Friday, June 29, 2007


I have never been so happy as I was this morning to finally deliver these two boats in Burnaby, BC. From day one, with us having to drive at midnight to get to the boat plant early in the morning for loading, to the loading fiasco that kept us there for 8 hours, to the reading of permits and faxing paperwork to Brokers, lets just say I'm glad it's over. This was one trip that did not feel like we were on vacation, but put us back into a work mode to make sure we were doing everything legally and by the book.

On our way through Washington State, near North Bend, we started hearing chatter on the CB of a traffic slow down up ahead. I have to give kudos out to the four wheelers driving in this area of the country. There were signs about 4 miles preceding the slow down that the two right lanes were closed. Like obedient little soldiers, everyone started merging over into the far left lane. There were a few rebellious ones, probably from California, who cruised up to the actual merge point and then tried to nose their way in, but for the most part, it was one of the most organized mergings I have ever witnessed.

Then we come upon this. If I ever think we are having a bad day, I will remember this scene. I hope the good Lord blesses us so that we never have to be involved in anything like this driver. Upside is, the driver was unharmed, but the damage to the tractor, trailer, and the big crane he was hauling, well, I wouldn't even want to think about that.

As we slowly drove past this scene of destruction, I realized, no matter the obstacles that were put in front of us this past week, we are still living a dream, so please be quiet as you exit our blog, we don't want to wake up yet.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Tequila sunrise? How about Nebraska sunrise. No alcohol involved here, but this is what awaited us as we took off early Tuesday morning. It seems as though we have been on this trip for a very long time, and when I think about it, I guess we have. So on these days when we are marking off the miles to our final destination, I look for points of interest on our road to somewhere else.

The first point of interest is one we have passed before many times on our travels. As we passed under the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument near Kearney, Nebraska, I decided to see what the attraction is to this place. It opened in 2000 and if you watched the movie "About Schmidt" you might have seen Jack Nicholson pulling up in his RV and going inside.

Once inside, it is dedicated to the 19th century pioneers who first explored these lands of the Midwest. The era of the highway and car travel are highlighted as well. When we return through the area, I hope we will find time to check this place out, that is if we can maneuver the side roads to get to it. Seems when they built this attraction, they forgot about off ramps and the exit to get there is over two miles away.

Now, any outdoors man worth his weight in hunting gear, has to be familiar with Cabela's. In Sidney, Nebraska we passed by their world headquarters. This 120,000 square foot two story building could house a football field on each story and employs over 500 people. Having never been inside a Cabela's, I found out they are attractions themselves. The grounds in Sidney include a 3 1/2-acre pond and two bronze double-life-size bull elk on one side of the building. A 27-foot-tall replica of a mountain is framed in a 48-foot mural of blue sky. The mountain is covered with 40 lifelike game trophies and features a waterfall that splits at the base into two ponds. Suspended in the air between the entryway and the mountain is a flock of taxidermy Canadian geese. WOW... who needs Disneyland?

Making our way into Wyoming we came across the Lincoln Monument. No, not at all like the one in Washington DC, but a rather small tribute to this great President. The Lincoln Monument, near Laramie, was commissioned by the state of Wyoming in 1959 to honor the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, and placed here in 1969 when I-80 was completed. It marks the highest point of the old Lincoln Highway (now I-80) from coast to coast -- about 8,640 ft. above sea level. The bronze head is 12 1/2 feet high, and its 30-ft. tall granite pedestal assures that it can be seen from quite a distance.

I'll close this entry the way I started it. This time with a beautiful sunrise courtesy of the State of Wyoming. The one thing we can always rely on is the sunrise lighting our way down the road to somewhere else.

Monday, June 25, 2007


We were productive during our stay in Illinois. There was a Wal Mart right across the street to which we paid a visit to early Sunday Morning. With our bags in hand we walked back to the truck and with each step I took, I felt my hair growing bigger and frizzy as if it had a life of its own. Oh the humidity of it all! Only one thing to do, pull it back into a pony tail and put on a baseball hat.

