Monday, May 22, 2006

Birthdays, Graduations and Anniversaries

In our family, there are a lot of birthdays, graduations and wedding anniversaries in May. Ray and Teresita’s anniversary is May 1. My daughter Karol’s birthday on May 12, grandson Nathan on May15, granddaughter Jamie’s on May 19, my birthday on May 21, granddaughter Ann’s birthday on May 25 and my sister, Joy’s birthday on May 27. My nephew, Ben Hoven, graduates from high school on May 20. Ann not only has her birthday on May 25 but graduates from high school on the same day! This is a picture of Ann.

One of the problems with Rving is that we can’t be where our children live for all the special days. They happen too fast to be in North Carolina, Iowa, Texas, and Alaska a few days apart but Rving does allow us to travel to see them once a year. When we lived in a stick house, we only saw them every other year. Happy Birthday and graduation everyone!

Mother's Day

We arrived at Raymond and Teresita Miller’s home on May12. They did everything to make us comfortable. We got our RV washed and hooked up to water and electricity. We drove and then hiked up the mountain to see the Denali Mountain which was about 150 miles away. Raymond gave me his arm to assist in coming down the mountain. Teresita had dinner ready.

On Sunday, they gave me this bouquet of red roses for Mother’s Day. My children phoned on Sunday. For those of you, who are confused as to who is who in our family, let me introduce you. Counting our birth, step and adopted children, we had 8 children.

The oldest of our children is Richard who is married to Shelly Klein. Rich works for 3M in Knoxville, Iowa. Rich and Shelly have a daughter, Heather and a son, Jason. Heather has 3 children and Jason and Betsy have a daughter.

Steven, our second son, is married to Marsha Klein. Steve is a welder in Houston, Texas. Their 3 children are Ann, Jamie and Jacob.

Mark is married to Connie Klein. They live in Pleasantville, Iowa with their 5 children, Amanda, Matthew, Joshua, Emily, and Nathan. Mark commutes to Marshalltown for his job as a supervisor at Lenox Corporation.

Raymond and Teresita Miller live in Eagle River. Raymond has his own sleep equipment sales company called Alaskan Sleep in Anchorage, Alaska. Teresita is a registered nurse.

Michael Scott died on December 31, 2001 in Houston, Texas of an aneurysm.

Karol Rhoads works at Wells Fargo as a banker in Knoxville, Iowa. She has 2 children, Ryan and Kari.

Robert is married to Nathalia Miller. His home is in Raleigh, North Carolina. Robert has two daughters, Victoria and Laura. He has his own construction company.

Joy Miller works full time for NASA in Texas, and goes to college full time with a 4.0 average.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Construction Work

Construction work on the roads had already started. We asked some questions of the girl who was directing traffic when she stepped up to the side step on the driver’s door of the RV. When she jumped down, she said “Thanks for the lift.”

We were so glad to arrive at our son’s home in Eagle River after one and a half days of terrible roads, and wintery conditions as we drove over the mountains.

May 11 and 12

Spring and autumn are the seasons that we like the best. Often we travel so slowly north in the spring and south in the fall that we have several months of colorful flowers and leaves and mild temperatures. But we beat the season when we came to the Cassiar which is also known as Hwy. 37. This scene shows that it was still winter. We had a stretch of road 16 kilometers and another of 12 kilometers which were gravel. We unhitched the toad. I drove the car and Terry drove the RV after I took this picture.

Black Bear

The central and northern areas of the British Columbia coast are known for the large amount of black bear. From May 4th thru May 11th, we searched for bears and other wild animals. Pictured is a large black bear who watched us take his picture through the car window. The first 5 days, we used the green toad (4 wheel drive Suzuki towed car) and traveled to road’s end. The last 3 days were in the RV as we traveled toward Alaska. The goats and sheep were seen from a stopped area where we looked through binoculars and spotting scope. (They are like looking at white ants with the naked eye.) We did see 8 sheep which came down for water so we have good pictures of these.

The totals of the animals that we saw are 56 Black bear, 8 eagles, 1 lynx, 2 foxes, 5 deer
3 Moose, 10 caribou, 1 wolf, 5 swans, 42 dall sheep (with great pictures of 8), 20 white mountain goats + a grizzly bear chasing them. He did not catch a goat during the two hours we were watching.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Canada and North Vancouver

Canada and North Vancouver

The natural green areas in the city surprised us. We hiked in Lynn Canyon where we walked over this suspension bridge. I am pictured with Shawn. The bridge is much longer than it looks in this picture. The pine and evergreen trees seem to be hundreds of feet tall. The water was clear as it spilled down the waterfall to the rocks below. On Monday, May 1,we drove along the Howe Sound to Whistler, which is a ski area that will be home for the 2010 Olympic games. Although there is construction to widen the road, it is easy to travel with our Suzuki. Because of the hairpin curves and gravel roads further north, we were advised not to try to travel with our RV on Hwy 99 to Lillooet and to Hwy. 97.

