Reamus is off in the morning on his next excellent adventure. In the hope of missing of all tornadoes and as many hail storms as possible, I head north to visit our North American cousins on Valium, the good people of Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the far western reach of Ontario. With luck and my usual dose of superstition, I will exit their country---assuming Homeland Security will let me—in Minnesota.
La Coachasita is breathing heavily in the drive, straining at the brakes to be left to run free. She bears all the foodstuffs and goods for the journey, at the ready as always despite our collective increasing ages and her near 150,000 miles. I, of course, have many more than that, so while she gets no sympathy from me I will treat her gently in the hope that her journey will be trouble free.
We will spend a few days in Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks on the way north and be on the Salmon River for the Memorial Day Weekend.
There was a book to finish and all the grinding clerical work entailed in publishing and some other issues keeping me here longer than usual this year. I believe it was the first Mother’s Day I have spent at home in the past ten years. Now ready, we, all my inanimate travelling companions and I will see what and whom we can find that will awe and amuse us as we go around the next bend in the road and find the unexpected waiting there.
We will leave sea level here in Carlsbad, the paradise by the sea now resplendent in roses and wonderful smell of blooming jasmine, and ascend to 8000 feet at Jacobs Lake in the very northern part of Arizona. From there it is a short 30 miles to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We remember it from a few years ago in the fall when we visited two days before they closed it for the winter and we left in the midst of a snowstorm. We expect a more temperate welcome this trip although the campground only opened Monday of this week. Bryce and Zion Parks will be next. Then north in Nevada this time for a different view of the climb up the map to Idaho, allowing too for a few ghost town visits along the way. I will reach the valley of the Salmon River, the towns of Challis and Salmon, and stay at North Fork Idaho for four days of what I hope will be continued good weather. The area has been in the 80’s most all of this week, although there is a certainty in me that it will change soon.
As always, at least until go into the black hole of communications on the northern side of the border where data transmission is more expensive than gasoline for me and my Verizon, I will try to bring you some of the sights and as many thoughts as I gather worth repeating. We hope to learn much about the beginnings of the Royal Mounted Police, the place to which Sitting Bull repaired after the nastiness in the Black Hills with General Custer, and why the Canadians are paying three times the market value for their houses these days. The itinerary is vague except to be easterly. There are a host of Provincial Parks to visit, free ranging Bison to chase, and lots and lots of prairie grass.
Once back in the states we will stay in the north through the country of the Lakota Sioux and back through more of Utah and Nevada on the way to the most unpopulated and remote Northeast corner of California and the gold country of Placerville, Alturas, and Susanville.
I am looking forward to the new places and the chance to re-visit others. As always, I hope you will ride along.