To Miramichi

I had to say goodbye to David and the Italians this morning. I’m going to miss talking to Maria, she was super cool and we actually had intelligent conversations not having to do with bicycles.
It was a pretty uphill day today, but most of the hills were low grade, if quite long. Put simply, these were no mountains. While it was a fairly slow ride, it was totally manageable.
The only thing of interest today was my tooth. One of my wisdom teeth has been bothering me for a couple of days, and providing no wisdom. The gum around it is a bit swollen and it’s progressively become more sore over the last few days, to the point where it’s consistently painful today. It’s oh so much fun. So, I decided to find a dentist in Miramichi. Of course, I normally have perfect teeth and haven’t needed an emergency dental visit since sixth grade (I don’t even have any cavities). So of course it makes sense that I would have a problem when I’m riding my bike across Canada. When else?
After crossing the Miramichi River over a big, long, scary bridge, I looked up a dentist in the yellow pages and made an appointment. What I failed to realize was that the dental office was back across this big, long, scary bridge. So, I crossed back.
This bridge is maybe a kilometre long, and it really only has room for two lanes of traffic, sans bicycles. So, both times I crossed, I walked my bike along the sidewalk. Even though it took about 15 minutes to walk a across, it was totally worth it. Because the bridge is a highway, huge trucks were whizzing by, and there would not have been any room for them to pass me on the road.
Of course, all day I was thinking about what the dentist would say. What if my wisdom tooth needed to be removed? How would that affect my bike trip? These are the kinds of things I worry about. Then, I realized that one of the worst things would be if, for whatever reason, I could not eat properly for a few days. That, hands down, would be the worst possible scenario. Also, I don’t have dental insurance so I was not looking forward to the appointment.
I arrived at the dental office, filled out some forms, and chatted with the administrators. I really like the Maritime accent – it still amazes me how accents change from one end of the country to the other. And then, I met the dentist.
He was a petite, slight man, with glasses that lend themselves to the term spectacles. He kept his hands by his chest and frequently pressed his fingers together as he spoke. He was interested in starting to bike when he retired, so he had some questions about bicycles. He was almost a caricature. He would ask questions, listen to the answer, and then say “yesyesyesyes”. At first, I thought he was bored with the conversation and trying to move it along, but then I realized that was just his way of processing information. It was awesome.
It turns out I just have a small infection, origin unknown, that can be cured by a dose of antibiotics. He wrote me a prescription, and did not charge me for the visit, because I don’t have insurance. How awesome is that?!? I don’t know if I should attribute that to east coast hospitality, or just the individual niceness of this particular dentist. I’m going with a combination of the two. Either way, I’m super happy about it.
Since it was already quite late and starting to rain, and I was about 20km from my intended campsite (with no campsite closer), I decided to motel it tonight. It’s my reward for having to do a week of antibiotics.


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