Thursday, May 24, 2007

Life with Will – May 24

I just learned that my Dad went into the hospital back home yesterday – it doesn’t appear to be serious but he is 90 so any problems are of concern. Please be praying for his recovery.

Our grandson Will is an independent, energetic and (in our view) very intelligent 3 and a half year old. We have spent time looking after him every day but 2 since we arrived here on May 5.

He is naturally apprehensive about having his parent away and being alone with us. However, we can be with him for 2 to 3 hours before he gets to concerned and that is usually the longest period we are alone.

This first picture was taken May 11 at the Coquitlam Town Centre Recreation area. That day we were with Sarah and had walked there (about 1km from their house). We were throwing a little football on the edge of the field and running back & forth on the track.

On May 12, they came out to the campground

We went for a walk and a picnic in the Tynehead Regional Park. The pictures shows Will & Grandpa playing throwing rocks into the water,

Will pretending to be a swordsman and

Will & Sarah hiding in an cedar stump

Sunday May 13, Kevin took us to the Vancouver Science Centre (Telus World of Science) and Will had a great time exploring the various exhibits. They have a membership and make frequent visit there so a lot of our time was having Will act as tour guide showing us the various things of interest to him. He spent a long time playing with the water table - making dams and changing the direction of the water flow

May 15 was a beautiful sunny day and we went with Sarah to the White Pines beach in Belcarra (north of Port Moody) –met up with Bianca and Christian – he is close to Will’s age. Unfortunately, my batteries died so I didn’t get may pictures. (also note that for some reason, on May 10, the date on my camera reset back to January 1 2002 so all these pictures have the wrong date – add 9 to get the correct day in May. I just noticed it and fixed it this morning)

On May 19, we took a day trip with the BBB to Queen Elizabeth Park

and the Bloedel Conservatory.

It was rainy with sunny breaks – but we were able to spend acouple of hours outside with only a couple of drizzly period – we had raincoats and umbrellas so it was fine.

Linda & I first visited this location in 1979 (28 years ago) on May 21 to attend the wedding reception for my brother Rob and his wife Marilyn-- it was held in the Season’s restaurant

Many of their wedding photos were taken in the little quarry garden.

We stopped at the Rocky Point park in Port Moody on the way home and had supper together in the BBB.

It was good that we did this on Saturday because that it poured rain all that night and most of the day on Sunday.

Monday however was a relatively nice day and we took Will for a long walk to the Coquitlam centre. While there he started playing with another boy who was there with his parents – I was talking to the father and discovered he worked for the same company (Thompson-Carswell) as my brother Lawrence – although he didn’t know him – he is a salesman here in BC and Lawrence is in the IT area working in Toronto.

Well I’m going to close off now. We are heading to Harrison Hot Springs for an overnight trip with Kevin, Sarah and Will to-morrow.

I do have a few “challenges” such as a water leak in the HHR that showed up on theweekend during the rain storm—which has killed the heater motor and some other things that are “testing” us but I’ll deal with those later.

God Bless

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mountains, Ocean and (mostly) blue skies (May 5 – May 18)

Two weeks – where has the time gone. We pulled into the Tynehead Campground in Surrey mid-afternoon May 5.

We had been on the road 10 days traveling over 5000 km (3000 miles) after leaving Aurora on April 25, ( over 5000 km (3000 miles) from Sault Ste. Marie) – not the most direct route – which is just a tad over 3500 km (2200 miles)

Our route west had us driving in the mountains a lot more than any other trip we have made since we were in mountains most of the 1000 plus miles from Salt Lake City (and several hundred miles before that)—that’s what happens when you drive diagonally – northwest through the mountains - lots of good scenery – reminded us of the awesomeness of God’s creation.
We see mountains every day as we drive back & forth to Kevin's place (unless it is really foggy - which has been rare). We are very close to the Burrard inlet and Stanley Park (on the Pacific Ocean) and have been severalplaces were we could look out over the ocean . We have been experiencing cool but often sunny weather so this has become a daily reminder -- of something we can easily take for granted when we are in the "rut" of daily living at our homes.