There was a Cracker Barrel across the other street from the truck stop, so we thought, after working up an appetite shopping, that we would have a proper Sunday late morning breakfast. We have seen these restaurants throughout our travels, and have been told by relatives how great they are. We rarely eat out, preferring to eat healthy in the truck, so we were anxious to see if in fact it is a good place to eat. I can say we were not disappointed. We may just have to stop there again.......just to give it a second opinion and a chance to eat the pecan pancakes again!

We left the truck stop after waiting for the time restrictions they gave us for going through St. Louis. I saw this old paddle wheel boat on the Missouri River. Her name is "The Belle of the Night", and I can say, this Belle has stayed out late one night too many. I hope someone is going to restore her to her former glory. I can only imagine the stories she would be able to tell us.

We made quick work of driving through Missouri and found ourselves crossing the border in Kansas and the land of Oz. I couldn't stop thinking about Dorothy and Toto, not to mention the munchkins when looking out over the landscape. One day we will have to find the time to stop at the Oz Museum in Wamego, KS but until then Craig and I will just have to settle for another rousing rendition of "We're off to see the Wizard."

We passed by Fort Riley and of course that got Craig's attention due to all the Black Hawk helicopters that were lined up. He has had the honor of riding in this type of helicopters during his Search and Rescue days with El Dorado County. I of course could not quite share in his enthusiasm for these mechanical birds but took a picture anyway.

We spent the night in Salina, KS where we were able to shower, (this time a real shower), fax the paperwork to the Broker for our Canadian border crossing, and make a phone call to the dealership to alert them of our arrival time on Friday. We have an early wake up call to get started just a bit before sunrise. Off to bed I go, dreaming of the Lollypop Guild and lions and tigers and bears! Oh, my!.......... Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Trying to read all the fine print on those oversize permit forms has given us a headache. We have interpreted them one way and then another, looking for loopholes that might let us travel, but we are stuck. Stuck in the State of Illinois, who does not, for whatever reason, allow travel of oversize loads from noon on Saturday until Monday morning one half hour before sunrise. Then to top it off, we have hour restrictions going through St. Louis along with some re-routing, which will add about 30 miles to our trip. Guess there is only one thing to do.......... act like a Southerner, slow down, relax, put my feet up, and grab me my sweet tea. Yep, we had the whole weekend to enjoy, just a little further North in the Midwest where the thermometer rises along with the humidity.

We had to shut down in Mount Vernon, IL at a TA Travel Center. After surviving the humid heat in Florida and Georgia we were ready for showers. Little did we know what awaited us here. We had our coupons for the showers and went to the counter to get the keys. The clerk looks at us and says "You do realize we are remodeling and have just temporary showers to use". Having no other options, since we were restricted from moving, we say "okay". She then proceeds to say" The only shower available right now is a 3 shower trailer, would that be okay?". Craig and I look at each other and I say " Does that mean someone else comes in while we are in there too?" With a sigh of relief I hear her say "No, you will have it to yourselves". Craig and I take off down the corridor and exit out the door outside where the showers are lined up like porta potties at a concert. We walk inside and think, "Oh Lord", what have we gotten ourselves into. But we make the best of it, in the tiny little showers which couldn't have been more than 2' x 2', but at least we felt a bit cleaner and refreshed.........until we had to walk outside and the heat and humidity hit us like a sauna. Now I completely understand the slow southern style, because when you live in this type of climate, you have no choice but to take it slow and easy.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


You may be wondering what the information is on our latest dispatch. When we dropped in Austell, GA, we were sent to Edgewater, FL and from there to Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Basically we are going from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, well over 3000 miles. We have traveled from the North/South Border, from Mexico to Canada several times, but this is the first time going literally from east coast to west coast. Of course you all know how thrilled I am about another border crossing, and now that both Craig and I can laugh about it, the same border crossing we were almost stranded at last year.

