Saskatoon to Mesa – Fall 2015

Bob walks out of house in shorts, carrying aspirin, vitamin C and one unopened beer to go in the cooler. 1 pm we’re leaving town on a Friday. Gave food for sharing to kids; saying good-bye to them and grand kids has us both crying,

Lots of construction re the four lane heading to Vanscoy; road has changed since our trip to my brother, Gary’s June funeral. Snow geese are tiptoeing across ice onto a harvested field.

Miles and miles of prairie love. Millions of migrating birds. Rosetown, Elrose, River Landing, Swift Current – rain starts. We discuss Bob’s extracurricular summer activities. This dark and dreary cloud covered day matches our summer reflections of the many funerals we attended. Grateful and saddened we are to be able to go to Medicine Hat; where my brother is no more; physically anyway.

My dream title of last night’s dream would be playing the game of life with the story line about being gifted and being giving; sometimes silent; sometimes noisy.

Medicine Hat memories. Magpies, deer, and sunrise stillness lead the way towards Montana. Pass the Roger’s Sugar Mill with its sugar beet piles. Love the colour of the fields. Fill me up golds, dusty yellows, greens, brown, beigy grey, sandy blues, harvest hues. Straw bale piles.

Fastest ever through border security. Not one car in front of us or behind. Saw one motor home today. It is Oct 31/15. Different from other years.


Summer Love

Seeds of happiness

Being sown everyday

Caring for each other

Learning new styles

Of communication

Sending forth


Into the World

Seeds of Understanding

Like election promises

Time will tell

Actions speak

Louder than words

Although mine

Were quite loud

And demanding

Daring survival



As Death is Final

We’re not there

Lots of love

To Be Hold

And Be Held


With Love

For Ourselves

Each Other

And The World.


Noon hour poem of the day. Just coming into the mountains when we have our first blue skies and sunshine. Canada geese trekking along with us. Orangy coppery ditches. Trees and now scenic mountain views along the Missouri River. Caves on the sides of mountains. Every year it’s different. 15 above. “That is amazing,” I say over and over. Pass a semi from Saskatoon.

A soup and sandwich stop at the “Frenchman and Me” Cafe at Wolf Creek, Montana. 734 miles from Saskatoon and 1234 miles to Phoenix. I comment on the unique interior (antiques and beer signs) and am told too bad we missed the two headed cow sent out for cleaning. Food was incredible though. 2 light lunches $13. with the tip.

“Do the right thing even when no one is looking,” sign as we leave town.

Sunshine pouring on our bodies as we pass Gates of the Mountains Recreation Resort. SIGN: “ One in six Montana kids abuse prescription drugs.”

Interviewed Bob – twenty five questions of life memories as a keepsake for grand kids. Bus full of school kids passes us going 80 miles per hour as we are over 75.

We are getting like an older couple we know who go to the same tried and true restaurant and same hotel each year. I can picture the tons of waiters and waitresses in their black and white scurrying; actually hustling so fast giving exceptional service.

Bob is hoping for a world series view.

A dog is running a bunch of sheep into a big huddle to get ready for the night. A canal beside the road. Irrigated potato fields. 30-40 antelope with white bums jumping around in the field. We pass a truck full of logs with a dog standing on top with the chain saw.

Challenging back issue

Is it this drive

Shit from my past

Or is it creativity

Wisdom wanting out

Speaking my mind

Feeling my way

What life do I want

Crashing through

Creating waves

Of understanding

Constant upheaval

Doing too much

When Time Alone

Calls – Beckons

A New Life

A New Chance

At Freedom

To Hear My Inner Call.


Wrote that and no more back issue.


Sunday November 1, 2015

OK, nothing is ever as I think it’s going to be. Did go to same restaurant. All servers were in Halloween costumes. Winner was the waitress in the Idaho Potato Sack Dress with Orange Shoes. We had a Best Western Sleep. About 5ish hours each.

We are in snow country it says as we leave, but no snow today. 9 degrees. YEAH! Snow fences are up. Eight foot poles with lights on top are in place so snowplows will know where the road is.