Of course, we are also reminded of the downside of the natural forces when we hear of the tornadoes and damaging storms that have been occurring over the past few weeks. Our prayers are with those whose lives are turned upside down because of these storms. Every time I hear about something like this I remember our friends in Pascagoula and the first hand knowledge we gained last year of the impact these storms (Katrina in that case) has on people's lives.

While I certainly don't claim to understand why these things happen to some and not other and why "the rain falls on the just and the unjust" -- I am convicted that God is there and he is able to work good in tragedy and trials -- whether these massive highly visible storms or just the samll day today things that happen that can wear us down and discourage us. The question is always the same -- will we look to God for comfort and help and trust in his promises or will we believe this is proof that he isn't there or doesn't care.

Something to think about -- well back to what's been going on with us. (and what have we been doing that has kept me from writing in my blog?)

As we came north across the border on May 5th, I discovered that I had not brought the information about the campground where I had made a tentative reservation. I knew it was in Surrey just off Highway 1 near the Port Mann bridge. Our BC camping book didn’t have a listing for anything that met that description. I tried unsuccessfully to pick up a wireless signal so I could find it on the INTERNET. Since I had a general idea were it was located I decided to see if we could find it by watching for signs. As we came up Highway 15 we saw a sign for a campground – which turned out to be Tynehead. After we checked in I did an INTERNET search and found the reference to Dogwood campgrounds which I then remembered was the one I had been talking to—however – we were in a good location so we just called and cancelled at Dogwood.

The neat thing- some might say luck – we prefer to give credit to God’s providence – is that Tynehead seems to be a better location. We are just across the road from Tynehead regional park where we have gone hiking several times and - from our drive by visit to check out Dogwood – we ended up in smaller and probably quieter campground. So sometimes it pays not to be organized.

We are 2 minutes from Highway 1 and (depending on traffic) 15 to 20 minute drive to Kevin’s. It always takes 5 minutes longer to go there in the daytime – because traffic is always heavy at the bridge - but coming backing the evening we usually just sail through.

After we arrived we went to visit Kevin, Sarah & Will. It was really neat to have Will recognize me after 16 months. He had seen Linda last fall and he went to her as if she had neverleft. It was a great time catching up withwhat was happening with Kevin & Sarah and playing with Will.

Sunday we attended services at South Burnaby. We saw Irene & Shirley Wood (My sister-in-law Marilyn’s mother and sister) – more “almost relatives” (click HERE for my definition of this term) and visited with several others we have come to know from earlier times that we have been here. I really like the preaching style of Kirk Rauch the minister at South Burnaby. It is down to earth but insightful and challenges one to grow in their relationship with Jesus. He has been doing a series on Hebrews –with the general theme “God speaks—it is really important to hear what he says about Jesus - and to underscore that importance -- there are ”bad things” that happen if we fail to listen—BUT most importantly there are good things for us if we do listen. His analysis of Hebrews is that this is a repeating cycle throughout this collection of writings.

We have been at Kevin & Sarah’s everyday except one since we arrived. It seems the days fly by. By the time we get up and do our daily routines it has been time to head over. We have dinner with them and by the time we get back in the evening and spend a little time relaxing – TV or reading -- it is time for bed and the cycle repeats.

I have been getting about an hour a day on the “computer” and that seems to be enough to keep up with email and chip away at the backlog- but not enough to do much journaling. I did have to spend several hours updating and issuing the course outline for the statistics course for engineers that I have been working on with one of the math profs at Algoma U. I am also able to do a little bit of webmail work at Kevin’s when Will is napping or watching his videos. – mostly that has been dealing with my AlgomaU email

The weather has been cool but sunny – last week we had 3 days with temperatures in the low 20’s (70F) so we have gotten some tan—and had to use sun screen frequently. We have been to several parks at the Burrard inlet and spent one afternoon with Sarah & Will at White Pines beach. Will was wading but the water was pretty cold. We had our first taste of rain this last Friday (18th) but it was in the evening. It rained more yesterday and is raining steadily this morning (Sunday) as I write -- just in time for the long weekend.

