a natural health store, and toured around the shoreline and enjoyed the beaches! After a great dinner and much-needed sleep we geared up for Argyle Pubnico!

A breathtaking ride to the Musee Acadie in Pubnico made 50 kilometres seem like nothing at all! Upon arrival we were greeted by Bernice and Reale D'entrement who ran the Acadian Museum! We received a great tour and homemade jam as well as a personal lesson in lobster net making from the eight-year champion himself! We camped on the lawn and enjoyed each other's company with some pretty hilarious story writing. The next morning we performed at Ecole Pubnico-Ouest and facilitated some really great workshops for the grade four, five and six classes, before making our way to Yarmouth.

Arriving in Yarmouth was a small feat to most of the Rising Tiders! What a great feeling to travel from one side of the province to the other! Although there was no performance to gear up for, Yarmouth was wonderful nonetheless. We were met at the beautiful Beacon United Church by our great host, Luis. The kitchen was huge and so was the amount of vegan lasagne we cooked! After a great dinner and some delicious homemade pumpkin pie, the group rested, preparing for the long ride the next day.

We pedaled eighty kilometres to Weymouth amid strong (but sunny) head winds. We are currently at the high school working on the play and workshops! We have a performance tomorrow and then head off to Digby. We can't wait to see what's in store there!

Peace and Pedals!
Spooner (Jess) and the Rising Tide Team!




September 18th, 2008
Rising Tide Tour wraps up two weeks of Oteshafication with perfect conditions!

The East Coast Training Week took off with a slam-funk up on the Spryfield Urban Farm! Some 30 odd psyched individuals came together and formed two amazing cycling teams for the autumn Otesha tours! A big Rising Tide thank you to Genevieve, Josée, Mike, Kelly, and every one of the Across the Rockers!

And with a flurry we were off to Bedford, our first performance, and a great start to our tour. The daily cycling distances started small, but soon we were heading out of the Halifax Regional Municipality and onto the beautiful South Shore of Nova Scotia!

Happy to stop at a crux in the road near St. Margaret's Bay, many of us were rejuvenated by samosas, coffee, and generous food donations from the local Mariposa Market. Eager to meet the sea, we then made our way down to Indian Point where we were graciously shuttled across an ocean channel to Micou Island by the island guardian, our own rowing champion – Alex! You're great!

Next up, Reed and her parents hosted us in Chester Basin where we were rewarded by solar showers in their beautifully renovated post-and-beam barn house. It was also in Chester that fellow tour member, Sarah, decided to bid us adieu. We will miss you Sarah, and wish you the best of luck in all your adventures!

The next day we learned that outdoor performances rock our smelly cycling socks, and the Mahone Bay Waldorf School showed us how to rise to the occasion! Under the boughs of a sturdy maple, we performed for a diverse and inquisitive crowd of students, teachers, and parents. Then they fed us a delicious homemade lunch, complete with homemade Jersey butter!

That very same day, the Lunenburg Academy took us in for one performance, two workshops, and two solid days of wicked-good times! The school's third floor, which hosts the Nova Scotia Sea School and (last weekend) the Rising Tide team, overlooks Lunenburg County with a breathtaking view from the highest hilltop. Did I mention the bell tower of the school is haunted?! Despite the perks of staying in the hometown of the Blue Nose, we were sad to say farewell to Mike and Kelly, the two amazing Otesha staff who accompanied us during our first week of cycling. Play it safe guys!

This week we've been biking some longer days, lugging those trailers with intent, and facing the hills with vigour. Last night we stayed in the historic Nova Scotia town of Liverpool, port of the Privateers. Pirating is no longer permitted there, but Oteshifying seems to be widely encouraged!

Today we arrived in Shelburne, the Loyalists' Landing. We are gearing up for an early performance tomorrow for the local high school's Environment Club. This should be good!

Until next time…

Smiles and seat posts,
Kevin and the Rising Tide Tour