Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lions and Looneys and Bears, Oh My!




(Craig writes) We got to see salmon running upstream today. No, not little fish running through the water with shoes on, but actual, really big, Discovery Channel looking salmon! We had seen pictures before but had never experienced something like this in real life. The adult fish we saw had started their life in the exact same river a few years earlier and now they were returning to the same place to spawn and then die. According to the info we got the salmon live for 10 days after entering the fresh water to head upstream. We took several pictures and got a short video or two of some of the salmon swimming up the waterfalls and through the shallow water, (checkout the latest pics on the slideshow and/or click on the video). I was tempted to wade in and collect a salmon or 12 but noticed signs indicating that the Canadian Provincial Government frowned upon such activity so only looked from a legal distance!

Leaving Goldstream Provincial Park we traveled further Northwest on Vancouver Island to the Soote area. This is where the landscape gets hilly again and you can see the Pacific Rim, our first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean! We also stopped at French Beach to look around and found that the beach there was covered with beautiful round colorful stones not sand like we were used to in SC! There are also rainforest areas up there with huge moss covered tall trees, giant ferns, cougars and bears. (We enjoyed seeing the first two but were wary of seeing the second two.) We talked to a local lady at the visitor center who was a regular hiker herself and she shared a word of caution about the reality of the wildlife in the area. We had seen numerous places that sold "bear bells" that look like a big jingle type bell you would normally see at Christmas that attached to your backpack. The idea was that the bell would jingle while you walked and keep bears from being startled by your appearance. When we asked her if the bells really worked she replied with a grin, "Do you know how to tell a black bear's skat, (poop in the woods), from a grizzly bear's skat?" We answered "no" and she said "the grizzly bear's skat is the one with the bells in it"! Thankfully we didn't have any bear encounters while we were walking around up there, (at least we didn't see them).

Since crossing the border I have been trying to keep up with the differences the USA has with Canada so as not to appear as a boorish American tourist. Their money is obviously different than our US currency and the exchange rate is in our favor right now by about 20%. To keep things simple we try to use our Visa check card whenever possible as the daily exchange rate is figured by the bank and the proper amount in US dollars is deducted from our account. The coins are fun here. The one dollar coin is referred to as a "looney" as it bears the picture of a loon (the bird) on it. A two dollar coin looks like a looney with a dime sized hole drilled in it with a dime looking metal insert. The two dollar coin is referred as a "twooney". Every morning we have been in Victoria I have walked over to the corner store to buy Becky a red rose. Every evening I try to end up with two looneys or a twooney to have the correct change!

Tomorrow we plan to see more of the city of Victoria and be back to the B&B by 3:00 for tea. The tea time is quite enjoyable and delicious. I got the scone recipe from the staff here and look forward to trying it when we get back.

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Rosewood Inn




(Becky writes) We are staying at a lovely little inn/B&B here in Victoria, Rosewood Inn. There are only 17 rooms - very cozy. We have beautiful furnishings and another fireplace which we are really enjoying.

On Monday we spent the day exploring the downtown area. It is just a few blocks from our inn to the quaint downtown which includes shopping, dining, museums, parks, etc. So much to see. We walked most of the day and ate lunch at a cute little floating diner (see slideshow) on Fisherman's Wharf. We met a couple from Oregon, Ken and Linda, who helped us decide to spend a full week on the Oregon coast - we had planned to stay just a couple of days but are now trying to work it out for a full week. One of the things we really enjoy about B&Bs is meeting people from a variety of places - always interesting. Already this week we have met our friends from Oregon, a couple from Eastern Washington, a couple from Montana, another couple from here on Vancouver Island and two young moms from Los Angeles. They are here for a girls getaway and it has been interesting to hear their stories of how their husbands are managing with the children this week. :)










Today (Tuesday) we took a ferry over to Salt Spring Island, one of the Southern Gulf Islands. While waiting for our ferry, Craig met a young man also waiting for the ferry to make a John Deere delivery. Jody turned out to be very interesting - we ran into him again a couple of hours later when we stopped at the Seaside Restaurant for some fish & chips. We shared lunch with him and he shared ideas of places we just shouldn't miss before we leave Victoria. Thanks to Jody, we discovered that the salmon are "running" now and he told us where to go to see that amazing phenomenon. So, tomorrow we are headed there first thing in the morning. Thanks, Jody!! Salt Spring Island was picturesque and a very enjoyable day. We saw several deer, turkeys and a lot of sheep. Craig had a very close encounter with the cold water of the gulf when he slipped on some slippery rocks - he recovered quite nicely with a lot of fancy footwork but still has wet shoes and socks. We also visited a cheese factory and now have plenty of cheeses for our picnics!