Sarah had a list of “fix it” jobs she was hoping I could work on – so it was good that I had brought my tool box. So I have fixed a deadbolt lock assembly that wasn’t working properly, repaired a drawer hanger to keep the drawer from falling out of the cupboard, replaced the burner on the BBQ and several other small jobs. There are a couple of bigger jobs that I’m still trying to work out how to do them – with limited money and limited tools- we’ll see what happens in the remaining 2 weeks.

Linda has been doing some gardening planting some annuals she bought for Sarah for Mother’s day. I also spent an afternoon mowing grass and generally cleaning up in the yard.

The main variations in “routine” are that we have several days gone for a walk at Tynehead before going over to Coquitlam and the other variation is which park we go to with Will. We have been watching him for a couple of hours in the afternoon when Sarah goes to work to allow Kevin to spend more time at school working on his thesis materials. He is at a tough point in this process and is somewhat discouraged at his lack of progress – Hopefully he will get all the approvals for his method sand be able to get into the data collection phase soon.

Well it’s now Wednesday (23rd) so I’ll close this off and get it posted. More later.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Blowing in the wind (May 3-4)

Posted May 6 from Surrey BC (Note I've added pictures to last 2 posts)

Wednesday afternoon driving on I-80 west of Salt Lake we were driving on a ribbon of highway which cut through miles and miles of white salt beds. For us it looked like fields of snow. As we drove every once in a while the wind would blow the salt across the road – again looking like drifting snow and a couple of times it was almost a “white-out”.

Thursday morning as we drove I-80 it was quite cold and there was fresh snow along the road. It was so cold that I had to stop and turn on the regular “car” heater (That’s another story but the heater control for the BBB is now located under the hood not inside on the dash- I had turned it off in Cheyenne so we could use the air conditioning). When we were driving into Wells Nevada (where we turned north on US93 to go to Twin Falls Idaho) we were in a blizzard (real snow this time) for a few minutes.
Fortunately it didn’t last long. Later that day on I-84 in Idaho we saw signs that said Caution –Blowing dust -- although we didn’t actually experience it. We though – now we’ve seen it all – salt, snow and dust – all blowing in the wind creating road hazards.

It was a long day driving with a lot of up and down. The trip along the snake river canyon in Idaho was quite scenic but I did get weary of lugging the car up the side of the canyon only to drop back down to the river and start over again.

We covered slightly over 350 miles (570 km) and did WALMART camping in Ontario Oregon. Ontario folks in Ontario doesn’t seem so strange except we were a long way from our Ontario.

We stopped at the Oregon Welcome centre just east of Ontario and as I was getting out the lady in a motor home that parked beside us was looking at the licence plate and asked “Are you from Ontario?” -- When I said “Yes” she asked where – I said Sault Ste. Marie -- with some tentativeness because mostly people don’t know where that is. She said ”Wow- we are from North Bay” —(which is about 5 hours east of Sault Ste Marie on the same highway). They had flown to Calgary, rented the motor home and were making a circle coming over to Seattle, up to Vancouver Island and back to Calgary through the Rockies.

Friday the mountains and the winds continued. The descent into the Yakima River valley – 6 miles of 6% grade was quite dramatic and 20 miles or so of flat driving across the valley was a welcome reprieve from the mountains - beautiful as they are -- and for once there didn’t seem to be either a cross-wind or head-wind.

The head winds were terrible for the first hour or so after we got onto I-90 heading in to Seattle. We also had another fuse blow on the brake lights. We had come up a very long steep grade on I-90 and I had left the 4 ways on too long I guess because when I pulled into arrest area a little later I noticed that they weren’t working. I guess I’ll have to put in a 20 amp fuse since the 15 amp obviously isn’t heavy enough to handle the extra load from the tow car.

While we were in Salt Lake I had realized (well duh!!) that we would be going by Seatlle where my nephew Evan lives. He was recently married (wedding was in Victoria the same weekend we left home) and last time we had seen him was at his mother’s 65th birthday party in the Sault - in 2004. We had talked briefly on the phone when we flew through Seattle in 2005. Anyhow, I didn’t have any contact information so I had emailed his sister Megan and gotten his email address, sent him and email and gotten his phone number. So we called him and were able to arrange to meet Evan & Angie last evening. It was another long day – we were on the road at 8:30 (Pacific) and arrived Lynnwood (north Seattle) Walmart (just off I-5 just north of the I-405 intersection) at 7:15 after covering around 470 miles (750 km).

