Slow Moving Progress

Ouch!  My back!  Yup, that’s right folks. My back.  I pulled some muscles in my back which has slowed down my mad moving skills.  Dad and I are just about ready to hit the open road hopefully by Thursday or Friday this week.  It has been one tough beginning to our adventure, but the fun part will soon begin!  Everything has taken just a little bit longer to do and that’s just fine.  Everything happens for a reason and I won’t argue about it.

Things I have gotten to do before I leave:

Hang out with friends a little longer

Eat at some restaurants in town that I love

Play in my favorite river (Suwannee River) this includes swimming and kayaking

Play in my favorite springs

Revamp my triptik a few more times to perfection

See the solar eclipse at 85% here in O’Brien, Fl

Give friends my plants, including a very large amount (12) of aloe vera I grew from a few plants

Figuring out how to live with 4 dogs in my 5th wheel home 🙂

*Enjoying life to the fullest and not care what people think (this is a big one)

So as I sit here this morning watching Bear and Taco wrestle around on the floor while Gandie steals Taco’s food is quite amusing.  I occasionally have to be the referee when they get a little over excited.  I am contemplating what will be next in this great adventure which has already started and yet we have not moved down the road.  I have found that I have a lot of friends that care deeply about me and are like family.  This little neighborhood will always be a slice of heaven and I will always come back.

I want to thank my friends in Suwannee Belle Estates for always being there when I needed you, being a helping hand, always welcoming and just for being my good friends! Ya’ll are wonderful and I will miss all of you!

Second Day on the Alaska Highway: Where the Buffalo Roam

This morning went without a hitch with Bertha the Beast in front scratching her way to the top of the mountains.  She was slow and steady sometimes only 10 mph, but she would make it.  Along the way we saw caribou of plenty and lots of red tailed hawks.

Soon, we found ourselves stuck in a not so great position, well Bertha the Beast did.  She clawed her way up as far as she could before completely stopping almost to the summit of one of the mountains.  I had to drop the fifth wheel camper at the top and go back for them (Dad and Bertha).  It’s not her fault she’s over weight and out of shape we took a gamble on her, so far she’s paying off with minor difficulties.  Anyway, we chained Bully Boy Spike to Bertha, threw Spike into 4 wheel drive low and off we go with Bertha’s help.  We chug all the way to the top and rehook the camper to the back of Spike.  No sweat!

Later.

I found where the buffalo still roam.  It seems they are all in the Northern Rockies and the Yukon.  I saw whole heard of buffalo and then some lonesome bulls minding their own business.  It was so cool!  It was like a Canadian Safari!

In total, we saw hawks, several caribou, one fox, and a heard of bison.

1st Day on the Alaska Highway “ALCAN”

This morning we left Dawson Creek, BC to embark on the famous Alaska Hwy.  We have heard so many stories about how bad this highway is.  We were told that it was a bumpy torn up road that will tear up your tires and suspension.

They must be talking about the Alaska side of the highway because we have encountered newly paved roads, construction for newly paved roads, and a few bumps here and there.  Now, we are still in Canada and not that far into this highway.  So I am not going to think that it is all going to be smooth driving just from today.  I’m sure it gets worse somewhere, maybe in the Yukon.  I just don’t know.

The views were just beautiful today on this historic road.  It also contained 8% down grades that makes your brakes smoke as you’re trying not to let gravity take over your vehicle and go warp speed down a mountain.  It was sort of like having control of a roller coaster and not wanting to control it.  You just have to and pray you don’t burst into flames while going ridiculous speed.  For a moment there, I thought we had gone to plaid.

We are now docked at Triple “G” RV for the night.  We are going to check our spare tires on top of the bus to make sure they are still tightly strapped on.  Dad and I are having our first Vodka and 7up for the day and relaxing just a bit before we do a few more chores and then dinner.  We have 1512 miles to go before we reach our new home in Homer, Alaska.  I can’t wait.  I can’t wait to be off the road and stationary.

