Are We There Yet?

Yesterday, we pulled into Battleford, Alberta for the night.  As Dad was trying to keep us from dying, he hit a curb and blew a tire on the trailer.  First tire casualty and it wasn’t the roads fault.  We were going to spend the night in the Walmart parking lot, but decided we both wanted to take showers and take a break from the trailer.  So, we got a hotel room.  The Travelodge.  It was just renovated and the rooms were very nice…….but…..no A/C.  The room was extremely hot, but the beds were extremely comfortable.  So, we took out showers, opened a window, had a few drinks, and went to sleep.

We left The Battlefords this morning and was able to arrive in Dawson Creek, British Columbia for a grand total of 598 miles.  It was a tough one, but we did it.  We drove for almost 12 hours.  Tomorrow we are just going to drive as far as we can.  There is still a little snow on the ground,  frozen lakes and ponds, and break up is almost over for Canada.  Crossing rivers you can see the large floating ice burgs flowing down and the flooding that happens when snow melts.

Driving was nerve racking and stressful.  There were times I did’t know if we were going to be able to find a gas station to fill up Spike with diesel.  We managed to pull through without running out of fuel.  The roads are worse than the ALCAN!  Riding in the truck towing the large trailer and hitting bumps, dips, holes, cracks in the road feel like you’re being manipulated in a washing machine.  I feel my brain rattling in my head and it’s been giving me headaches.  Once we stop driving, my head calms down.

Tomorrow we start on the ALCAN where the roads are actually less bumpy and torcheres  than Canadian roads.  If we keep going driving the distance we are doing, we can be home hopefully in four days.  We have to stop in Ninilchik, AK to pick up Trubel, our new bear dog puppy.  She’s a cutie!

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Tonight, we are staying in the Walmart parking lot in Dawson Creek.  I am sitting in the McDonalds as I write this blog.  Dinner.  Dinner is and was awesome.  Have you ever heard of Poutine?  Nothing like gravy, real cheese curds and fries.  YUMMY!!!!

So.  Like I said.  We are just going to drive tomorrow.  I have no idea hoe far and where we will be sleeping.  I love a good adventure.

I hope I can blog tomorrow.  It’s hard to find internet when there are no campsites open yet.  Hence, McDonalds.

Good night everyone.

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Hello Canada!

April 26, 2018

Today we crossed the Canadian border and our vehicle and trailer were searched. The border guards were very nice and joked with us. I guess because we spent 5 months in Florida they wanted to make sure we weren’t criminals. Lol.

LATER

We were able to get to Portage la Prairie and pull into a Walmart. Dad and I had a drink and mapped out the test of the way home. Ate the most beautiful big mack I’ve ever seen and it was good too. Had a few drinks and spent the night in the parking lot.

Good day. We hope we can get to Battleford, AB by tomorrow night.

Will it Ever End

Today is Feb. 24, 2018.  The house in Florida has been a real pain.  It a pretty big house and I just now finished the floors.  Today I am doing laundry something that we have put off for a while.  Home feels farther and father away as each day progresses.  Time ticks by and Alaska seems father and farther away.  I am homesick.

It doesn’t matter that I have kayaked the Suwannee River this past week and it was absolutely beautiful.  I enjoyed it with my best friend Tammy.  We even encountered a large water moccasin that scared us to death as it shot off the bank of Bath Tub springs while we were walking around.  Another reason I miss Alaska.  There are no snakes.

I don’t miss the hot muggy weather of Florida or even the South at that matter.  I want to go home to the snow and cold.  Stoke the stove and have amazing views with amazing friends that I love to learn new things from.  I have realized that my heart is in Alaska and not on the Suwannee River.  It’s a fun place to visit but I am done living here.

I miss the clean crisp air, my views, my friends, my lifestyle.  I have been gone too long in my opinion.  I can’t wait to leave and get back on the road.  I will miss my friends in Florida, but I think we probably have had enough of each other.  LOL!

So now, Dad and I need to work double time to get out of here.  There’s not much more that needs to be done to the house,  Just install trim, pressure wash house, paint decks, touch up paint throughout house and paint trim, clean up yard, fell some more trees, create some curb appeal and DONE!  Then, we have to paint one of my rental houses as well.

Then, we can high tail it out of Florida!  Must go North!

As, we get closer and closer to bug out time.  I will start blogging everyday again.  You will be here for every bit of the road to home.

Counting Down to Home

Hi guys, I am sitting here at my best friends house doing laundry and thinking about home.