Evan lives about 5 minutes away so he picked us up rather than us having to unhitch the HHR and find our way to his house. We spent the rest of the evening visiting over a very good dinner and it was 11 (Pacific) when we got back to the BBB – which was midnight or 1am or 2 am by our internal clocks – depending on which of the time zones we’ve crossed we are acclimatized to – I think I’m pretty well operating on Central time — since I woke up ready to get up at 4:00 am.(Although I managed to get back to sleep some and didn’t actually get up until 6:00).

Tahnkfully we completed our outbound trip on Saturday and arrived at our campground in Surrey around noon and spent the afternoon greeting Will, Kevin & Sarah – more on that later.
God Bless

Friday, May 04, 2007

Salty Life (May 1 -2)

Posted May 4th from Baker City Idaho

We spent 2 days in Salt Lake City and certainly the presence of the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” is a dominant part of that city. I’ll describe more of the specifics later but the “Mormon” experience caused me to think about several things.

One was I found myself thinking “the tours in Temple Square may be free in the sense of no money but there is a real cost – that of listening to a lot of talk about their beliefs”. I also found the idea of latter day revelations to be difficult to believe and had to remind myself that whether I believed or not didn’t give me the right to be derogatory and disrespectful – which is an important message for everyone in dealing with those who think and believe differently than we do.

One the other hand, I found much that I could support and agree with – the emphasis on Jesus as our Savior, the emphasis on the church as his redeemed body, the emphasis on family values (the early approval of polygamy notwithstanding), the emphasis on hard work and economic independence and self-sufficiency (that they believe comes as a blessing to those who serve Jesus) – these are things that any Christian should be able to align with.

The one final thought tied back to the sermon we heard in Cheyenne on Sunday morning from Ray Ward. The lesson was from John --when the Roman soldiers came to arrest Jesus and Peter took out his sword to fight them. Jesus told Peter to “put away his sword”. The point was that Christians are not called to “fight for Jesus” but rather to follow him and proclaim his wonderful love. Jesus has already won the fight by his death for all. Now there is lots of language about being soldiers for Christ but that is about our personal battle against Satan and his forces – not a battle against other people. The point of the lesson (in part) was that we too often as Christians used his word to “fight against” and “beat down” other people to try to force them to conform to our way of thinking. We would be better to live our lives following Jesus – relating to and loving people the way he did and let him fight the battle and claim the victory – as he has already done.

The reason I relate this to the Mormon “experience” is 2-fold –

1) their dedication to their understanding of what Jesus wants from them is a good example of the power of “salt, leaven and light” BUT

2) their passion for “proselytizing” seems a bit strong and gives a sense that they are treating people who believe differently as the “enemy” – It made me wonder if we as Christians convey that attitude to non-Christians. Can we follow Jesus and let him fight the battle – or do we need to take out our swords and cut down the “enemy” who doesn’t believe as we do?

Well – end of sermon and back to the journey of the “HHR’s” (healthy happy rovers)

The Cherry Hills orchard campground in Kaysville just of I-15 is about 15 miles north of Salt Lake City. It is a beautiful spot overlooking the Salt Lake basin with snow capped mountains as a backdrop. It was listed in our AAA camping guide but the real reason we picked it was because Phil Bullock recommended it from a time they had camped here. To get to it we took I-84 and came around and back down from the north. It would have been about the same distance to continue in on I-80 and come up I-15 but we were close to rush hour and our experience on Tuesday confirmed that it would have been a serious traffic jam if we had done that.

Anyhow, as I mentioned at the end of my last post, we packed a lunch and headed to downtown SLC on Tuesday to visit the Mormon Temple square. This certainly was a time when it was great to have the HHR in tow since we would have been hard pressed to find a place to park the BBB in downtown SLC.