Here is the picture of the original loading of the three boats

And now the final configuration

With our loading fiasco behind us, and thankfully about 11 hours of sleep Thursday night, we feel rested and ready to go, if only it wasn't for the humidity. I can not begin to explain how hot and humid it was in Florida and Georgia. I guess if you were born and raised there you are used to it, but being from California, I am not, nor would I want to get used to it.

Another thing I do not like is traffic. Having worked in the San Francisco bay area for 16 years, I know a thing or two about traffic jams. We were unfortunate to be in the Atlanta, GA area too close to quitting time on Friday afternoon. On top of that, it was the same time Vice President Dick Cheney decided to make his escape to Dobbins Air Force Base. They completely shut down I75 for his grand exit which left us sitting in a massive parking lot which once masqueraded as a Interstate as the photo shows.

We are doing our best to deal with the oversize limitations, like no traveling one half hour before sunrise or one half hour after sunset. Also, even though we are given the bypass at weigh station with our PrePass, due mainly to our light load with the boats, when you are oversize, regardless if you are given the bypass signal you must enter the weigh station and drive over the scales. Lastly, reading the permits, and we have 13 sets of them for the States we will be going through, almost takes a degree in deciphering government talk. Now you would think with my government background this would be a piece of cake...well it isn't. Every time you read it, the meaning seems to change as to what route you need to take, time restrictions, do you need oversize signs, etc. I find it strange that some of the States do not want you to drive on Sundays. Haven't quite figured that one out as I think Sundays would be a slow traffic day, but who am I to say? I'm just viewing it from the passenger seat, humming America the Beautiful.......from sea to shining sea.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


The Longest Day
Escape Club
driving down the road in a foreign town
and the streets and the sun making my head go round
one eye in the mirror for the sleeping low
and I'm driving down the road with my foot on the floor
so far away
on the longest day
so far, so far away
on the longest day

June 21, the first day of summer and the longest day of the year, as far as daylight hours go. To us it seemed like the last two days have been never ending. In order to get to our delivery in Austell, Georgia, which was right next door to Six Flags Atlanta, and drive over 450 miles to Edgewater, Florida to pick up some boats, we had to be very creative with our sleeping and driving hours. This never ending day started at 12am PDT Wednesday morning and finally ended at 1pm PDT Thursday. It is very rare that we have to do any night driving, but on the occasion we do, we try and make the best of it. With us operating on Pacific time, and with the East coast boat plants loading at 6am EDT, the time difference plays havoc with our inner clocks and trying to catch that elusive sleep when we are normally awake.

The other thing about night driving is I don't get much of a view, or find much to take pictures of. But we arrived, blurry eyed and tired to the Boston Whaler boat plant in Edgewater at the time they requested 6am EDT. We have never been here before, so it was a new experience for us. What is not new to us, is the hurry up and get there, to sit around and wait. There were two trucks in front of us, one loading and one waiting. After a short period of time, the driver of the truck waiting walks up to us and sheepishly tells us he is at the wrong plant and will be leaving. As soon as he said that, the truck loading pulls out, and we pull in. Sweet! Well, not so fast.

They load two small boats onto the trailer, then realize, that the large 26 foot boat was red tagged due to a mechanical problem. Off we go to sit and wait until a decision is made. A couple of hours later, we get flagged into load again. Another short lived jubilation, as we run into being over sized in both length and height. We already knew we would be oversize on width, but only by about 4 inches. Several phones calls, guys standing around scratching their heads, some readjusting of one of the smaller boats we think we have it legal. As Craig and I are waiting for the permits, we take a look and realize that the large boat is way over the legal height. Back we go into the loading bay. Let's just say I don't think they want to see us coming back again anytime soon. They had to off load all 3 boats and start over again. With one less boat, we finally leave with permits in hand and head to the nearest truck stop. I'll be visiting with Mr. Sandman and putting an end to one of my longest days. The images below were taken while in Georgia

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Surviving the tornado watch in Wyoming, we ran into another major thunderstorm while in Boonville, Missouri. The massive amount of rain that fell in a relatively short time, made for a small river going down the parking lot of the truck stop we were at. The satellite TV went out for a short while, but we once again made it through another storm and continued onto our destination in Georgia. As we drove through the St. Louis area a couple of things caught my eye.

