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Saskatoon to Mesa via Edmonton – Fall 2019

Second time we are headed to Mesa this way

How we’ve changed in one year

Finishing my list of thirty things

Bob’s list about ten

Told him I will someday learn to live lighter similar to him

Feels like the whole house going with me

He stops for Canadian money so we can have tv

We are loaded down with books

Reading for pleasure, songwriting for band; on and on and on

Took a few less clothes; Bob is ready for Hawaiian night down there

9:30 am leaving Saskatoon this October 25, 2019

To be sixteen degrees today and today’s the day the freeway is opening after months of construction

Midtown plaza being redone; will we get an arena downtown?

Farmers Market where? The Station getting a makeover

We are talking about men’s get away weekends

Takes fifteen minutes to cross town; love the sunlight on fall fields

Sad to say they are not combined

Five police cars flashing; a highway patrol by Langham

Oil train coming; one hundred and three cars

Losing one billion a day someone said as US pay less money

Our only customer and west coast as well as down east playing hardball

Is the word and yet want our money

I am seeing brush cutting; two ducks and a magpie

More than half combined here; two dugouts full of ducks

No leaves on trees; abandoned yards, falling down buildings

Bleak beautiful landscape; somber overcast cloud

As if change in weather coming

Favorite is the wheat colored straw fields; quarter after quarter

With the brownish red bush; tan and gold grasses; golden stubble

Bare poplars, Battleford hills in the distance

Cross the North Saskatchewan

End construction sign; didn’t know it had begun

Work truck with fifth wheel headed east and loaded trucks as well

Phone call comes from a Mesa/BC friend going to Costa Rica this year instead of Mesa

A sky in front of us would be fun to paint if I knew how to paint;

Driving through a white poplar forest, cattails, sloughs and red willow

Ten horses and then five more; tumble down fence and same for corrals; barbed wire surrounds

Closer to Lloydminster they are combining canola on both sides of the road

Now there are u-hauls going east; blue skies and migrating geese

$1.05 a litre gas up and set up a system to keep track; 57072 starting km in Saskatoon

Third trip down south in our 2016 Ford Edge

Eat our homemade lunch of chicken buns and a muffin

Grain still out on both sides of road at Vermillion

Twelve degrees and no combines going

A few raindrops; but extreme wind and then a rainbow at Vegreville

Ominous clouds and wind coming into Edmonton; closed in feeling

Like in the mountains.  Millions of dollars of stored Rv’s for the winter

SATURDAY & SUNDAY spend with the kids and Bob at 71 years old has his first

Butterfly Kiss; eyelash fluttering on his cheek

Lots of good-byes and then we had to call CAA

Door had not been properly closed and battery was dead.

Three hours later they came

We drove away through steady stream of traffic; Leduc, Red Deer; Calgary

Stayed overnight in Okatoks where light dawns

Abd in like a snow storm with snow covered crop in fields

One car in ditch at Fort Macleod. Slide into an icy Lethbridge Co-op

Take our passports out in preparation for border crossing

Still have nerves jumping as we approach

Twenty-minute wait for cars to go through and then standard questions

Fruit, firearms, alcohol, tobacco; ever been arrested, parole or pardoned?

The I–15 roads are good; foot high snow drift on a bridge by Great Falls

No snow plows in sight.  It is not snowing but like sky and cloud and snow on ground

All the same color.

BIG BELT MOUNTAINS and SNOWING BIG TIME as we drive eight times over the Missouri River

Every bridge saying ICY; and NOW we are in near white out conditions

Then stops snowing forty-one miles to Helena

Gates of the Mountains and we’re back in whiteout wall of wind blowing snow

9:50 am – 12:40 am. We and many, many more continue on till 4:30; where no choice but

To stop at Dillon; could not see cars in front of us due to blizzard conditions.

TUESDAY THE 29th of OCTOBER: Crisp clear minus 19 cold but okay to drive. One lane open until

We get to Idaho and both lanes clear; first time in a long time

Cloud filled sky; glimpse of sun lights up the snow capped mountain tops in west

Crops are off here; straw bales stacked and covered.

Pocatello has lots of snow as Bob says, “and this is to be fun?”

Ten miles of good road maybe; then ice crystal pellets like a fog.

THE GOLF CART PEOPLE phone saying one bad battery will replace with a used one and we agree

Roads seemed to get better and then a side wind hits; two lanes open

With blowing drifts.

We get to Ogden; one hour out of Salt Lake City and it starts snowing.

We both start laughing. I say, “what are we learning here?”

Bob says, “Patience.”  Snow was short lived. Five lanes of traffic and we were able to drive

110 km/hr in express lane as temperature dropped minus nine to minus two.

Best roads in two days and then a snow squall happened and we could not see.

I am texting my sister as she is texting me and I say we will only keep driving as long as it makes sense.

Dry roads fifteen minutes later. I ate my salad I bought and Bob bought a sandwich at Beaver

We are out of the snow; sunshine, roads dry; blue sky, sunny and spectacular scenery

Magnificence of the Mountains, Diversity of the grasses, rocks, shrubs and landforms

Saw a palm tree in St. George; sixteen degrees; dry river beds and green trees

Massive rock formations have me feeling miniscule; first barrel and cholla cacti

Lots of palm trees at Mesquite, Nevada and long drive through Vegas to 3rd exit into Boulder City

Spent the night; morning wake up with a message from neighbor at home that our furnace did not

Stay at thirteen degrees like we set it but reverted to twenty-two.

Our breakfast across street from the Best Western has a sign, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, Thank you.” Where we gas up, CBD sold with 0% THC; Edibles, Topicals and shots.

Drive by the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and now mountains are around us and in the distance.

All seems different; they keep changing the roads; could not even tell we went over Hoover Dam.

Weren’t sure we were on the right road and then see sign, “#93 will become #11 Corridor”.

At Kingman, have to take a sharp left on #40 & #93 for 18 miles till we find the Junction 93

Wikiup and Wickenburg with three hours to go to Phoenix.

Wonder if heat is as hard on roads as cold; some Az roads are needing attention but mostly great infrastructure.

California wildfire smoke is an issue here; although sun is shining in and I feel toasty and relaxed

First saquaros; come upon some really wild rocks; black lava type ones; then ones sitting on each other like tumbledown rocks like they are just balancing ready to topple at any time. Lots of greenery now

More rain than usual; Joshua trees and distinctive cacti.

Bob buys a sun protection hat

Twenty- three miles out of Phoenix is now 250th Ave infrastructure; we enter Surprise; 303 to the #10;

Still on #10 Tuscon as we see downtown skyscrapers; Stay on left hoover lave through tunnel to East 202

Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa has seventeen exits and neat to see many new buildings

Nineteen degrees when usually twenty-nine; Bob said doing good and glad to be here.

He did awesome driving all the way and know we have supper invite at sisters tonight. How nice is that!

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