On Our Way – October 2011

October 27 – On our way – Saskatoon to Mesa
I ask, “What does a man take when he’s leaving home for 5 months? And he answers, “more clothes than I need; no good to me in Saskatoon; don’t have to buy more; other than that; the 2 Scrimshaw paintings, lawn chair, violin, hockey bag and stick, 3 sets of golf clubs, music books, gym stuff, tennis and pickle ball rackets, computers, no; I guess there are 4 sets of golf clubs; those historic wooden ones for decorating our place; a couple of winter coats.”

I’m singing in my head, a Saskatoon song, “Our Spirit brings us home, our spirit brings us peace.” 5 hour trip to Medicine Hat, 1000’s and 1000’s of geese, had great direction’s to my brother’s beautiful, spectacular home located on the 4th green of the Riverview Golf Course. Spectacular in and out. Great visit; comfortable night. Good crabapple jelly. Picture taking before we leave.

On the road with “Danny Boy & Loch Lomond” songs in my head. Driving through landscape Bob referred to as Hutterite Haven as they love that the big machinery can go for miles with no impediments like sloughs or rocks, bush. Some canals and irrigation. Decide we need a picture box. Wish we would have shown them our Ireland pictures. Having ideas in my head about raising money for United Way; a golf putting contest or the Ethnic Luncheon I was part of one time.

Head towards Lethbridge but turn left at Taber to cross border at Coutts. U.S.of A here we come! Passports out. No issue – 5 miles into U.S., first overpass in middle of nowhere. Know there are thousands of them and it seems we take forever in Saskatoon to build one.

Rocky land, stone piles, oil rigs and soon into Montana Mountains. 2 degrees up to 9 degrees. Back into the fall trees. Shelby, Great Falls and then to Helena. Poplar trees are more coppery than Sk poplars. Helena is the state capital and sign says $110,000-$130,000 for a town house. Chain up area and chain removal area not an issue for us as we head through a pass. Two eagles slide along beside us for a while.

Stayed overnight in Idaho Falls, the Potato State so had mashed potatoes for dinner. The best! Our first day’s driving, we talked about young people’s views on the Canadian Wheat Board ending, the election coming; and listened to CD’s from Peru and the Gaia women. Roads in Great Shape.

Sun is rising as we go through Aberdeen. Neat sign “quitting after high school: expect to earn 1/2.” Entering Utah. Already saw a Mormon Church. Stately. Welcome to Utah Sign says “Life Elevated.” Salt Mining, Cattle ranching and Corn is what we see. Just before Salt Lake City, see the first walls since leaving Saskatoon and the first flowers. More and more leaves on the trees. 4 Lanes into Salt Lake City. Driving 65 mph. Cars are passing on the right. Took 215 Bypass Route through SLC. Much more relaxing. Absolutely fantastic roads and signage.

See State Correctional Facilities alongside the hwy with uniformed prisoners outside watching the world go by. First orchards. Speed limit now 80 mph. 300 miles from Las Vegas.

Freezing irrigation. It’s 12 degrees outside; frozen water on fences, grass and irrigation equipment. Does not make sense to me. Bathroom stop at SCIPIO.

21 degrees as we move into Arizona. Drive along the scotch pine 89A Hwy on north side of Canyon and it looks like we could be driving to Waskesiu. The GRAND CANYON: from high on a mountain to the Red Rock Canyon Floor. Magnificent; The red rock formations; what can you say, You have to see it! Overnight in Marble Canyon alongside the Colorado River. They make their money from whitewater rafting, tourism, fishermen and hiking.

Morning’s drive leaving the red rock canyon walls with the sun rise changing the scene each second. Right at the centre of the coulees are circular rock formations; trying to decide if they’re man made and if they are; are they for gathering water or slowing water down? . The Cliff Dwellers – didn’t see any. Roadside stands for hand crafted jewelry and pottery. Now into yellow grass and cedar hillsides. Going through the Gap. Watch for People walking. Now Black Hills. Such a fill me up trip, I don’t feel like I need to buy anything. Don’t need a thing.

Now multi-colored birch here and there; then desert. Homes in the desert are mostly mobiles. You would not be able to step out of your home without the neighbor seeing you who is miles away. From timber to cactus. Flagstaff to Phoenix. Aquave, Pear, 6% grade like racing downhill. Easy on gas. Not a cloud in the sky. 18 degrees. License Plates from all over the US and mostly Western Canada. From Verde Valley through the Prescott Forest. Barrel Cactus; then first Saguaros. Elevation 3000′. Now 26 degrees. One mile from BumbleBee, see 1st palm tree. 29 degrees. An organ cactus?

On the 101. Says Scottsdale, next 15 exits. To the 202. See the Superstition Mountains; our Mesa address and we’re home. 30 degrees. 3000 km.


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