Linda writes in her journal that we “went to Mormon location. Heard all about Joseph Smith-(how he had) a vision (and was) made a modern day prophet (and was given) the book of Mormon. Interesting story -saw a movie showing how the Mormons were chased out of Illinois & Missouri and then brought to Utah by Brigham Young. They irrigated barren land and made a beautiful valley”

Of the Temple square Linda writes “Beautiful buildings and flowers. (Several) “free” tours (but) had to listen to a lot about being a Mormon”

(The guides were mostly young people who came to SLC for an18 month mission service and their job was to testify about their faith. If you were mostly interested in the history of the Mormons or the architecture of the buildings, it would be better to go on your own and read the information that was posted -- however, some places you could only get to by taking a tour).

There is a interesting display in the North visitor's center -- in a dome there is a mural depicting the universe with a statue of Jesus in the center -- illustrating his position as central to the creation.

Linda continues “Heard the Tabernacle organ for ½ hour – enjoyed all but first piece” (which was a loud “hard” sounding composition)

The organ had an tremendous range – from the sound of a bell tinkling to the one more like a bass drum or tuba . The acoustics in the Tabernacle were amazing – you could literally hear a pin drop from 150 feet away.

We arrived in SLC around 10 a.m. and left around 5:30 p.m. and toured most of the buildings on Temple square that are open to the public. It was a beautiful day – nice breezes and a dry 89F (30C).

The roof top at the 21000 seat conference center provides a dramatic view of the city. (Our guide took this picture of us on the roof)

The “Beehive house” which was Brigham Young’s residence and early church offices was interesting but they rushed us through – which frustrated Linda because she wanted to stop and look at the furnishings and the decorating. The main purpose of the tour was to emphasize the importance of family “sealing” to Mormons and the young ladies couldn’t answer many questions about the historical aspects of the actual building and furnishings.

There was also a special series on Mormons on TV which Linda watched for both evenings.

Linda continues (May 2nd). “Got up this am and went to Antelope Island. Saw antelope and prong horn deer, quail and coyote but no bison” (The island has one of the largest free roaming herds of bison in the US – around 500 – it is culled each year to prevent it from overgrowing the available grazing land)

At the Garr ranch – part of the ranch house is one of the oldest original buildings in the state of Utah – over 150 years old, Linda writes “saw three (great-horned) owlets in their nest just about ready to fly and saw the father owl sitting way up in a tree”

We were going to hike up one of the trails 1.2 miles (2km) to “Dooley’s peak” but we got up about 200 yards and decided it was too steep – since we didn’t have our hiking boots and Linda doesn’t do well on steep climbs (nor do I for that matter). So we stopped and had our snack, took some pictures and went back to the car.

Linda continues “went down and walked on the beach of Great Salt Lake. Very salty – only brine shrimp & flies live in it. Walked in water (up to knees – it was a beautiful day around 80F (25C)) & might have gone swimming They say you just float”

(We had left our swim suits in the car because we thought it would be too cold – but really didn’t seem to be any worse than Lake Superior in early July – but it was a long walk to the car so we decided our wading would have to do).

We (mostly me) had decided that since we were so close we would take the “long way” to Idaho and drive west on I-80 to Nevada so we could see the Salt Flats. We had arranged for a late checkout from the campground and we arrived back at 2:30, hooked up the car, took showers and began the final preps for leaving.

I need to go back a little bit. Our auxiliary braking system (Brake Buddy) has a transmitter that is supposed to light up a receiver in the motor home when the brakes are activated. It had worked originally but when we tested in Cheyenne it didn’t light up – so when we arrived in SLC I thought I would just be sure that the reason it wasn’t working was because it was in the “shadow” of the motor home so I took the receiver and plugged it into the auxiliary power outlet in the car (where I have had the rear view camera plugged in and it had been working earlier that day) – and discovered that the fuse had blown. (I still haven’t figured out why -- I just got a replacement fuse last night so I’ll experiment with it maybe to-day) -- Anyhow – this was electrical problem #1.