We traveled back to Blaine, Washington to get our RV. On Tuesday, May 2, we returned to British Columbia with our RV and toad (towed car).

We had no problem at the border. We showed our passports and answered a few questions and were on our way in about five minutes. Now we had to make a few changes. Miles became kilometers. We soon learned that 100 kilometers is equal to 60 miles per hour. Of course, 50 kilometers is equal to 30 miles per hour. If you are not sure of the speed, you just make sure that you are driving under the speed limit, which is not the speed that the Canadians are driving.

Bridges were a concern because they are measured in meters. Since we are 12 feet and 6 inches tall, we learned that we are okay as long as the bridge is at least 4 meters tall. They seemed to be built for semi trucks to travel so all the bridges that we encountered were tall enough.

We exchanged $100 for 20’s, 10’s, 5’s and twonies and loonies. We were given $109 for $100. Later the rate dropped to $105 for $100 of USA monies.

Canadian Cousins

Canadian Cousins

Terry and I left our RV at a campground in Blaine, Washington and drove our green toad (Suzuki 4 wheel drive towed car) to North Vancouver.

We had no problem with Canadian Customs. We showed our passports and answered a few questions and were on our way.

Cheryl Miller Megalos and Joanne Miller Richardson’s grandfather, who was Raymond Edward Miller, and Terry’s father, William Charles Miller, - were brothers. Joanne brought her sons, Austin and Shawn, to Cheryl and Jimmy Megalos’s new home on April 30. Joanne Richardson is standing behind the log. Left to right is Cheryl Megalos, Shawn
Richardson, and Austin Richardson.

Cheryl and Jimmy’s new home is part of a triplex. On it’s 3 floors you will find 3 bedrooms, a den, a laundry room, kitchen, living room and 3 and a half bathrooms. Terry and I appreciated using a bathtub before retiring since we were invited to spend the night.

We pass through large cities but do not spend much time there since most cosmopolitan cities are not RV friendly. The Megalos family uses public transportation as well as driving their car. A bakery and other specialty shops and restaurants are within walking distance. We walked to a restaurant called “Incognito” for dinner. The Canadian cousins were very friendly and hospitable. It was so good to connect with family again.

RV Authors Cooperative

RV Authors Cooperative

There were 23 books at the RV Author’s Cooperative at the Escapees Spring Rally in Chico, CA. Left to right are Janice Lasko, the editor of Escapees magazine, Judy Frances, who wrote in RV Womens’ Traveling Tales, Jane Kenny, who wrote the book, Casino Camping, Alice Zyetz who wrote You Shoulda Listened to Your Mother, Darlene Miller who wrote RV Chuckles and Chuckholes – the Confessions of Happy Campers, and Jaimie Hall who wrote Support your RV lifestyle. Alice and Jaimie are also the editors of RV Women’s Traveling Tales and the writers of the cd Taking the Mystery out of RV Writing. The four days passed quickly as I learned much from these talented women about writing and marketing books. We had fun and interesting conversations.

Escapade- Kay Peterson and CARE

Escapade, Kay Peterson and CARE

Sorry about the late posting of these journal entries. We have been traveling in areas where we could not connect our satellite dish.

Meeting people and becoming involved with them is one of my goals while traveling and exploring. The best way to do this is to volunteer. At the Escapees Rally, I looked at the list of volunteer “work” and decided to be a hostess for seminars. This involves introducing speakers and checking lights and assisting the speaker however possible.

It was an honor to introduce one of the founder’s of the Escapee Club, Kay Peterson. Kay is the little lady in the picture with me. She spoke about a unique project of hers – the CARE facility in Livingston, Texas. The acronym of CARE means “continued assistance for retired Escapees.” The facility is a day care and residence for people who temporarily or permanently can’t travel anymore. What makes this center different from any other project for assistance of the elderly and infirm is that they live in their RV’s with their own pets and personal things but receive care and meals with their friends. I have volunteered at CARE and have found the facility superior to any other facility that I have seen or worked at as a registered nurse.

The second speaker that I introduced was Janet Taylor who spoke on “Travel Wardrobe Enhancement Made Easy.” She demonstrated how to change T-shirts and shirts by adding iron –on transfer studs and crystals.

Terry, my husband, went to seminars about photography, solar collectors, and diesel engines. We visited with special interest groups of Escapees called BOF (birds of a feather) groups such as Boondockers, Boomers, and Elks. We went to all the entertainment. I sold my book at the RV Author’s Cooperative.