Now the thing about it is this. Most times, by the time something catches my eye, and then registers into my brain that it is either (a) funny or (b) ironic, the moment to photograph it is gone. Luckily, there is always (c) beautiful and my mind is able to recognise that quite quickly Take in this photograph and tell me if you don't find it just a bit odd. We have all heard of Yellow Cab, they seem to be in most cities, and yes, their cabs are painted yellow. As this cab went by, I read the company name, Yellow Cab, then I notice that it is in fact orange, not yellow. HMMMMMM, a good advertising gimmick? It certainly got my attention.

Having been in this truck for over a year now, and hauling items that are at the limit of height restrictions, I have made a practice of always looking at the height signs at overpasses and railroad crossing. Low clearance is normally anything below 13'6" . The height of a tractor trailer rig can be around 13'5" , so when I saw this sign along side the Interstate as we were approaching an overpass, I had to stop and think. Since when is 15' considered low clearance? HMMMMMM, I guess if you were hauling an oversize load, but then you are usually routed where you won't be confronted with any height obstructions.

On a side note, both Craig and I watched the History Channel Sunday night and took in the new series "Ice Road Truckers". I have to say, my stomach was in knots as we watched the drivers take to the ice roads. Although our travels on an ice road in Yellowknife were relatively short, compared to the 300 plus miles they drive, I could absolutely relate to what they were going through. And to be honest with you, I appreciate the experience we had doing it, but if given the opportunity to do it again? HMMMMMM........ check back with me after the series is over.

Monday, June 18, 2007


We ended up spending the night in Gillette, Wyoming Saturday and our timing couldn't have been better. We had just settled in, put up the satellite dish, when Craig made a comment about the dark clouds forming to the West of us. I, of course, jumped out of the truck and started taking pictures. Craig, who loves to be near any potential disaster, tuned our radio to NOAA National Weather Service and started listening to the details of the storm.

After taking my pictures, I went to empty our garbage can, and by the time I had walked across the parking lot, tossed our garbage, and turned to walk back, out of nowhere, the wind had picked up to about 25-30 MPH. This wasn't Kansas after all, but Wyoming? I've never heard of tornados in Wyoming. I got back to the safety of the truck and listened as they were broadcasting Tornado Warning #401 . The wind was beating up on the trees and our satellite dish. We both thought, due to the circumstances, we should probably take down the dish. We didn't want it flying across the lot and causing damage to any unsuspecting bystander, or property. That left us without the Weather Channel to tune into to, and we were unable to receive any local stations on our TV using local feeds.

Keeping our ears to the radio, we both kept a watchful eye on the sky and the clouds. The lightening and thunder started, but not much rain or any hail, which had been reported to be nickle size. We brought up the weather satellite on the computer and saw that the storm cell was moving Northeast of us. After a short period of time, the wind died down, the rain stopped, and the satellite dish was put back up.

Both Craig and I were born and raised in Northern California. I would guess that we feel about earthquakes probably the same way people in the Midwest feel about tornados.. But ponder this, the last earthquake I can remember that caused death or damage in California was in 2003, in Paso Robles. Already this year there has been 401 tornado warnings. If I have my choice, I'll take my chances with earthquakes..

