God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen.
So...we wake up...look out our hotel window to see what? The ocean.
Once again, a morning with no alarm, and...NO DRIVING!!!
Well...a little driving. But the trucks and boat were over in line at the ferry...so, Doug was driving our car and we did a little sight-seeing. He showed me where stores are (for those rare times when I venture over...), checked out Walmart, bought more cotton yarn to replace the washcloths I'd forgotten... (should have bought more bug spray...that's on the "Buy While in Utah" list)
Looked at some totem poles...
Checked out where 1/2 of the "vampire" was buried (the other half of his body is buried across the water on another island)...and missed my girls because the other picture I have of this grave is when Doug and Britt went for a walk years ago...
Another moment of missing my girls...they climbed that mountain with Doug...
Bought a crab pot...I want lots and lots of Dungeness Crab!
Had my last McDonalds for a few months...and...they messed up my order...and I didn't feel like going back so I didn't really have my last McDonalds...I had no McDonalds. Other than my Dr. Pepper... After we had used up a few hours, we went and parked the car in the appropriate ferry line...
This time, driving on, I didn't feel so scared...I had this...
Doug had the harder task...getting one truck on, then getting off and getting the other... I was happy to be almost finished with our journey. I was also happy to not have a fever anymore...I was wiped out, but, not feverish...I'll take the win.
A few hours later, we got to our island...
I waited my turn to get off and watched Doug take our stuff off...
Some of the guys he'd made friends with while waiting in line, were heading the same direction as us and they offered to drive the truck & boat (since there were 2 of them with 1 vehicle and 2 of us with 3 vehicles) and drop it off where they were staying...then we only had to drive 7 miles to get it...saved us a few hours! Nice people...so...Doug led the way...
We got to our place, got a few groceries and when we got back, there were a bunch of people from our new branch waiting to help unload the truck!
They helped get most of it unloaded, then we thanked them and sent them home so the kids could get to bed....because the sun was still up, but...it was a school night and it was after bedtime...
We looked out our windows to see if we had a view of the ocean...at the top of the stairs, if you look over the top of the bottom row of trees, you can see the ocean...
We also found out we have a perk of having our landlord being a professional fisherman...he has King Salmon in the freezer in the garage...and we can eat it...because he'll bring more when he comes to town...
We have now been here a month and 2 days.
I think I have fallen in love with the island. I love the evenings when it's not raining a lot because I say, "Want to go for a walk?" And he says yes...and we walk to the water. I don't care which little park or which dock...just get me to the water...
Jaycey asked me today how I'm doing...if I'll be okay here...because, we are all aware that I am basically stuck on an island. Well, I'm not stuck, but...I'm not independently wealthy and it costs to get back and forth...so, we're all kind of ... here. I don't like to think of it as stuck. Anyway, I told her that I think that when I come to visit them, I will miss this place. She said I will miss the temperature...I say, heck yes...because it's too hot in Utah right now. But, I will miss people waving as you pass, the birds, the quiet, the cool air, the ocean...
Doug was right to fall in love with SE Alaska.
I think I'll be just fine.
Now. How to get my kids here....then it would be perfect...
We woke up in Prince Rupert...to no alarm...because, folks...
WE DIDN'T HAVE TO DRIVE!!!
Oh, there was happiness and joy and peace and love and jubilation...
We dropped the car trailer off at the UHaul there (saved us a a couple hundred dollars there in rental and in ferry costs for the extra length) and then, the joys of driving my little car around were had by... Doug. Not me. I didn't drive until that afternoon when I had to. I was taking a break.
We went to Rupert Square (those idahoans will understand why i take a picture...and i think i have been to this shopping center more as an adult than the actual rupert square as an adult...) and got a few things we needed...
Did a little shopping at Tim Hortons...cuz it was going to be a few months before I'd be back here... Checked in at the ferry, texted this picture to the girls...they were there a few years back...we might have been more road weary back then...it's a toss up...
Got ourselves situated for the wait in line...this was my view for awhile...Doug was down in the lower parking lot with the UHaul...he got to go through customs twice since he was driving that truck to the staging area...then getting back here as quick as he could...so he could drive the truck & boat down and I drove the car. In this picture, you see the state ferry coming in...
After everyone was lined up..and the people had done everything they were supposed to do, we drove on in... (see the HAZ on my window? that's for firearms...i was announcing to everyone i had them...) Here is my first time doing the driving on to a ferry. I did my best at pretending I knew what I was doing and was wishing I paid closer attention the times that I was in the passenger seat...
And since I'm a little car...I had a wonderful little cubby area all to myself. Parked, went upstairs and waited for Doug. He had to wait, drive & park, then get back off and back to the other truck and repeat... I told him thank you.
