Mesa to Saskatoon – Spring Migration 2015

April 6-9

Heading North: 8:30 am Mesa time; 101,000 km on 2010 Jeep. Took 2 hours to finish the locking up/cleaning up/packing it in; first time taking booze and grapefruit. Highway 202 to 101; decide Flagstaff route instead of Vegas. Say good-bye to my favorite Phoenix mountain; the smog; not so much; could be why Bob has chest issues. Silver Wings is Song in my Head. Except we’re driving. Telling Bob about the gong meditation I went to last night; 4 of the 20 participants were men.

Next year the 202 will be 10 lanes instead of 8. Unchained Melody is the name of the song in my head as I wonder if I will play music for Friendship Inn, seniors homes or hospitals this summer. Also wonder if the poems, songs that come out automatically are all of this life; or some to do with past lives. Like the, “There’s pain in my neck like a bullet went through” from one of my songs.

Bob asks if I took the ham out of the deep freeze. Yes; gave it away with the Bratwurst. My one pen is done; out of ink; am now using like a black felt pen. Back of my chest/heart area is like full of emotions; feels like could go into back spasms; has been like that for a couple of days; ever since I was around a guy full of pain. Is this all my stuff? We are leaving the morning rush hour traffic. Hover lanes are 6-9 am and 3-7 pm.

Think of all the healing years my kids and I put in to get us to this place. Faded Love is the song in my head. Brand new houses in middle of desert with a turkey vulture flying above. Great tailed grackle glides through saguaros. Blooming Yellow Trees. I read signs to Bob: “ Gusty Winds next 2 miles,” “Cross Winds Area,” and “Little Squaw Creek – 1 mile.” Third vehicle sitting on side of road; this one shredded trailer tire.

Black Canyon City. Watch for rocks. Pink wild flowers like Indian Paintbrush giving bursts of colour to the tan and green juniper landscape. We are in a line up of cars going through construction. License plates from California, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Ontario, Alabama, Colorado, Texas and more Arizona ones as we merge into one lane on the 5 % downward grade. Air fresher than Phoenix. Song: “It Aint Me Babe” in my head for days. Now in the Cottonwood Valley; with it’s spring green colours.

Up to 5000′ elevation. Solid evergreen forest like jack pine or scotch pine; (found out probably was cedar); chain up area signs. Glad it’s spring and nice out. Good weather. Saw one tree with white blossoms; maybe an apple tree. Snow on the peaks ahead.

Heading for Grand Canyon with Oregon, Wyoming and Nebraska cars. Gas Up. I buy 2 pens for 89c. First time I’ve bought pens since kids were in school. Past an energy farm. Many house roofs’ are covered in solar panels. 7000 ft; 6 degrees when Bob fills up. We’ve been used to 30 degrees everyday for a month. Sacred Mountain Indian country. Elevation drops as we move toward canyon. Desolate and barren. “Whole lot of nothing,” says Bob. Signs: Antelope Creek, Native Crafts, Trading posts all the way down to the splendour of the canyon. The rocks look like jewelry. We are on a Navajo Reservation. Sign says, “Protect the Confluence”. I don’t know what that means. (years later looked up on google and about saving rivers that are sacred to dozens of North American Indian Tribes) Now into mogal land. An ATV ‘rs paradise. Whirlwinds of red dust go straight up in the air. This red canyon rock is like designer wear for my spirit.

Red Rock, green cedar and a highway dotted with memorial crosses. Purple flowers in the ditches of Utah. Dry Riverbeds. Dusty green fields of scrub foliage on rocky cattle country. Very few cattle. Utah – ians have made four National Parks. Can see why. Scenery becomes incredible. We say WOW a lot. Looks like paint has been spilt on some rocks. Some look wind swept clean. Lots of families taking their kids to see the Maqui Caves. Driving, we have to watch for falling rocks. Now into coral pink sand dunes. Many people sight seeing. We are dodging cars that are undecided about turning off. Semis with no lights on. Bob says only one car he did not pick up; as most cars don’t use lights.

Taking a different route than ever before. Have to slow for every small town. Rock Shop/gem shop/Custom Caskets/ License Plates $5.00/ German Bakery & Restaurant/Trading Post lumbar yard/Porcelain Dolls/ Homemade/handmade. As if driving between two mountain ranges. Irrigation on the valley floor. We are not sure what the golden brown, tilled land is going to become. Cherry trees in bloom. Leather and lace store, Quilt store, firewood $3.00 a bundle. This is like a lazy afternoon drive.