So let me catch you up.  I have two rooms to floor and a bathroom to finish.  I am working on a room a day and a half.  I have to prepare the room by pulling up old staples or hammering them down before I can roll the foam out and start laying the flooring.  It’s been trial and error and lots of frustration, but I am almost done and the flooring looks incredible.

Three days ago, I noticed that I was getting some sort of rash on my neck.  No, I haven’t been rolling in any kind of poisonous plants.  It’s a mystery.  It’s itchy, burns, and tingles.  No, it’s not shingles because it’s on both sides of my neck and I’ve had shingles before.  It’s time to go to the doctor.  I have been eating Benadryl and using a steroid cream but nothing seems to work.  It’s driving me nuts!

We have finished the kitchen and working on timing the rest of the house as I put down the flooring.

Dad and I both want to go home and have set a deadline to start back home this month.

We can’t wait.  Home sickness has set in heavy.  ALASKA WE MISS YOU!

I will continue to keep in touch and update you on whats going on.  Have a great Sunday!

Please visit my GoFundMe page to help me set up a Glamping business!

<https://www.gofundme.com/fcglamcamp&gt;

Meanwhile Back in Florida…

We’ve been busy trying to cut up some tree limbs that are the size of trees to be able to get into the house we are trying to finish renovating.  We had some chainsaw problems.  Dad got one started but then after an hour it threw the rods in the engine, basically it’s a parts saw now.  Mine, we it just wouldn’t start.  So, we took it to the chainsaw place in town to see if they could fix it.  It took about 3 or 4 days to get to it and fix it.  Seems there is some sort of issue that really can’t be fixed but they were able to finagle it to start.  So my little Poulan will start, but if I were to turn it off while it was hot it may not start back until it cools off.  Fabulous!  Dad decided to bite the bullet and buy a Stiel chainsaw.  The dealer fixed it up that it was ready to go with no problems.  Well, that’s what we though.  The darn thing was cutting great and then it just stopped running.  I don;t know anyone that has the kind of trouble with chainsaws as much as us.

My chainsaw is working and was able to really get some cutting done.  I can’t wait to fell some dead trees on the property back home in Homer.  I’m getting lots of practice using my chainsaw here in Florida.  It’s all up to me and my chainsaw to finish what we started.

Today we are going to tear out the master bathroom, finish installing a new window, and few other things before we can get to the flooring.  The faster we get this done, the faster we can get home!

 

Not Much To Do and Yet So Much

Since I have been here in Florida there really hasn’t been much to do until Dad rolled up on Friday.  I’ve got to see all my friends and catch up with them.  I have run errands and started selling off stuff that we don’t need.  I said good bye to my dune buggy, trailer and small camper.  I feel like a weight has been lifted.  It feels great!

Tomorrow, Dad is getting a replacement window for the house we are trying to finish renovating and I am going to do more errands as well in town,  then we will install the new a/c unit and window.  This will take the humidity out of the new flooring so it can be installed after Christmas.  I love staying with my friend Tammy, but there is something to be said about missing your own bed.  I miss my own bed and my home.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Florida.  I love my friends.  I don’t miss the hot sticky weather.  I am eager to finish my own home and start preparing for spring.  I love growing veg, raising chickens and now I can’t wait to start fishing for halibut and learning to hunt in Alaska!  Home is calling.

It’s funny.  I am so used to waking up, stoking the fire, having coffee and then working on the house.  We’ve lived a tough homesteader life there for about 3 or 4 months.  I’m now living in a friends house using air conditioning, having unlimited amount of water.  It’s crazy.  I had to force myself to flush toilet paper.  We don’t flush toilet paper down our toilets.  We brown paper sack it and then throw it into the wood stove.  I’ve had to relearn to be more civilized.  LOL!  Of course neither Dad or I packed the right clothes for Florida.  We’ve been buying  whatever we need from the Walmart in town.

We took the dogs to the vet for needed shots, check ups, and nail trimming.  Everyone is healthy and vaccinated.  Taco has made a new friend at Tammy’s.  Her name is Irma and Tammy calls her “The Terrorist” the kitten.

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I have to give my neighbor Tiana for saying our butts this week.  She has been checking in on our home and jumped to our rescue when we forgot all of our keys back in Alaska.  Thank you for mailing us our keys!!!!  You’re my hero!

And a special thanks to Tammy for giving us a place to stay and being my bestie while we finish this renovation we left unfinished to move to Alaska.

Many thanks to all of you.

For dinner I made nachos and we are downing it with a vodka 7.

I am still hoping to go kayaking on the Suwannee River soon.