Sunday, June 17, 2007


On the days between either loading or delivering boats, when we are just meandering down the road, it feels like we are on an adventure. Like when you were five years old and got it into your head that you would runaway. Determined, you take off from the safe boundary of your fenced backyard and come to your first intersection. You know you're not allowed to cross the street alone, so you regretfully retrace your steps back to the safety of your yard. Or, spending all day out in a vacant field behind your house, building a fort into the dirt, where with your friends, you played Batman and Robin until your Mother called you home for dinner. My days are much like that, sitting in my passenger seat. My mind is free to imagine we are on adventures of our own, without the voices in my head or my Mother calling me back home.
The Columbia River at sunrise, I'm exploring the region with Lewis and Clark. The foothills of South Dakota, I imagine I'm in a covered wagon as I look for a place to homestead and call my own. Past the open fields of the Midwest, where I ride a big John Deere tractor tending to my crop. Even though we might have traveled these very roads weeks before, my views change as I let my mind and imagination take me wherever they want to go. The open road is my empty canvas and I can paint it anyway I choose. Yet, it feels as if I run away from home everyday. I've realized, that these days, home is wherever I lay my head at night, and waking up every morning, is always a new adventure.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Back near the first of the year, upon our return from Yellowknife, I talked about one of my worst fears realized, a dental emergency. Having lived through that, and knowing that a dentist was only a Google search away, when the need arose for me to find a doctor, I didn't go into a panic. I had developed a swollen gland under my neck which was a result of a staph infection which had decided to take up residency in my body. This exact same thing happened to me 15 years ago, so I at least knew what it was. Now the question was, who do I see about it. We were in Canada, and the thought of utilizing their medical facilities crossed my mind, but I opted to wait until we were back in the USA.

My best course of action was to find an Urgent Care facility. Driving to Moses Lake, two days into this ailment, I thought I would just find a clinic in the Spokane area. So picture this if you will. On Highway 95, going south through Sandpoint, ID I scream out at Craig " Pull over, I see an Urgent Care Center". Craig ever alert to my screams, sees his avenue of escape from the roadway and pulls over. I grab my cell phone and wallet, jump out of the cab and contemplate the obvious.....Why did the chicken cross the road? Of course, to get to the other side, where I am hoping the cure is waiting for me. This is easier said then done, as there seems to be a never ending line of traffic coming in both directions. But ever patient, (if you believe that, I got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you), I found my opening and made a dash for the other side. WHEW.... I made it and walked the short distance to see the doctor.

I was surprised to see only one person sitting in the waiting room. I filled out the mandatory medical forms, gave insurance information and sat down for what I was sure would be a long wait. No longer had I crossed my legs and got comfortable and the door opened and my name was called. A quick check of vitals, a tap on the door and in walked the Doctor who agreed with my assessment of my ailment. With prescription in hand, I made my dash again across the highway and was sitting back in my seat all within 20 minutes. Did you read that right? Yes, 20 minutes! Unbelievable! Later when we arrived in Moses Lake I was able to get the prescription filled and am happy to report I am on the road to recovery.

Speaking of roads, we loaded up a Genie S-80 and are headed to Austell, Georgia. I can now say goodbye to cool weather......Hello, hot and muggy.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

WILDLIFE - 11 ME - 0

Once again our routing took us through two of Canada's most beautiful National Parks, Kootenay and Banff. We spotted wildlife at least eleven times. There were deer, elk, eagles, and bears, all of which avoided my camera like I wish I could avoid border crossings. Although, I have to say this border crossing went like clockwork. We got to the border quite early, parked and went inside, answered a few questions, got the Customs stamp on our paperwork, and we were on our way to the dealership in Airdrie, Alberta.

As I mentioned, the wildlife was out and about, but much more incognito and camera shy than the last time we passed through here. I saw a couple of little black bears, but look at the photo. You see the officer pointing? As we passed by, I leaned forward to look around Craig and my eyes fell upon the biggest grizzly bear I have ever seen. It was along side the highway, in a defensive stance, standing up with a big old paw up in the air. It reminded me of my traffic cop stance stopping traffic in Salem, but much more menacing. The people in the cars going the opposite direction from us got a much better view as they slowly passed by. We, however, had a delivery to make.

The dealership we delivered to needed a crane to off load the boats. An hour after arriving, a forklift drives in. Hmmmm, okay, we'll see how this goes. The driver tries to take off one of the boats and comes to the conclusion that, yes in deed, he will need a crane. No problem, another little wait and he comes with the crane and the four boats come off. We spent the night in Calgary before heading back to the States Thursday morning, where we were told to drive towards Moses Lake to pick up a Genie.