Falling rock signs all over. Big blue jay; dark coloured; nearly green. A rushing creek; first rushing water I’ve seen since Arizona. Bed and breakfast log cabins. Horse and wagon rides alongside the Mystic River. Hiking trails up the side of the mountain. Bryce Canyon National Park. As if the mountain side is like pillars or stalagmites. Kayaking happening. Horses and cows chomping the new grass; 15 degrees outside; still signs of snow on north sides. Green coloured water in sloughs. It’s exciting to see as seldom see water laying around in Arizona.

Now into putrid yellow rock or maybe it’s sand under the cedar trees. Dropped to 14 degrees. We are high up between mountain ranges. No leaves on trees; lots of cabins for rent; see neat barbeque places, expresso cafe’s; Gramma’s Attic; $ 30. night for 30 amp RV park. We choose not to take shortcut over a 7950 foot summit; go to Panquitch instead. A lot of brick houses, churches, one brick office building; and brick on bottom half of ranch houses in the country. We had our snack of hummus and crackers. We decide must be close to a clay brick plant. A guy on an ATV is filling orange bags with garbage beside the highway; every couple hundred yards is a bag.

Abandoned farms, yards, buildings, fallen down fences in this valley we are driving through. I say to Bob, “Pretty nice road for no one being on it.” We do occasionally meet a car. In CircleVille, 50 lbs of potatoes is $ 10.00 a bag. Think we just saw wild white geese on a dug out. Town called Junction. Courthouse 1903. General Store. Back into country; freshly planted fields using irrigation. Now on Paiute Reservation. Another river backed up for a power plant. Lake looks fake. Aquamarine water.

I keep saying, “This is really unique. I put my camera away. I take my camera out.

We are in Richfield for the night. In more ways than one. We check out a Best Western; wanting to be smart about area of town we park the loaded vehicle. Was surprising how many clothes I took; never wore and now bringing them back.

Trees are leafed out here. Spring Green. Love it. While Bob is checking a second hotel price, I’m reading from the book, “A Catholic-Lutheran Lexicon called “ They Glorified Mary. We had Glorified Rice.” My head starts spinning like top chakra is way too open. Energy is singing in my head like a power line wire noise. I keep reading. “They sprinkled holy water, We sprinkled ironing.” We take the hotel room. $50. instead of $109.; coffee but no breakfast. A pony outside our window. We found Mexican enchiladas and non-alcoholic margaritas short walk away.

Wake up from two big dreams; I was reciting poetry and playing the piano; and in other one had cut my hair. It’s April 7, 2 015and I’m in Richfield, Utah with my honey. All winter he’s been an incredible sweetheart and beautiful partner. When I went golfing with 7 ladies last Friday morning, he cleaned the oven. This morning, he just brought me grapefruit and coffee. We picked the grapefruit yesterday. It is so good! Seven twenty am; we drive off with the sunrise coming over the mountains.

Heading across country to find the interstate. White topped mountains in front of us. Song in my head this morning is “Remember Me”. Why that song? Is it, I want to matter or thinking of all the friends we are leaving behind. I put on another layer of plain polish in my attempt to have nails; au natural.

Heard a meadowlark; saw 2 magpies, 3 crows, ducks and a bird I don’t recognize. Saw a robin in Arizona. We are up high in a cedar forest. Good highway with a passing lane every so often. Yellow bird on the fence. We are now on the interstate. Speed limit 80 mph or 140 km/hr.

We are having lots of laughs reading the Lutheran/ Catholic Lexicon “ They had Holy Days of Obligation; We had chores.”

Seeing lots of cattle and come upon either a shooting range or a bullet factory, in a quonset as big as a Costco. Can’t find a breakfast place. Everything set up for fast food. Pass vineyards and apple orchards in bloom. Find a Cracker Barrel. Love my poached eggs and turkey bacon, with pineapple and strawberries. Bob’s cheese and grits(thought it would be hash browns) was actually something like cream of wheat and cheese. He liked it!

Utah; still $18.00 for 30 cans of Coors light and $ 5.00 for a large pizza. Second time we’ve seen geese; now close to Salt Lake City; and they are going the wrong way. The geese I’m talking about. Glad we are through there before lunch rush hour. Now in ranch country. Well off area with horse statues, beautiful yards, white fences with green meadows. A flock of starlings doing a ballet.

Idaho is 11 degrees. Green grass; trees just starting to leaf out. Further north we go; colder it gets. Can tell it just snowed not too long ago. Heading into Median Pass; snow on edge of road. Looks like we are going to be driving into clouds similar to when we zip lined through them in Costa Rica. Colder here at 3 degrees.