But we have no snow and an hour in; get a stone chip off a semi’s wheel. Here you can go the equivalent of 100 km/hr in construction zones. They do have good signage but feels like a speedway. New things are built and being built since last through so that is a good economic sign. Towns neat and tidy. Start of the Salt Lake. Back to the beauty of fall trees in greens, yellows and reds with Morman Churches landscape. 5 lanes, very little traffic. Maybe all in church.

SIGN: “In a step family? Go to healthyfamiliesUtah.org.” Wonder how they got the word, Step?

The prison we’re passing used to have pink uniformed inmates. Now white t-shirts or all in white. Bob impressed people working on Sundays in Utah. More construction. Many, many all new brick houses as we drive. Seven lanes going one way. A lot of cement!

Sign: “50 inch TV: $399.”

Sign: “Stop the texts, stop the wrecks.”

Sign: “This is what fighting heart disease looks like: shows picture of someone hiking with a walking stick.”

Sign: “Krishna Temple – Festival of Colours on today.”

Our best drive yet through Salt Lake City. Las Vegas is 366 miles away. I keep saying “Look at that!” as the gold poplar leaves shimmer in the sunshine. I keep trying to take a picture and at same time wonder why I’m doing that; as what are we going to do with our pictures anyway. The lavender fields are partially in bloom.

Speed limit is 80 MPH and we’ve seen at least 4 people pulled over for speeding.

We have a chicken enchilada shared lunch.

I am basking in the sun as 23 degree sunshine pours in; we’re on the straight and narrow; then climb through a pass; then race to the valley floor; and then do it all over again. Summit of 6500 feet. Way greener here in Southern Utah than I would have imagined. Must be the rain; even have flowers in the ditches.

Passing acres and acres of Walmart territory with all the semis on their mega parking lot like matchbox toys against the vastness of surrounding mountains.

First palm tree and it’s 28 degrees outside and inside this sweltering vehicle. 37 miles to Vegas; 336 to Los Angelas.

During the day, we finished the last 25 life question interview of Bob; shared lots and read the poem “The Invitation”; started the book, “Opening The Invitation”, as well as reading material articles a friend shared. Covered a lot of ground; indigenous, gender, mental wellness, equality issues. We have some left for tomorrow. Didn’t take long; we are through Vegas, Boulder City and over the Hoover Dam. Lake Mead water levels are lower than we’ve ever seen based on the rock colours sticking out of the water.

We’ve decided Sunday is the day to drive through Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.

Stayed overnight in Kingman, Arizona. Restaurant had a great Mexican atmosphere; authentic people; not great English so unsure what we would be eating or drinking. Restaurant colourful to the extreme; fun; I think free pour marguerita’s; when we asked how much tequila is in one; we think she was saying, ‘varies’ and ‘depends’. We asked if we could take a picture and next minute she brought us sombrero’s to wear and then appeared with shot glasses and a bottle of tequila; saying Salu or something.


Monday November 2, 2015

Back on the highway with three hours to Phoenix. Cars do not use their lights down here. We’ve seen more cop cars than ever before. We agree we are good travelling companions. Here are the saguaros.

Adobe houses, prickly pear, cholla, barrel, saguaro, cedar, palm , mistletoe, juniper, aquave, cacti and trees. Saw a few birds; no animals.

New buildings going up on outskirts of Phoenix in the City of Surprise. Sun City sign: “founded 1960.” Come in on Hwy 60 to 101 north. Left lane is the place to be; information for the next traveller this way. Can hear the birds chirping. Saw my first deep rose bougainvillea. 10:20 am Phoenix time. Light traffic. Accident on other side of freeway has a line up. Pass the Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, helicopters and planes all over a clear sky. Moon still out. Fountain Hills 202 exit. Home of the Cubs means we’re in Mesa. Road is just beautiful; so is the signage. Landscaped roads. My favourite Red Mountain. See the Superstitions. That’s the name of the mountain range close to where we live.

As we’re driving into our park; first people we see walking down main street is my sister and her husband who say, “supper’s on!”.

3041 km – $560.00 trip for gas, good and hotel for two of us.

Ten lemons on our tree for sure.


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