travel

Brothers On the Rock

invisible manIt doesn’t take much logic to see why the natives have fondly given Newfoundland the nickname “The Rock.” Everywhere you turn, there are rocky promontories that tourists have come to see. Fog-bound ships – not so much. Plenty of vessels have been dashed to pieces at the foot of these massive precipices, but the brothers were not there to look at shipwrecks. We were in Newfoundland to hike and photograph the splendid landscapes that abound there. And to bond – whatever that might mean.

Growing up, we shared a bedroom for close to 15 years, but it had been a long time since we shared any space with that kind of confined proximity. As in maybe 50 years. On "The Rock," we were going to be sharing hotel rooms and rental homes in the outport villages where we would be with each other 24/7. I’m fairly certain that we each predicted that it would be a great trip if we didn’t kill each other.

I can only guess what my brother learned from the trip, but traveling with him for 14 days confirmed many things that I already knew. He will eat anything, particularly if it’s exotic. Cod tongue salad? Bring it on! (I ate one. It tasted like cod fish, but slimier). He can be relatively quiet, almost silent, for some long stretches and then just as suddenly get very talkative (As opposed to my ability to fill time and space with continuing monologues if necessary). His travel motto may be “more is better” or “two of everything is better than one” and his giant suitcase was proof of that. I thought he was crazy to check his gigantic bag and he thought I was nuts to have only one carry-on (I have not checked a bag since my honeymoon, 26 years ago). invisible manThis difference in baggage philosophy might be about the widest gulf between us. I will say that he never lacked for gadgetry. Two sets of hiking poles, two binoculars, a suitcase just for camera and lenses, iPad, cell phones….he may have had a fax machine in there, I can’t rule it out.

What did I learn about him that I didn’t know? He snores. Loud enough to keep me awake on some occasions. He says that when I sleep, I make a noise like a death rattle.  I claim it’s a form of tantric meditation. We’ll call that a draw. I also learned that our mutual interest in hiking and photography gives us a lot more in the compatibles column than in the incompatibles column.

I’ll give him the last word (other than to say that I would join him again if he invited me):

"It was a fun trip and no one got killed. You can’t ask for more."

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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