Monday, October 27, 2008

O Canada!




(Craig writes) Traveling through Washington state toward the Canadian border was another beautiful drive. We got to see several extremely high mountains, (or has been volcanoes), complete with a lot of snow on top of them, (check out the additions to the slide show pics). Coming down to the lower elevations of the Pacific Northwest has greatly improved our breathing and now we don't feel like fish out of water, ah "good old heavy air"! Passing through customs at the border went a lot easier than we thought and I tried to stay serious while answering the officers questions. "Do you have any guns or weapons in the car", "Why are you coming into Canada", "Have you ever been in Canada before", "Did you actually drive all the way from SC to get here or fly and rent a car?" Between the questions he added, "Please take your sunglasses off Mam." After determining that we were not international spies or terror threats he stamped our passports and allowed us to enter so here we are!

Leaving the border we headed for the ferry terminal to purchase a ticket for our crossing over to Victoria, Vancouver Island. The 1 1/2 hour ferry trip was fun as we watched seals and people while playing cards. Arriving at the Island we found our B&B and were greeted by a friendly young lady who checked us in and showed us around. Dinner was at Milestones Restaurant located by the city marina. Delicious food and fantastic views, it reminded us of being at the Boardwalk at Disneyworld!

We look forward to exploring this part of the Great Pacific Northwest next week and meeting some of our "neighbors to the North".

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Seeing New Places




(Becky writes) We woke up in Idaho this morning - my prior knowledge of the beautiful state of Idaho is very limited. My Uncle Ralph Wood was from Idaho and he, Aunt Sis and their children lived in Idaho Falls in the early 50s. I remember seeing pictures of the little white house they lived in with lots of snow in the yard and my favorite cousin, their daughter Becky, all bundled up in a snow suit and seemingly having lots of fun. Idaho seemed like an entire world away to a little southern girl in SC who had never seen the kind of snow in that picture. Well, Idaho doesn't seem so far away now (since I slept there last night) and I discovered there is a lot of beauty in Idaho. (we did see a little snow but it was on faraway peaks).

Our next state of passage was Oregon and only the northeast corner but oh the beauty. We decided to take a "farm exit" (no services) in order to get some pics only to discover that we were literally on the old Oregon Trail. As we passed through those rugged Cascades this morning, I was again reminded of how brave our pioneers were. I cannot imagine the hardships they endured and how much fear they must have overcome to cross this country in wagons. I think I do understand a little of the need to "see what's out there" - that drive to see the unknown (or the unknown to me). That's a lot of what this trip is about for me - seeing things I never really thought I would see and experiencing life in different ways.

Well, tomorrow we head to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Way To Go Idaho!




(Craig writes) This is a brief log update, more details and pics to follow.

We left the Salt Lake City, Utah area this morning, another interesting place, and drove Northwest toward Boise, Idaho. Around lunchtime we randomly picked an exit to get off the highway to find food and gas, (hopefully the type of gas that the car runs off of :) Twin Falls, Idaho was another of those small town America experiences for us, fun and facinating. Once again we had "stumbled" onto yet another geological marvel, the Snake River Canyon. We'll post some pics later but imagine driving along on a flat highway for miles & miles and then all of the sudden the bottom drops out of the land next to you and you are then staring at a canyon several hundred feet deep. That was our intro to Twin Falls. After riding around town a few minutes we decided to stop at a local restaurant named "Idaho Joe's". They had really yummy food and yes I did have an Idaho potato with my meal. After eating and chatting with our friendly server, Alisha - originally from TN but loves ID, we finished our drive to Nampa, ID to check in to our hotel for the night. From our fourth floor room we have a great view of the Wal-Mart across the highway, (sorry Addie)!

We plan to be in Yakima, Washington tomorrow and hope to take a tour of a local winery while there.

More later...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

On The Road Again!