It’s been a long haul so far.  I can’t wait to start unloading our belongings and try to get as settled as we can before we leave to go back to Florida for some unfinished business.

It will be an easier trip due to that fact we will be hauling an empty trailer and just the Ram, but I almost hope we get snowed in so we can take a break and really get settled.  You never know.

Until next time!  Same old computer and a whole different place.

Dawson Creek, BC

Well, we made it to the beginning of the Alaskan Highway and Mile Marker 0.  Now the fun begins.

We made it without a hitch to Dawson Creek, British Columbia from Whitecourt, Alberta. After some electrical problems on the bus the day before we were still able to make some tracks.  It was a four hour layover before the bus was fixed and ready to roll.  I took a nap for an hour or so.  This has not been an easy trip but today was a good day.  We made it a short day so that we could replenish the food supply and get some heavier clothing.  Looking at the pictures Dad remarked that he had a bad case of “hat head’.  He’d been wearing a cap all day.  Tomorrow we set out on the infamous ALCAN.  Everyone has told us how terrible this road is and we’re about to find out if it is true.  Wish us luck.

The showers here at Northern Lights RV Park are metered.  I’ve never heard of such a thing.  I took pictures because I was so amazed.  It makes me think back when I was in Paris.  I had to pay 2 euros just to go to the bathroom and do number 1.  Women had to pay 2 Euros no matter what, men paid by what they had to do;  1 Euro to pee and 2 to poop.

So, I think that this is ridiculous!  I would never pay for a shower even if it is nicer than mine in my fifth wheel.  I also had to pay 3 Canadian dollars per load of laundry.  Lucky, our U.S. dollar is stronger right now and it was about what it cost to do a load in the U.S normally.  They have very nice facilities.  I just wouldn’t pay for a shower.

Any who, we wake up early tomorrow morning and high tail it up to the Yukon, hopefully.

Wish us luck and pray for our safety.  God bless and good night!

Dawson Creek, BC

Well, we made it to the beginning of the Alaskan Highway and Mile Marker 0.  Now the fun begins.

We made it without a hitch to Dawson Creek, British Columbia from Whitecourt, Alberta. After some electrical problems on the bus the day before we were still able to make some tracks.  It was a four hour layover before the bus fixed and ready to roll.  I took a nap for an hour or so.  This has not been an easy trip but today was a good day.  We made it a short day so that we could replenish the food supply and get some heavier clothing.  Looking at the pictures Dad remarked that he had a bad case of “hat head’.  He’d been wearing a cap all day.  Tomorrow we set out on the infamous ALCAN.  Everyone has told us how terrible this road is and we’re about to find out if it is true.  Wish us luck.

The showers here at Northern Lights RV Park are metered.  I’ve never heard of such a thing.  I took pictures because I was so amazed.  It makes me think back when I was in Paris.  I had to pay 2 euros just to go to the bathroom and do number 1.  Women had to pay 2 Euros no matter what, men paid by what they had to do;  1 Euro to pee and 2 to poop.

So, I think that this is ridiculous!  I would never pay for a shower even if it is nicer than mine in my fifth wheel.  I also had to pay 3 Canadian dollars per load of laundry.  Lucky, our U.S. dollar is stronger right now and it was about what it cost to do a load in the U.S normally.  They have very nice facilities.  I just wouldn’t pay for a shower.

Any who, we wake up early tomorrow morning and high tail it up to the Yukon, hopefully.

Wish us luck and pray for our safety.  God bless and good night!

Short Trip and a Long Way To Alberta

Sorry everyone for not posting everyday;  internet at some of the campsites we have stayed at had really bad wifi.

Let me catch ya’ll up.

We left Indian Head, SK yesterday on our way to Alberta.  We didn’t quite make it.  We made it 291.9 miles in stead of our goal 540 miles.  Due to waking up with a flat and then on the road we blew one out we had to stop in Battleford, SK for the night due to the fact that nothing was open on a Sunday.