Something I noticed yesterday; in Costa Rica; many service workers Nicaraguan; in Arizona, many are Mexican and now in Utah; many East Indian.

We are now in a white world. Snow everywhere around us. Must have snowed overnight or this morning. Snowplow on other side of interstate; our lanes are clear and wet. A bank of white clouds as low as our road are to the left of us. Beautiful blue car on it’s roof; wheels in air. We stop for gas soon after. I put wool socks on to get out. It’s still 3 degrees.

Bob and I discussing summer plans; goals. Twenty miles later no snow to be seen. Green both sides of the road. Eight degrees and they are golfing in the next town. Idaho Falls has the fanciest brick building I’ve seen in a long time and now it’s sleeting/raining. A crack had us searching for what happened. It was like a gunshot crack. No car in front or behind but crack as if rock hit windshield or something was shot. No idea what it could be. All seems okay.

We are now on the Montana Continental Divide. Some of the mountains we’ve been driving by are over 9000 feet. It’s kind of a brown landscape around here with treed mountains. Heading for Boulder, Montana; like racing down a mountain. We’ve come this way in fall before but never in spring. Then it was much more colourful. This has it’s own beauty.

Now cattle country; lots of 4×4 trucks. This second travel day flew by. Bob and I talked lots about our values/beliefs/hopes/disappointments; what’s important short and long term.

Missouri River; biggest river we’ve crossed. Listening to Paul McCartney’s CD called Never stop doing what you love! It’s getting nicer the further north we go. Bob spied a sheep on side of the mountain. It’s now 13 degrees; and we see deer, antelope and turkeys in the fields.

We stay in the Great Falls Comfort Inn. Sheets, bedding and bed extreme comfort. Slept in. 8:09 int he morning and we are leaving in sunshine. Antelope grazing in last year’s harvested fields. We’re now into oil and our first big wildlife road kill. An antelope hit by someone before us. Very little traffic. Haven’t even seen a school bus. Probably as it’s the week after Easter. Our last gas up before the border at Shelby, Montana. Reading one of David Feherty’s Idiot Books aloud. Sweet Grass Hills with antelope walking all over. Met a young black woman from Georgia last night who grew up in Kentucky; came with her husband to Montana where her husband is stationed in military. She wants to get to see Canada’s West Edmonton Mall. Phoned my brother last night to let them know where we are; we’d like to visit if it works for them. He’s having his cat scan this morning.

Sign says, “Expect Border Delays.” Half hour wait. Usual questions: how much to declare? how much alcohol? Any weapons or firearms? Any work done on vehicle?

All under our limit. Good to go. Half a mile in and hit a railroad track and bounced. Welcome to Canada.

Taber, looks like spring, water running in the ditches; lots of shiny farm equipment. A long train. Lunch at Bow Island and 1 pm at Redcliff. Stay the night. Good to see my BRO. He’s hanging in there. We all had an early night. My sister in law, Bob and I walked a few golf course holes overlooking the coulees. Gary gave us some computer tips and ideas before we headed out this Thursday morning.

Tompkins, we see the first person in the field. We are reading the abc’s of the oil crisis; how it’s affecting Canada and the world according to McLeans Feb 2015.

It’s 15 degrees outside and windy in Swift Current. No flags on the greens at Sask Landing Golf Course. Saskatchewan looking much the same; but I still have surprise seeing all the oil tanks, pumps and big trucks around Elrose.

Rosetown to Saskatoon is the most traffic; busiest driving since Phoenix. Semis in front, semis behind on this one lane highway. No passing lanes. Flocks of snow geese on ice of big sloughs. See names of Prairie Lane Road, Aspen Road, a dead deer in ditch; bumpy highway. Hoping nothing will fall off the truck and trailer in front of us. Bugs on windshield; and dust in the air. Grain bins galore. Blue sky as far as I can see in every direction. Also can see a potash mine, an elevator, poplar bluffs, and last year’s wheat stubble. Traffic is not going the speed limit. See a seed plant, railway tracks; the Wild Rose Road sign, a red barn with green roof, white house, black cows, cell tower and finally a divided highway.

A Saskatoon Shines sign.

Scary signage to get onto Circle drive. We are honked at first time in 2940 km since Phoenix. Worst intersection we’ve been through in 3 days.

In 4.2 km we’ll be home.

5 minutes later walking around our house saying, “I love it, I love it , I love it.”

Bob fills up with gas and the whole trip cost $ 502. for gas, food and 2 hotels. |

Looking forward to hearing from everyone!

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