(Craig writes) We had a great time exploring and discovering the Flagstaff, Sedona and Prescott, AZ areas the last 5 days but it was time to move on. Leaving Flagstaff this morning we headed North by Northwest toward Utah. Traveling through the Navajo Reservation, Marble Canyon and crossing the Colorado River were very exciting and beautiful. Leaving the canyon and climbing back up and over the mountains, (apx. 9000 feet elevation), we discovered that we were trying to cross N.Arizona and Utah without a Utah state map. We only had a US map that didn't show a lot of detail, (I think I misplaced the one I got from AAA). Seeing road signs that seemed to head us in the right direction we turned onto a Utah state highway and proceeded up a long and curvy road. Somewhere along the way we saw a sign about Zion National Park ahead but kept driving. After about an hour we arrived at the entrance gate to Zion National Park and were greeted by a friendly Park Ranger lady. Since I didn't know anything about the Park being famous I just asked her if we could get to the interstate this way. She replied that we could but there was a $25.00 fee to get into the park. I asked her if there was another way to get to the interstate and she smiled and said yes, I could turn around and drive back about an hour to where we had started up the mountain. Not wanting to backtrack we paid the $25.00 and were allowed through the gate. Turns out it was the best $25.00 we ever spent. We didn't know it but Zion National Park is one of the top National Parks in the country and after traveling through we can understand! (Check out the pics included with this post).



After leaving the Park we made it to the interstate and began the 245 mile trip from there to our destination for the night, (Orem, Utah). Initially we described Utah as "an Arizona but with trees" but later came to appreciate Utah's own natural beauty.




Wildlife report:

We saw/dodged mule deer on our way up to Zion Park today and then saw many signs inside the park warning about mountain lions. We even kept the sunroof open as we drove through but no mountain lions ever fell in! Cows are really big business out here as we passed huge herds beside the interstate on our way through Utah. Mooooving on to Idaho tomorrow!


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Monday, October 20, 2008

Moments




(Craig writes) We went to the Grand Canyon today and the name certainly fits, it is truly grand! We had seen pictures of the canyon all of our lives, even read up on what to expect from some of our tour books but to actually walk up to this magnificient natural wonder and see it first hand literally took our breath away. We will post a few pics to show what we saw but it's another one of those things in life that you just have to be there to understand.

We decided to take the Grand Canyon Railroad from Williams, AZ up to the South rim of the canyon both to enjoy the scenic ride as well as to reduce our "carbon footprint" in the area. The car traffic at the canyon is a real problem and so by taking the train we reduced the impact by at least 1 car. There was a wild west show complete with cowboys, horses and a gunfight before we boarded the train in Williams. Then the 2 hour and 15 minute railroad ride up to the canyon was delightful as we were treated like royalty riding in a vista dome railroad car. Upon arrival we took a tour were able to get up close and personal with the canyon at several different locations.

(Becky writes)

As we walked around different areas of the rim today, again I was so impressed with just how incredibly beautiful our earth is!! We went to several different "viewing areas" and the scenery and colors are different from each place and some even seem to change as you are standing and exclaiming over them. Carol, our attendant on the train coming back from the canyon this afternoon, made the comment that "It is better not to measure our lives by the number of breaths we take but in the moments that take our breath away." As I pondered that, I remembered some of the moments that have and do take my breath. My sweetheart flashing a special smile that he saves just for me; my children giving me hugs and always telling me they love me on the telephone, and saying they want to spend time with me; my grandchildren taking me by the hand, giving me hugs, saying "MORE" to me, shrieking and running into my arms when greeting me; my little friend, Deshon, giving me big hugs and drawing pictures for me and saying he will never forget me. These are just some of the special moments that have made and continue to make my life really special!


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Sunday, October 19, 2008

About Those Nouns (or People, Places and Things)




(Craig writes)

PEOPLE
We are meeting some interesting people as we travel around and have started saying a prayer for them in the evenings.

Our new friends from this week would include:
Fran – Adrian, TX owner of the Midpoint Café
Peter – From The Netherlands, a biker we met at the Midpoint Café
Jen – Our server at the Flagstaff Brewery, (lunch), she came here 12 years ago from New Hampshire for college and stayed
Pam – From Tennessee, met her on top of a mountain overlooking a volcano in AZ, she was headed to San Francisco to see her son
Lindsey – Prescott, AZ (by way of CA) at the kiosk in the mall
NJ couple at Oak Creek Canyon, AZ – he was excited to use our digital camera to take his first digital picture
Susanna – Sedona, AZ – met her at the Sedona Old Movie Museum

We enjoyed a special treat of seeing:
The Medlin Family – Prescott, AZ – We know Mike and Kimberley from our years in Waxhaw, NC. They were teenagers then and now have 5 great kids! (Thanks guys for a fun afternoon).