Back to the border again, we had the pleasure of having a cattle truck in the next lane to us. Let's just say there were not enough pine trees to mask the aroma coming from that truck. The USA border crossing at Eastport is set up strange. Although it is a 24 hour port of entry, it is small by comparison. They make all the trucks park and go inside while your truck is searched outside. This makes for a backup, which we experienced when we went through, but thankfully, without incident, we were cleared to continue on our travels.

As far as this leg of our journey went, I was disappointed that the wildlife were a bit camera shy, and I wasn't able to get any good photos. At least the weather was nice for some great viewing of scenery without it hiding behind too many clouds. The wildlife might have won this round, but the views we got............priceless

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?

If you ask Craig, I can be a worrier. If you ask me, I'd say it's not so much worrying as it is wanting to have control. I am a control freak. I stand before you and freely admit it. But I'm learning to go with the flow. I have to, or I'll drive myself crazy. Yesterday, after we had unloaded, we received a dispatch to a new company that manufactures boats that we have not dealt with before and on top of that, it was a load going into Canada. Right away my mind starts.....I wonder how hard it is to get to their location, what are their loading facilities like, will they have all the paperwork we will need, etc etc. Already Craig's "don't bother me with questions we don't have answers to" protective shield has been activated around him. He has learned to tune me out and I have learned to ponder these questions inside my head where me, myself and I are happy to entertain these thoughts.

Craig had called prior to our arrival to see if there were any special route to their plant we needed to be aware of with the tractor trailer. He was told which exit to take off the freeway and which streets to take to arrive at their plant. I guess what they didn't think would be helpful, was the fact that they shared a driveway with an apartment complex and they had no real visible signs announcing their location. Oh, except for a little 1 foot by 3 foot sign to a chain link fence, which unless you are standing right in front of it, you can't see it. It came as no surprise to us that we, of course, passed it by, but Craig pulled as far to the right on the two lane street as he could and I placed a quick phone call. A very nice young lady answers the phone and the conversation went something like this:

"Hello, We are suppose to pick up some boats but we can't find where you are located at. We are in front of 3208 Main Street, where are you from there?"
"That's not our address we are at 3220 Main Street"
"Yes, I'm aware of that, we are in front of a great big white concrete building, where are you from that?"
"We are next to it"
"Okay, I don't see anything other than this concrete building and an apartment complex beside it"
"We are behind the apartment complex"
Thinking to myself we are finally getting somewhere "Oh, so we take the driveway of the apartment complex to get to you?"
"Thanks, we're backing up now"

As I got out of the truck to stop traffic, Craig started slowly backing up. Most cars didn't want to stop and found ways to go around, until I just got stubborn and stood right in the middle of the roadway with my best white glove traffic officer stance, left hand up in the air and a look on my face that said "don't mess with me". Without incident Craig was able to maneuver the turn into the little driveway, but not without rearranging a bit of their dirt and taking it with us on the trailer. Upon stopping, I took our broom and did a little housekeeping of my own getting rid of the evidence.
A short six hours later, (insert sarcasm here), we had four boats loaded onto our trailer and I was handed the paperwork, none of which had the familiar Canadian Customs forms I was used to seeing. Since it was nearly 10pm, no office people working, we were left with trying to catch a few hours of sleep and take care of the matter in the morning.

As soon as the bewitching business hour of 8am rolled around, I was trying to get a hold of the Broker dealing with our border crossing. Alas, upon my first phone call, the answering machine gleefully informed me that she was on vacation. Drat, listen to the phone tree, push button for the operator, explain dilemma, get transferred to another Broker, foiled again, another answering machine. Silent scream, deep sigh, I leave my message and wait for a return call.

In the meantime, we get a call from our Dispatcher Katie who tells us that they will handle the paperwork with the broker, as long as we get to the dealership on Wednesday. Seems like a fair deal to me. Apparently the four boats we are hauling have expectant owners anxious to get their boats, and who can blame them, these are some very nice boats.

Within minutes we are told our Customs paperwork is completed and has already been accepted and we are clear for our border crossing. I'm thinking now would be a good time to buy a lottery ticket. A quick stop at the Company yard for fuel and to pick up the aforementioned paperwork and we were headed to the border.
As Alfred E. Neuman would say, "What? Me worry?