It was about that time that it became clear why I had felt particularly off the previous day...I had a fever. I did not feel good. He said I had felt hot during the night. But now I was holding still with nothing going on so I could pay attention.
But, I wasn't having to drive.
So, again...thank you to the Big Man Upstairs...thank you for the timing.
We were on the ferry for about 6 hours when we saw the lights of Ketchikan....it was around 11pm...look at the sky!
We had made it to Ketchikan...Doug was back in SE Alaska...not for vacation, but to stay.
One more leg in our travels and we'd be at our new home!
Confession: I didn't mark the line on my mapquest paper to separate notes I scribbled...and...a few weeks later...I have the final two days of driving smooshed together in my mind. So. Here's the story:
There was a LOT of driving.
And there was a LOT of gorgeous for our eyes.
For some of it, I didn't even bother taking pictures because there was no way pictures would do it justice.
So...we woke up in Moose Jaw...headed out for our lovely 12+ hours in the trucks day.
The morning was quiet and the road was empty and we were crossing a lake and there was a fella out fishing. And I thought, "Emmitt would be happy there..." (again, pictures don't do it justice...it was a beautiful moment...)
I talked Doug into taking the lead for a bit...but then...he got a bit excited again and this was him pulling away from me...
And this was a rest stop where the sign said to not leave your vehicle unattended...how are we supposed to do that? We were all rule breakers. P.S. rest stops in Canada are way different than rest stops in the USA...but they have Tim Hortons all over, so...we'll call it a draw...
Our breaks were quick. Cuz Doug was a man on a mission...we had miles to go! And it's good that he was cracking the whip the whole way...because things happened like... The sign that said all boats had to stop for a check...he said if he had been in the lead, he would have gone on by. But I was leading, so I stopped. And had to answer lots of questions about when the last time the boat was in the water and where and some girl got under the boat to check for marine hitchhikers... There were none. I mean, the last time the boat was in the water was a few years ago. All in all, it was a waste of a half hour...we did get a free chamois cloth...that is our souvenir of Alberta.
AND...we saw a real live phone booth!!!
Here was Doug gassing up while I was waiting...and he got talking to the fella next to him (they were driving to Alaska also)...and talking...and talking... I sat and took a picture. The other man's wife got ticked off and took off.
There was construction...while we sat and waited for our turn...we came up with a way to keep Doug's arm from getting more burnt...AND we stared at a glacier across the valley...this place is gorgeous.
We hit Jasper.
I give you one picture...and it in NO WAY captures the beauty.
Just add it to your bucket list. Go. Spend time in Jasper National Park. Or whatever they call national parks in Canada.
When we finally ended our driving, hours later...my eyes were puffy from being tired...my adrenaline was going full blast because of all the beauty... I got out of the truck and with arms waving, went back and met up with Doug and was exclaiming, "THAT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE I HAVE EVER BEEN!!!" He asked if I was serious. I said, "YES!!!" He was happy because that was the place he had told me last year that I had to see. How it just is BOOM! And prettier than can be described.
I put on Facebook for people to put Jasper on their bucket list.
Cecily said when she read that she yelled, "YES!"
Because that is the place she has talked to me for years about...the train trip she wants us to take. When I talked with her, she understood completely the energy and excitement...
You simply have to go. I would even camp for a long time just to be there and explore. Although, when I say "camp"...I mean those cabins I saw.
Doug said last year he saw a grizzly there right on the side of the road.
I saw a lot of wildlife. But I did not see a grizzly.
We slept in McBride.
The final day of driving...I did not enjoy as much.
British Columbia is beauty beyond beauty. But for most of the time, we were driving alongside this huge river. It was so powerful. And right there. And I was past exhausted and I cannot swim and there was this mighty body of water that could kill me in a moment.
I was tired.
So. It was beautiful. But it was overwhelming.
Because I was overwhelmed.
We end up going up over the last mountain and get going into Prince Rupert...and tada! There were the clouds...there were the tree islands in the water...there was hope because I was seeing SE Alaska-like surroundings... And we made it to Prince Rupert. And got our hotel and it was terrific. And there was the ocean. And eagles. And cool air. And we stood on the balcony and were happy.
Me...because the driving part was almost over.
Him...because that right there was his ocean...and tomorrow, we'd ferry to his beloved SE Alaska.
Some notes from my well worn travel directions:
Some of the signs amused me.
(i started yelling that when i saw those signs...it was fun... "HI IMPORTANT INTERSECTION!!!" "WHY ARE YOU IMPORTANT?!?")
Moose Crossing...that just amused me cuz that's not a regular part of my life.
Their deer crossing signs are leaping dancing deer. Canadian deer are happier than American deer I guess.
Distracted Driving Laws Enforced
(ummm...have you seen the landscape? there is NO way to drive without being distracted!)
In Alberta, there was a dude on the highway. Skateboarding.
I was so happy at the last direction on my paper...