Everyone has their story to tell and we are loving the opportunities to listen and share in a few minutes of their lives!

PLACES
We left South Carolina on 10-11 and have traveled through;
Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and are currently in Arizona. We visited Sedona and Prescott AZ today, awesome sights of mountains and genuine “cowboy movie” territory. This is truly a big and beautiful country we live in!

THINGS
We have seen numerous road signs while traveling not the least of which have been animal caution signs, (like “Elk the next 22 miles” or “Deer the next 15 miles”). So far though we have only seen the following wild animals:
2 deer in the woods, (small does, no bucks)
1 road kill bunny, (he did look like a big one though)
14 crows, (some of which were dining on the above mentioned hapless specimen)
1 fat skunk, (that I dodged while driving in the car, a near miss but no stink!)
1 unidentified small road kill in the high desert of AZ on the Navajo Reservation
2 barking dogs outside a restaurant where we ate lunch in Flagstaff, AZ, (they barked a while then started in on expanding their canine family!)

Enough of the noun lesson for tonight. Tomorrow, (Monday 10-20), we head to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon via the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams, AZ. I’ll try not to fall in!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Remarkable Rocks and Stuffy Noses!


(Craig writes) We never thought rocks, dirt, lava and sand could be so beautiful but after seeing such magnificent desolation over the past few days we are running out of words to describe the natural beauty we are seeing here. The slideshow pics, (on the website front page), help to share a little but fall short of actually showing the whole panoramic impact. Today, (Saturday), we toured the Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki Pueblo as well as the Painted Desert and some areas in the high desert around Tuba, AZ within the Navajo Reservation. (Attention to our 7 Grandchildren: you can get your Moms & Dads to show you on your maps where Nana & Papa were today!:)

The condo we are staying at in Flagstaff, AZ is at 7000+- feet elevation and we got up to about 11,500 feet in our travels today. From my private pilot flying days I remember that occupants of an unpressurized aircraft must be on oxygen at elevations over 10,000 feet. I guess that would help to explain our minor shortness of breath when hiking around up here. (That and the extra pounds that have attached themselves to us in the past few years). We are also discovering that dry humidity mixed with high elevations make for very dry noses!

I never thought I would hear these words come from my Becky's mouth but today she actually said that "these deserts and mountains are as pretty as the beach", and I had to agree with her! There has been so much to see, experience and take in just this first week of our cross country journey that at times it has been a bit overwhelming. We want to remember our visual and sensory experiences in detail and share them with all who will listen but know of the limitations of communicating such things. I read a quote from Rita Swentzell from Pueblo Santa Clara today, "...for us life is shrouded in mystery and the world defies explanation...humans do not need to know everything there is to be known. The human past, we feel, is a universal past. No one can claim it, and no one can ever know it completely." She makes a good point but I still want to see, understand and share all I can, basically grab life and "suck all the marrow out of it"!

We are headed for Sedona, AZ tomorrow to check out cave dwellers and red rocks. Maybe one of the c. dwellers will have us in for a cup of Starbucks and some dialog while we are there!

Star Gazing and Clean Clothes

(Becky writes) Today was another day of being completely overwhelmed with the beauty of our earth! We drove south from Santa Fe to Albuquerque and then west to Flagstaff. The landscape changes several times during the drive from red rock mesas to huge rock mountains with amazing formations. We saw the beautiful village of Laguna with it's adobe houses and 300 year old church sitting high on the side of the red rock mountain! Truly breathtaking! At this same village we pulled into a "viewing area" on the interstate to take some pics of the surroundings and were impressed with the ingenuity of the locals. There were signs prohibiting vendors from setting up business at the "pull off". However, they just had their huts set up on the "village" side of the interstate fence but within an inch of them. They can then sit in the huts and conduct business without being on the interstate property.

Tonight we spent a couple of hours at the Lowell Observatory high above Flagstaff. Even the ride to get there is awe inspiring. The night was perfect for star gazing, cool but not too cold and the sky was perfectly clear. I think I had forgotten their are so many stars - it is much harder to see them living in the city. We were able to see "globular cluster M5" through the Clark Telescope, a 24 inch refractor installed in 1896. This is the telescope that was used in the discovery of Pluto in 1930 and I got to look through it! AMAZING! We also were able to see Andromeda through a smaller telescope.