Monday, June 11, 2007


The bluest sky you've ever seen, in Seattle.
And the hills the greenest green, in Seattle.
Like a beautiful child
Growing up, free and wild.
Full of hopes and full of fears,
Full of laughter, full of tears,
Full of dreams to last a year
In Seattle.
From 1968 to 1970, as a preadolescence girl, I was glued to the television set each Wednesday evening to watch "Here Comes the Brides". It was about the Bolt brothers, Jason, Joshua, and Jeremy, who bet their family mountain and logging business that they can bring one hundred marriageable women back to Seattle from New England and that the ladies would remain in Seattle for a year to find husbands and help settle the wild and woolly town. I loved this show, not only for giving me Bobby Sherman to watch every week and imagining myself as his love interest on the show, Candy Pruitt, but I'm sure it was what first attracted me to Washington State. As far back as I can remember I have been drawn to mountains, pine trees, and cloudy, overcast, rainy days. I am always glad when we are sent into Kent, WA to deliver boats. We get to drive through the Snoqualmie Pass and then right past Mercer Island and Lake Washington off the Puget Sound. The air is clean, the temperatures cool and everything is GREEN. We arrived at the dealership Sunday afternoon and found we were the first ones here. We had been told by a driver from another company hauling boats that one of his co-workers was headed to Kent as well.

So here we are in my favorite region of the country, relaxing and enjoying the bluest skies and greenest hills and dreaming once again of Bobby Sherman.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Ever since we have been on the truck traveling around the country, when we drive through an area where the satellite signal is poor, I'd see Craig reach over and turn down the volume on the radio. I don't know when it started, but it has become my habit to announce "reflection time" whenever he does.

That announcement has become our signal for quiet time, time to leave us with our own thoughts, concealed within our minds with nothing to accompany it but the hum of the engine, the gentle rocking of our seats, and the rhythmic sound of the wheels on the roadway. Okay, maybe it more like, the rattle of the cab, the jarring of the rough roads beneath us, and the bugs splattering on the windshield, but in either case, you get my gist.

It is during these times that my eyes wander out my ever changing picture window and I try to see what others might not. Most times, even with taking the time to start to learn all the functions of my camera, they are just a blur as the miles continue to flash by. But sometimes I get lucky and I think I have captured a true resemblance of what I see through my minds eye. This leg of our journey was uneventful, but for what it lacked in adventure, it gave us tenfold in beauty.

These are simply my postcards from Montana. May you find yourself lost in your own reflection time.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


We've driven the entire length of South Dakota on Interstate 90, West to East and East to West at least a half dozen times. For the most part, it is prairie lands, with wide open spaces. Today, with the wind blowing steadily, the grass of the prairie looked like rolling waves on an ocean of green. From the East, the rising sun cast silhouettes of the trees across the hills and for a time I imagined as it must have been when these lands were first settled. The land originally belonged to the Lakota Indians, but the discovery of gold brought settlers to the region, which led to several conflicts. As we drove past the Black Hills National Cemetery most of the original interments were soldiers who fell in the battles of the Indian Wars.

We came upon the town of Sturgis next. Both Craig and I, being motorcyclists, were familiar with this City, where every August modern day cowboys, riding their iron horses gather for what can best be described as good old boy fun and games. Craig has always wanted to go, my brother attended last year, and who knows, maybe one year you just might find us in the middle of hundreds of thousands of other motorcycle enthusiasts.

As we passed the exit for Deadwood, I said to Craig that we will have to find a time to take a day off to explore the area, after all, any town that inspired an HBO series has to be interesting. The entire city of Deadwood is a national historic landmark. I will look forward to walking down the authentically recreated turn of the century streets and marvel at the restored architecture.

And just like that we were out of South Dakota and into Wyoming and then Montana for the night, but not without bookmarking the Black Hills of South Dakota as a place to revisit in a vehicle just a little better suited for the terrain.


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