Tuesday night – just after Linda finished watching the Mormon special our 12V TV in the bedroom died. Again, I haven’t figured out what is wrong with it but I think maybe the power supply gave up. Electrical problem # 2.

This brings us back to Wednesday afternoon. During the final preps for leaving we were checking the lights to be sure the connection to the car was working and discovered that the brake lights weren’t working (on the motorhome). I also discovered that the 4 way flashers wouldn’t work and concluded the 2 things were tied together. I thought maybe the heavy usage on Monday climbing those long steep hills had fried the flasher (remember I mentioned that in my last post).

I asked and found that there was an RV service center about a mile away so we finished the rest of our preps and drove there (using parking light switch to simulate braking). When I got there the guy said they were really backed up and would not be able to look at it until the next day. But he also said that he didn’t think a flasher failure would cause those symptoms – had I checked the fuse? So I went and checked the fuse and sure enough it was blown. Electrical problem #3 – all of which happened in or near SLC – go figure!!

It seems really weird that we had three electrical failures almost simultaneously in completely unrelated components (or circuits). My rationale for the brake light –hazard light fuse blowing was that with the extra load from the tow car and high usage it had overheated and blown just as we were coming in to SLC – I know the hazards were working up to 10 minutes before we stopped.

Anyhow, they have been working fine since I replaced the fuse (I used my spare and the guy at the RV place gave me 2 more so I’m OK if it happens again).

We were on the road by 4 and drove to West Wendover Nevada arriving around 7 with a short stop at the scenic overlook of the Bonneville flats. (The picture shows me standing in a "puddle"of saltwater along the edge of the salt flats - it does look like snow & ice!!!)
There is one flat straight as an arrow 35 mile section of highway across the flats heading into the Utah-Nevada line – incredible and interesting driving because we had high cross-winds for the whole stretch.
We parked overnight in a Casino parking lot – high winds and thunderstorm overnight.

Well that’s it for now - I have some pictures and I’ll update these posts at some point to include a few of them. (Done May 5)

God Bless
Charlie & Linda

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Almost relatives (April 29-30)

Posted from West Wendover Nevada (I-80) - Thursday morning May 3 (Updated with pictures May 5)

Sunday morning I had located the Cheyenne Church of Christ using their website. They are meeting in a school auditorium because their building was in the flight path for the airport and the airport had bought it as part of an expansion plan. MAPQUEST is great for getting directions and we were able to find the location with no problems.

When we went in we spoke to one lady who was originally from North Dakota who had relatives in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Then one of the elders saw us and came over to say hello. When we told him we were from Ontario he said “Do you know anyone in Beamsville?” – I said “Sure – maybe you know my brother-in-law Art Ford?” – He said “Sure do – our daughter is married to their son”. Our response was surprised delight – “Oh, you are Jeri’s father”. Jeri is married to my nephew Craig Ford. I have mentioned Craig & Jeri before. They with their daughter Hannah are missionaries in Papua New Guinea (click HERE).

This made Phil and Ruth Bulloch “almost relatives” – my term for people that you have absolutely no earthly relationship with either by blood or “in-law” but who you share close relatives with. (The best example of this of course are the parents of your daughter-in-law or son-in-law – you share a grandchild but there (often) is no other connection.)

I had forgotten that Jeri was from Cheyenne although I had remarked to Linda as we came into Cheyenne that I thought her parents lived “somewhere around here”. As my memory got refreshed I recalled that the wedding had been in Cheyenne but unfortunately we had not been able to make it so we had never met Phil & Ruth before.

We had a great visit with them over lunch at Primo’s (Primos All-You-Can-Eat-Pizza, Corner Of Dell Range & Prairie) - a neat “cafeteria-style” pizzeria –where we learned about something we had never seen before – dessert pizza!!