Our condo here is lovely! We have 2 balconies with incredible views of the San Francisco Mountains that are just a short drive from here. Couple that with a remote controlled gas fireplace, luxurious furnishings and a washer and dryer and we think we will enjoy this place for a few days.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

About Big Steaks, Lightning McQueen and Snow Covered Mountains!




(Craig writes) Leaving Oklahoma City on Wednesday morning we began making our way to Amarillo, Texas stopping at Weatherford, Oklahoma for breakfast. Met some friendly local ranchers who asked us where we were from, (I think being the only two people wearing shorts and driving up in the only non pick up truck vehicle in the parking lot car gave us away)! After a good breakfast we drove down historic Route 66 to Clinton, OK where we stopped off at the Route 66 Museum in Clinton, OK. Had a lot of fun there, bought a couple of mementos and headed on toward Texas.

Traveling into and across Texas was a hoot and we loved it! The landscape was so different than anything Becky had seen before, and so beautiful, that she giggled and I pointed for over two hours! Getting close to Amarillo we began to see billboards advertising "The Big Texan" a restaurant that offered a free 72 ounce steak, shrimp cocktail, salad, roll & dessert IF you could eat it all within 1 hour. I was tempted for about 3 seconds before realizing that 72 ounces is 4 1/2 pounds of meat plus all of the other stuff! We passed on that one but did enjoy a much smaller steak dinner that was delicious.

(The next day) On Thursday morning we were going to stop off at a Chic-Fil-A for breakfast before leaving Amarillo to drive to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Since I took a right turn out of the hotel parking lot instead of the left that Becky "suggested" we found ourselves on I-40 Westbound in a really thick fog. Assuming that there would be plenty of other places close by we headed on. About one hour and two growling stomachs later we finally saw an exit marked "Adrian, Texas" and saw a sign for the "Midpoint Cafe". Little did we know that we had stumbled upon the exact center of Route 66, (it runs from Chicago to LA), and that this was the diner and place that Disney/Pixar used as its basis for the movie "Cars". Fran, the owner and inspiration for "Flo" in the movie, waited on us and spent a long time visiting with us. Becky and I even got to sign "Gus", her 1950's model pick up truck that she still drives. If you ever get there check out the driver's door near the door handle for our notes. Adrian, TX only has 126 people in it and we met 3 of them this morning, all very friendly and gracious. You can check out the Cafe and Fran's story at:

http://www.midpointroute66cafe.com/


After pulling ourselves away from Fran and the cafe we continued West toward Santa Fe, New Mexico. To say that Western Texas and New Mexico are beautiful is a huge understatement. More like gorgeous, awe-inspiring, breath taking and a wow factor of 10! Once again Becky was giggling and I was pointing. I didn't even want to blink as I wanted to drink in all of this rugged beauty and not miss anything. We took several pictures along the way but it is impossible to capture the panorama on any camera. The day was so clear we could see for about 60 or so miles and saw snow on top of the high mountains in New Mexico. Arriving in Santa Fe we parked the car and walked around the market area before having "lupper", (a late lunch or early supper:), at the Blue Corn Cafe. Delicious Tex/Mex food in a really neat setting.

Earlier today, while looking at the beautiful scenery we were enjoying, Becky commented on how incredibly creative God was and is. I totally agree! Wow, way to go God!

Look out Arizona, you're next and here we come!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Oklahoma is OK!




(Craig writes) We traveled from Clarksville, Arkansas to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma today and things are looking more "cowboyish" around us now. Did you ever wonder why Arkansas is pronounced "ark in saw" and Kansas is pronounced "cans us" instead of "ar cans us" or "can saw"? Just wondering!

While in OK City we visited the National Memorial here. Back in 1995 some angry and sick men made a bomb in a van and exploded it while it was parked next to the Murrah Federal Building killing 168 people. Yet another stark reminder of what anger and hatred can lead to. The memorial is very beautiful and honors the lives lost.

Tomorrow we continue West and plan to sleep in Texas. Becky says she plans to have a steak for dinner tomorrow, sounds good to me!