Bob’s Version: Florida Bound Day 12

Day 12 Friday 12/15/2017

I got up a late and didn’t get away from the Jemison, AL truck parking area until almost 9:00. There was a Burger King about 40 feet from my truck. Their window sign advertised $1.99 biscuits and gravy. That was the reason for the later than usual start. I’m usually on the road in an hour or less.

This is the downhill slide to O’Brien. FL. The map app said it was 5 hours 41 minutes but but the actual driving time was closer to seven hours. I-10 was packed solid with people going slower than the posted speed limit of 70 mph. I was run off the road and onto the paved shoulder by an idiot in a van. Also, had another idiot pass me and the suddenly slam on his brakes. I braked so hard that just about everything in the trailer slide forward and poor little Suzy slid out of my lap into the floor. Bless her baby heart she was sound asleep and then thrown violently onto the floor and under the dash. Fortunately, the only injury to her was her pride.

The temperature was 61 degrees in the afternoon in the Florida panhandle. A substantial difference from two days ago in Winnipeg’s -3 degrees. I started shedding clothing as the temp rose. By the time, I got to O’Brien I was sweating and running with the windows down.

Finished the 3619 mile trip at 4:00 in the afternoon. Several people asked me why I would do such a thing. The only answer is that I can come up with is the same as the answer to “Why climb Mt. Everest?” This was a bucket list kind of trip, if I still had a bucket list.

Bob’s Version: Florida Bound Day 11

Day 11 Thursday 12/14/2017  The usual.

Feed the dogs walk the dogs and feed Spike 20 gallons of diesel. Got up at 6:40 but didn’t get on the road until 8:00.

Got through Memphis no problem except I missed my turn. That wasn’t the worst of it as there was a slightly longer route. The problem was fuel. I tried to get into three different places but the truck/trailer combo was too long. Finished up my self imposed detour and got on I-22 to Birmingham. After having wasted almost an hour on the detour and fueling fiasco, I found a real truck stop. A good thing too. I had only about 80 miles of fuel left and B’ham was over 90 miles away.

Had Summer try to contact my cousin to no avail.  When I got to Birmingham, I called my high school buddy, Melvin. He lived between B’ham and Montgomery. I told him that I’d be along at about 6:00 for our first meeting since 1963. When I got to his house he and his wife were very gracious. They offered me dinner and shelter for the evening but I declined. I declined because she would have been cooking only for me and because I traveling with two dogs. They have a very nice pet free home that in which I didn’t want any accidents occurring. Also, I was anxious to get on the road tomorrow as early as possible. I’m about 6-7 hours from my destination and I want to sleep in a bed that isn’t on the floor tomorrow night.

Returned to I-65 and drove down to the Jemison exit and got off the highway. There were several trucks parked in a vacant lot next to the Burger King. They have gravy and biscuits for $1.99. I know what I’m having for breakfast.

Dinner consisted of a sandwich topped with several slices of chicken breast topped with Vidalia onion and pepper jack cheese. Dessert was several ginger snaps.

Bob’s Version: Florida Bound Day 10

Day 10 Thursday 12/14/2017.

The usual.  Feed the dogs walk the dogs and feed Spike 20 gallons of diesel.  Got up at 6:40 but didn’t get on the road until 8:00.
Got through Memphis no problem except I missed my turn.  That want the worst of it as there was a slightly longer route.  The problem was fuel.  I tried to get into three different places but the truck/trailer combo was too long.  Finished up my self imposed detour and got on I-22 to Birmingham.  After having wasted almost an hour on the detour and fueling fiasco, I found a real truck stop. A good thing too.  I had only about 80 miles of fuel left and B’ham was over 90 miles away.
Had Summer try to contact my cousin to no avail.   When I got to Birmingham, I called my high school buddy, Melvin.  He lived between B’ham and Montgomery.  I told him that I’d be along at about 6:00 for our first meeting since 1963.  When I got to his house he and his wife were very gracious.  They offered me dinner and shelter for the evening but I declined.  I declined because she would have been cooking only unfortunately me and because I traveling with two dogs.  They have a very nice pet free home that In which I didn’t want any accidents to occurring. Also, I was anxious to get on the road tomorrow as early as possible.  I’m about 6-7 hours from my destination and I want to sleep in a bed that isn’t on the floor tomorrow night.
Returned to I-65 and drove down to the Jemison exit and got off the highway.  There were several trucks parked in a vacant lot next to the Burger King.  They have gravy and biscuits for $1.99. I know what I’m having for breakfast.
Dinner consisted of slices of his chicken breast topped with Vidalia onion and pepper jack cheese.  Dessert was several ginger snaps.