Our lunch with Phil & Ruth along with their son Phillip and his wife and daughter (almost the same age as Hannah) and 2 foster daughters was a great visit . We were able to share our common bond as Christians as well as our common connection with the Ford’s. (I was really kicking myself because Phil had driven us to the restaurant since our car was “in tow” and we didn’t want to drive the whole rig around Cheyenne -- as a result my camera was in the BBB and I couldn’t get a picture)

Phil works in the funeral business and is an elder at the Cheyenne church. They have been foster parents for a number of years – in fact they are off to Washington next week as sponsored by the state of Wyoming as “delegates” to a national convention. Ruth is also working on a nursing diploma so they have full lives. We hope that God will continue to bless them and their family. It is possible that we might see Ruth this summer since Craig & Jeri are home on furlough and Jeri is expected to give birth to their second child while they are in Canada around the same time as Craig’s brother Trevor’s wedding in July.

One other fascinating thing about this visit was Monday afternoon when we arrived in Salt Lake I received this email from my brother-in-law Art (Craig’s Dad) “We received the word from PNG that you visited with the Bullocks in Cheyenne.” So in this day of the INTERNET news can travel around the world in the “blink of an eye”.

After lunch we were back on the road again. It was a long gradual uphill climb as we drove west. We crossed the highest point in Wyoming near Laramie (8650 feet) (actually highest point on the entire cross continental I-80 route) .

At the rest area there we learned that it is referred to as the “summit” and there is a historical marker describing the construction of the original “Lincoln highway” as a private endeavor to provide a continuous road from New York to San Francisco.

There is also a large marker with a bust of Abe Lincoln on top.

We had a demonstration of physics about 2 miles before we reached the summit. We were driving along when we heard a loud bang. – like a balloon bursting. I was concerned that it might have been a tire blowing out although there was no indication of any problem so we pulled over and checked. Everything looked fine so we went on. As we were driving I got to wondering if it had to do with the low pressure at this altitude and something in one of the storage bins might have ruptured.

So when we got to the rest area I checked everything in the bins but could find anything even though several plastic containers of water and washer fluid were bulged there didn’t seem to have been any signs of an “explosion” Linda discovered that several tubes of stuff in the bathroom were “oozing” materials – especially when she took the lids off but again nothing that would explain a “bang”. The next day as I was coming in from gassing up Linda said “I found it”. We had a bag of Doritos chips in a cupboard just behind the drivers seat and the bag was blown open at the top seam.
So the moral of the story is eat your chips before you start up the mountain!!! (I guess this is a science experiment for Hunter or Camdyn to see how reducing pressure outside a sealer container can cause it to explode.)

After the “summit” experience, we continued across the continental divide near Rawlins and on in to Rock Springs. We did a WALMART night there. (The picture of the sign was taken somewhere near Rawlins and the second one was in Green River)

As we pulled in to the WALMART at Rock Springs we were out walking around looking for a suitable “camping” spot and came across a couple from Ohio who were pulling a 5th wheel. They told us that they had blown a tire on their (double axle) trailer. The force of the “explosion” and maybe the debris from the tire had broken out the wheel well and made a hole right into the trailer. They had been able to get the spare on and had come in to get duct tape to try to close off the worst of the hole. Made me wonder what would happen if I ever blew one of our rear duals – I don’t even want to think about what would happen if I blew a front tire. I will try to keep a close watch on them to reduce that possibility.)

Monday morning Linda saw a “Corral West” cowboy clothing store and went shopping for a (very nice) shirt and vest . I was able to pick up INTERNET from a Quality Inn across the way and did that for a while as she shopped). We then drove on to Salt Lake City. I had thought we were through most of the mountains and it hadn’t really amounted to much but as we got towards the Utah border we started hitting very long relatively steep climbs that slowed me down to below 60 kph (35 mph). I used my 4 way blinkers a lot of the time as we climbed and occasionally forgot to shut them off (this is relevant later)

As we came into UTAH we were in “real” mountains – snow capped – much like going through the Rockies in BC. (The picture is at a rest stop just as we entered Utah -- one of the most beautiful locations we saw on the entire route)
We also got to see prairie dogs several places as we stopped and I got this picture at the Utah rest stop

Well I’ll close off this post with the text of an email I sent to family & friends Tuesday morning (May 1).

“We pulled into SLC yesterday around suppertime. We are in a very nice campground just off I-15 about 10 miles north - old apple orchard overlooking the city.We are headed downtown to check out the sights for the day -- more later.”

God Bless