Monday, October 13, 2008

On The Road Somewhere Between Toad Suck Park and Chigger Hollow Arkansas

(Craig writes) We left Mississippi and headed West through Memphis, TN before arriving at our next state, Arkansas. Back in the 1970's Glenn Campbell recorded a song about how great the state of Arkansas was and referred to it as "the land of opportunity". Not trying to be too negative here but something must have happened between the 1970's and 2008 in the state of Arkansas because I'm not seeing much opportunity here. Maybe Glenn was referring to an opportunity for improvement or maybe being the home state of Bill Clinton and Sam Walton has taken its toll on the place! The folks at the Arkansas State Welcome Center were not too "welcoming" either as upon walking into the Welcome Center we were greeted with cold stares. The welcome people did warm up a little as we began talking to them and even let us leave their center with a complimentary Arkansas map and trash bag.

Back on the road, (Interstate 40 West), we passed many communities, towns and parks not the least of which were, (and I am really not making these up), Toad Suck Park, Booger Hollow and Chigger Hollow. During our Ozark Mountain part of the trip we got a rusty pickup truck load of "Deliverance looking guys" behind us which made Becky a little nervous. Since the road was too curvy for them to pass on I began to practice my "squeal like a pig" sounds just in case! Thankfully, somewhere between Chigger Hollow and Booger Hollow they turned off of the main road and we relaxed a little.

We are in Clarksville, Arkansas tonight, (Monday - Columbus Day), and plan to go to Oklahoma City tomorrow. When we asked the Lady Clerk at the hotel about a good place to have dinner in Clarksville and she sent us to a truck stop two exits back. Name of the place was Southpark Restaurant and it had a lot of local flair about it. I tried to blend in which wasn't too hard as I am an "undercover cover good-ol-boy" anyway and since Becky is so sweet and polite we had no problems. Food was ok but I don't think I will be driving back those two exits again for breakfast though. Westward ho!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Beale Street and Graceland, or From Ribs To Riches




(Craig writes) We had a great breakfast time with family at a Cracker Barrel in Georgia this morning followed by a sweet send off prayer. Wow, what a neat family God has blessed us with!

Shortly after leaving Georgia and entering Alabama we entered our first time zone change, (to Central time). Our cell phones picked up on the transition and automatically adjusted to the correct local time, (yeah technology). We stopped tonight, (Sunday 10-12), at Olive Branch, Mississippi which is just a couple of miles from the Mississippi River and Memphis, TN. For dinner we went to a local BBQ place to sample the Memphis BBQ ribs, (see above pic also note gas price here). They really are as good as they are promoted to be! Between the oohs and aahs of munching on the ribs Becky and I got to talk with our young lady server a bit. We asked her to give us some suggestions of things she considered "must sees" while in Memphis. After a brief pause she said "Graceland and Beale Street". Upon our arrival back at our hotel we asked the same question to the Desk Clerk and got an identical answer, "Graceland and Beale Street"! Now don't get me wrong, I love "Jail house rock" and "You ain't nothin' but a hound dog" as much as anybody but I am too cheap to pay $68.00 a piece to take the Graceland tour, (sorry Lisa Marie). As for the Beale Street part, I plan to have another plate of ribs for lunch tomorrow!

By Monday night we plan to be in Clarksville, Arkansas in the Ozark mountains. The Fall colors should be pretty as we travel through. Stay tuned...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

On That Midnight Train To Georgia, (not really but I liked the title)

(Craig writes) Had a great time celebrating with little Oakleigh at her birthday #1. Lots of family, friends and food, a regular backyard Fall Festival with children's games. Bobbing for apples was one of the most popular backyard venues there. Something about putting your head under water to bite down on an apple seemed to attract many of the guests, young and old!

We plan to have a family brunch tomorrow morning, (Sunday), before leaving Georgia and heading West. Saying goodbyes to family we have become accustomed to seeing on a daily basis will be our send off. Call me sentimental but I'll try not to cry! Yeah I get sappy at times like this.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Blast Off!, or Here We Go

(Craig writes) Ever noticed a dog chasing a truck down the road barking his head off like he wanted the truck to stop? Then if the truck does stop the dog looks perplexed as if he wonders "what do I do now"! I can relate to that dog in that I feel sort of like we have been chasing the dream of this cross country trip for a long time and tomorrow we actually leave! Due to an early snowstorm in the North West we will be taking the Southern route out to California before turning Northward to get up to Vancouver. We are very excited and a little tired as no matter how much advance planning we do there are numerous things that have to wait until the last minute. We get to start our trip by celebrating with our great-niece in Conyers, GA as she turns one year old, (yeah Oakleigh).

Buckle up and keep your eyes open for gas stations that actually have gas!