Sunday, December 01, 2013

Road Trip Aug 11 - Dec 1 2013

Road Trip Aug 11 – Dec 1 2013


After enjoying the 90 days allowed as Canadians entering French Polynesia we returned to Canada the long way round, via New Zealand (don’t recommend this routing unless you are travelling on points). Total flying time was 25hrs and we arrived the same day we left :o) (you figure it out).

We had arranged with our good ex-neighbour JJ to purchase his 1989 21ft Ford Sterling Motorhome, which he owned since new.  This was to be our first ‘Bus’ (sorry but being an old Gospel singer I’ve always had a hankerin for a bus). 
 It took two days to licence and air care and we were on the road thru the Majestic Rockies heading to Ontario.

Our first stop was overnight in Kelowna then on the road early to Calgary to meet up with old dear friends I had not seen in 26 yrs and Kaija had never met.  Brian and Roxy made it seem like we had never been apart and we enjoyed a wonderful visit with them getting to know there three wonderful children, Phil, Jeff and Brianne (via Facetime).  We departed with an invite to return and headed on down the road. 

We hadn’t gone too far, just into Saskatchewan when The Bus decided to take a break…literally…it just quit…and thankfully Kaija had arranged with BCAA/CAA coverage which we paid for with this breakdown.  A quick phone call and lickety split…out in the middle of no-where arrives a welcome Tow Truck who carried us into Al’s Service Centre in Maple Creek.  24 hrs. later we were on the road again with our new mascot Sterling who we saw in the window of the Salvation Army Thrift store.


Thankfully the trip across the prairies into Ontario was uneventful and pleasant in our new home on wheels.  We looked forward to spending time with friends and family before heading south.

We hope you enjoy some of the hundreds of pictures we took along the way.

We would be remiss if we didn’t say how much we enjoyed being reunited with dear friends Jack & Pearl who made us so welcome

Paul and Jan and sharing fond remembrances of our misspent youth.  We enjoying a wonderful weekend with Raul and Lea at their Lakeside Villa.  A fun evening with John and Debbie and John and Cathy who along with Arnie and Sue joined us at the NQC. 

Cousin Steve and wife Jane and the many of the Bell Clan, Aunt Pat,  Cousin Patsi and Ralph and Amy and Sarah, Bruce and Bev, Laura and oh man...can these folks a good tonic for the spirit...lucky to call  them family.


  Kaija's first trip to Niagara...spectacular...but home of the Monster Burger???? who knew?

Our First RV Park...absolutely First Class!

 Washington Landmarks, The Smithsonian




The Duke, Morgan, Larry and Johnny and my visit to the Oval Office (ok hahaha permit me a wee bit o fun),
Seeing Kathleen looking so well in her new home in Knoxville
Attending the National Quartet Convention during it’s last year in Louisville before changing venues next year in Dolly Wood and remembering the years when our group the KJV sang at the NQC  back when it was held in Nashville.  It was fun to walk down memory lane with fellow quartet member John and spend time with members from different groups we have known over the years.  A special time for me was spent with the Couriers Dave, Duane and Neil still singing strong after 50 years.  It was an honor to witness them humbly receiving their well-deserved Life Time Achievement awards.  Then on to Branson as guests of the OakRidge Boys, Joe, Duane, Richard and William Lee at their 40yr Reunion Celebration.  These guys were gracious enough to remember this old Gospel singer/piano picker and so engaging in meeting Kaija.  And a special thanks to Ronnie Blackwood for arranging a meet and greet with three preachers kids who made it big in Country, the Gatlin Boys, Larry, Rudy & Steve. Despite their fame in Country they still have a heart for good ol Gospel singin and it was great to see them participating at the NQC with the Gaither Vocal Band and the Booth Bros…what a treat…these guys are singing machines!

spending time with cruising friends Diane, Aaron and Lyla

The Badlands, Rushmore…


Custer and Sitting Bull...

Deadwood...not exactly like the TV show....Devils Tower...exactly like the Movie

The Unique sights of Montana

 Cosmos and Donna in Lethbridge...Seeing Kaija’s niece Carrie and nephew Todd and their families in Kelowna 


and finally, back in Vancouver with my childhood friend Wayne, Kaija’s good friends Joan and Jan & Ross who fed us Thanksgiving Turkey a plenty.  JJ & Anna, Lorry and Robert, Tony & Jane, Barry & Katherine, a lovely meal with long-time friend and tennis buddy Ivan and a quick trip to Vancouver Island to see Tom and Jane in their beautiful Country home…it was great to see them all.   

.... It was a whirlwind and we missed a few, but we will make up for it on the next visit.
What a wonderful Road Trip. In three months we covered 19 states, 5 provinces, and spent more on fuel than we have in 10 yrs. sailing.  

As our dream of the sailing/cruising life was born years ago during our first sailing charter in the Virgin Islands, so now has a dream to buy a bigger bus and land tour many of the places we haven’t been…in the immortal words of that great songster, Willy,  “can’t wait to get on the Road Again”…

However, for now…it’s back to the airport where a plane is waiting to take us to Easter Island…see you there!






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