Monday, the next morning, we went to Walmart and their tire service center was still not open.  Who is closed on a Sunday and Monday?!  So we went into Walmart and bought thermal underwear and a few things that we needed.  Then I looked up on my phone with the $10 a day plan for international calling and found a tire place that had our size tires.  Turns out the manufacturer that makes the enclosed trailer used really cheap wheels with their tires.  Seems that the wheels cracked and let the air out of the tires.  So much that it completely destroyed one of the tires.

Any who, we get two new tires and go back to the campsite to replace the one that died.  As Dad was putting on the new tire I noticed that another one went flat on the other side of the trailer.  We had to use the other new tire to replace that one.  So at this point we had no spares.  We had to call the tire people and see if they had anymore tires and get two more.  We wasted all day on this, so I called and made a reservation at a campsite 95 miles away just to get us into Alberta.  It worked!  We are a day and a half behind but will try to gain it back tomorrow by trying to drive across Alberta and into British Columbia.

Please send us luck and prayers to keep us safe with no mishaps.

Good Bye Lower 48s and Hello Canada!

YESTERDAY

We drove through South Dakota into north North Dakota about 60 miles from the Manitoba Canadian border.  Where we drove in the Dakotas was really really hilly.  Most of middle America that we drove through was hilly.  I told Dad that I would have never expected Iowa, Missouri, and some of South Dakota to be almost mountainous.

Then, in a blink of an eye it was flat.  Just amazing.

There is also a temperature difference between  North Dakota and Canada.  North Dakota this morning was 49 degrees and a high in the 60s; Indian Head, Saskatchewan, Canada is 85 degrees.  Had to shed the flannel and jeans and put on a tank top and jeans.

THE BORDER

Everyone has been talking and Facebooking me about their terrible experiences crossing the Canadian Border.  It scared me enough that I put my jewelry box in my purse.

Turns out it wasn’t so bad.  Drove up to the kiosk and the questions began.  “May I have your passport?”, said the border patrol.

Me, “I don’t have a passport.”

Border Patrol (BP), “Why not?”

Me, “I had one but it expired back in 2011.”

BP, “Why didn’t you get it renewed?”

Me, “I never thought I would be leaving the country ever again.”

BP, “Why are you traveling here?”

Me’ “I’m moving to Alaska and this is the only way I can get there in such short notice.  There is a hurricane barreling towards my home and instead of riding it out and moving in the spring, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I read you don’t need a passport to come to Canada just a photo ID card and birth certificate.” WINK WINK

BP – “Do you have any guns on you?”

Me – “No.”

BP – “Do you own any guns?”

Me – “Yes.  I do.”

BP – ” What kind go gun is it?”

Me – “It’s a left handed 308 for deer hunting.”

BP – “There’s deer in Florida?”

Me – “Yes.  They are not as big as the ones up here but they taste good.”

BP – “Do you carry gun for protection?”

Me – “Nope.”

BP – “Is it just you in the car?”

Me – “It’s just me and 4 dogs.”

BP – “Are you leaving anything in Canada?”

Me – “I don’t understand the question?”

BP – “Are you leaving anything in Canada?”

Me – “What would I leave in Canada?”

BP – “Okay Ma’am.  You can go through, Welcome to Canada and have a nice morning.”

Easy!!!

It’s all been sun flowers and rainbows here in Canada so far on the Trans-Canadian Highway.  Except that it was like riding some crazy version of a roller coaster.

The BP Asked my Dad what, if anything, he was leaving in Canada.  His response was “Tracks”.

 

Hello, Iowa!

So we made it to Onawa, Iowa!  A little nowhere place in the middle of corn fields.  I tell ya, I have never in my life seen so many corn fields in my life.  I’m talking as far as the eye can see kind of corn fields.  It’s an amazing sight to see all the way through Missouri to where we landed in Iowa nothing but corn fields!