And that bottom scribble is about the sign that said this way to Fort St. James, World Class Chicken Racing... I was not tempted.
There were a lot of painted lines that were way more orange than I've seen before.
Edmonton was all of a sudden there. Driving where there was nothing...and then...a city with skyscrapers! It was WOAH!!! And then...we drove through that town. I did not like that. Because the roads were packed and the lanes weren't terribly wide and...well...truck and boat... And in the lead...and needing gas...and...well...I was glad to get past that place.
I was very happy to see Canadian Geese in Canada.
Those Rockies. They are the Wasatch Front's big brother. Wow.
Jasper. Just...even more wow. I thought the mountains right before Jasper were what Doug must have been talking about last year...but...then I saw Jasper. No words. Just go.
Going through, I thought about when we went with Tamra and her family to Silver Falls park in Oregon...and we had an encounter with that Italian man who was SOOO happy at the beauty he was seeing that he couldn't contain himself and wanted to kiss Sean and Anna cuz they were there. So funny at the time...well, it's still funny...because of little Sean and little Anna's reactions...but... If I had been walking out there seeing what I was seeing while I was driving past, I'd be wanting to kiss people too... Just gorgeous.
We were driving through low populated areas, which was fine with me. Except for when it was time to gas up, that was just stressful the entire trip because living most of my life in the west, there are just truck stops all over...very friendly for longer vehicles... But. Truck stops are not all over.
In one small town, I was stopped by a cop who was holding traffic for a funeral procession. And I loved that. Cuz that's how it was when I grew up. Here I am driving behind the cars... The semi and other cars on the other side of the road were pulled slightly over and stopped.
It's called respect.
And I love that part of small town life.
After a few hours, we came to the border...and I cannot believe I didn't get a picture of 'Welcome to Canada'!
I did take a picture of the customs building...cuz Doug went first and I was sitting in line for quite some time while the guard was talking to him. We got to pull over to the side and go in the building since we were carrying firearms (not my handguns...we mailed them...because those would have been a pain to bring through...but the shotgun and rifle were easier, forms and money...). When it was my turn to talk to the guard, I pulled up and pointed to where Doug was parking and said, "I'm moving with him..." He said, "I figured." Questions...questions...questions...but it was ok. Then he questioned why I would have handguns...my thoughts was, "What business is that of yours?" but my mouth said, "One of them was me getting spoiled for my birthday (he raised his eyebrow), the other was my dad's." He looked at me for that one and got nicer. Maybe his dad is dead also.
Doug had been so nervous that they would search everything.
Last year, they searched the car...which was packed tight with things he needed to work at the cabin... Solar panels...chainsaws...axes...food...tools...etc. etc. He didn't enjoy repacking the car. He has bad visions of them pulling everything out of the UHaul...and then us not being able to get everything back in. Or just losing all the hours it would take to get everything back in.
We got a nice customs agent inside. He checked our paperwork at the same time instead of making us wait. And this guy...another answer to prayers...because we were in and out of there in no time.
And Doug was happy.
And then...we headed to Corner Gas...our one tourist stop.
A highlight of the trip.
They took the pumps out after they finished filming the movie...last year, Doug could look in the buildings...this year, they were boarded up. But it was still cool to be there. Drive in the town, see 'The Howler'...the insurance place...the police station...the bar...pretty dang cool.
If you haven't watched 'Corner Gas'...watch it. It's a nice little Canadian sitcom about people who live in the middle of no where. Family friendly. You'll love the characters.
Panorama...it really is in the middle of nowhere.
Then we got back on the road. Doug took a turn in front finally. But...he didn't stay close. See that vehicle way ahead of me? That's him...
But, we did have Tim Horton's to find... We got to Moose Jaw (another cool thing since it was referenced in 'Corner Gas') ... Ordered sandwiches for dinner and my donut and his croissant... Got out our map, used their internet and tried to figure out where we'd sleep that night. And...then we hit one of the times when I'd had it for the day...there were a few small things that weren't going as we thought we would and my coping skills were telling me: "Hey! Do you know what time it is? We are done!" And, true to form, Doug was fine...we were doing SO good at this swapping being done thing.
I'm a wife to Douglas...mom to Brittany, Kimberly and Jaycey...mother-in-law to Eddie...stepmom to Chris & Stephanie...daughter of Rob & Jan...sister to Dan, Mark, Kari, Susan, LaDawn, Tamra, Will, Tara & LaNae...daughter-in-law to Lyman & Linnea...sister-in-law to Barbara, Todd, Jesse, Dustin, Ashley, Rich, Danny, Brian & Lori, Loren & Deleice, Elaine, Lora, Julia & Greg, Darrell & Nici, Clay & Annie...aunt to MANY...greataunt to a few...friend to a some and an annoyance to almost all. :)