Today almost went without a hitch.  We woke up early, walked the dogs, had coffee, made sure we knew where we were going.  It all was planned.  Yet again, there was a flat.  This time not on my rig, but on Dad’s.  So there was 30 minutes wasted changing yet another tire.  Now you have to imagine thus far what this poor slightly overloaded trailer is being dragged by a school bus!  It’s getting all beat up back there.  At one point we hit some hard bumps back in Missouri where we think it bent an axel (we probably did since the tire didn’t look right), luckily it bent back with a few more heavy bumps.  When that happened, we bent part of the frame as well.

I can only imagine it like a cartoon.  When we reach our new home, it will be parked, released from the bus and collapse into a pile of aluminum, rivets and bent steel.  and all the tires will fall off and you will here a sense of relief from the trailer.  It will never be the same again.  lol

 

Illinois to Missouri

 

The, apparent, continuing disaster of blown out tires and minor difficulties like hoses coming off turbochargers have stopped.  We have rolled through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and most of Missouri in this great adventure.  Hopefully, our good luck will continue and we’ll be in Summit, SD by tomorrow evening.  The four dogs have been really good, but Dad dropped Suzy when Bear jerked on his leash as they were going down the steps of the travel trailer.  Suzy wasn’t hurt but it scared her so much that she wouldn’t eat.  Other than that and the really terrible roads in Illinois and Missouri the day was just another beautiful day in the ever changing neighborhood.

Chattanooga!

Best things money can buy!  A diesel generator for those times you can’t hook up to power.  I want to thank my generator for a lovely night with A/C on Sunday at the Pilot Travel Center.  It was a great nights sleep.

We decided to stop at the local Walmart and buy more new tires, 2 hydraulic jacks, spray paint for the wheels all for the camper.  There are four tires total on the camper.  One was replaced by the old spare, and the other one with a new tire.  So, in total we have all new tires and two brand new spares.  So, Dad and I had to jack up the camper yet again and take three tires off.  Walmart service center was rolling out the new ones as we were taking off old ones.  This took a while and put us behind yet again.  Once all new tires were on, we took off.

We made it to Chattanooga without a hitch!  Our lovely campsite at Raccoon Mountain RV Resort is nice.  We are right near the dog play area and we have lighting bugs all over.

The people that work here are so nice and really want to make sure you have a great experience at their park.  They have cave excursions and more! I totally recommend this place for tent campers and RVs of the sort.  Very nice views as well.

If you ever want to come to Chattanooga, TN to see the caves, Ruby Falls, Lookout Mountain they are all close to this campground and they are pet friendly to boot!

This morning I woke to 67 degree weather here at the campsite.  So nice! I took the dogs to the play area so they could run around and go to the bathroom without being on leashes.  This morning is so much better than the blistering heat and humidity in Florida.  I’m sitting here drinking my coffee and planning the next leg of the trip.  I am so hoping we make it to our next stop in good time and in one piece.

 

 

And We Are Off!

UPDATED POSTINGalaskaorbust

We were about 40 miles into Georgia before my camper decided to shred a tire.  Luckily, we were prepared and changed the tire in no time.  The funny part was that I never even new it had blown.  Just didn’t feel it and that my friends is scary.

Well, not just forty miles later did I blow another one!  This time I felt and heard it.  We pulled over and decided we should get some more spare tires than just the two we have.  So we proceed to the nearest Walmart after ejecting the camper.  When we got back and tried to jack the camper up it would not jack high enough for us to install the new tire.  And so, after AAA came by to help change the tire, we decided to take Exit 101 in Cordele, Georgia and stay at a truck stop for the night.  We hooked up our generator to the camper and we are happy as a clam in A/C. Thank God for that generator!  Cold A/C and a hot shower!

So tonight I bid you farewell and tomorrow is an another day.  We should hopefully make some miles tomorrow.

Good night everyone!