Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Swanson's Go Home

It’s been two and a half incredible weeks with the Swanson family. They leave tonight on the 2 a.m. train to return to St. Paul, MN and the rest of their summer. For our last day together we are staying at the home of Jan and Paula Lee. They have an upstairs garage apartment here in Sandpoint, Idaho and there is bed space for the nine of us. Last night we did our laundry, grilled delicious blue-cheese burgers and the kids watched the movie “Bear”. (I hoped none would have nightmares as indeed we have been deep in bear country for the whole of the past two weeks.)

Currently Jan has taken the troupe up huckleberry picking on Schwietzer Ski Hill and left me to the peace and quiet of more laundry and computer work – a pleasant option.

During the travels of the McFerrins and the Swansons, Sampson, Markos and Tarn, Claire and Adam have entertained each other for hours, co-living with another family proves the adage, “Many hands make light work.” We will miss Matt’s delicious single-burner concoctions and Renee’s calming, positive presence.

Trip tidbits:

Last three nights:
1. tenting at Moyie Lake Campground, overflow camping back in the woods, dinner at the lake picnic area, Matt’s Enchilada’s Espanolas (Potato omelet’s with basil and mushrooms or bacon and mushrooms, pan fried zucchini
2. tenting at Yahk River Provincial Park, bison burgers, quesadillas and chili at Two-Scoop Steve’s
3. tenting at Bonner Ferry’s county fairgrounds. Great play structure for the kids, corn soup with potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, etc, fresh salad and bread sticks, loud trains throughout the night and sprinkler system wake-up in the wee hours of the a.m.

Equipment decision: Keep toting the rain/sun shelter “wing”, though not used during the first week of the trip, and dragged over numerous mountain climbs, it has provided ultimate comfort in the past three days – shelter from the sun at the beach, luxurious dining during a wind/rain storm on Moyie Lake, and Uno playing rain shelter from the weather in Yahk. Tanya’s poem about the tarp:

“Sun Tarp”
A shade, a house
A place to rest
To catch your breath
To view the rest.
Though heavy (comparatively)
The thought of sun
In the future
Makes the case
For it’s place.

Tarns’ latest injury: Two good slivers in his left foot. “NO!!! Not the tweezers! The splinters will come out if I soak my foot for ten days.” (Tarn currently still has the splinters in his foot and is wearing socks and shoes.)

Sampson’s quote: “You have to get used to sitting on a seat all day and pedaling”
Q: Do you like that? “Yeah.”

From Markos’ journal:
July 25 Today I found hooks on an island right before we found our campsite. We got ice cream.
July 26 One day I saw a caterpillar. It had a brown body, a black head, like twelve black legs and six red in the front and it had white fur all over.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Traveling Down the Road, Feelin' Fine

We left 7 days ago yesterday. We've had a thoughtful send-off, scenery-packed days, tons of bagels, cheese, jars of jam, jelly bellies (thanks Sharon!) hard sleeping nights and sun-shine filled mornings. Wonderful people. What more could you ask for? A day off!

Here at Wasa Lake, hosted by friend Shauna, we're resting our routine and bodies for a day. I've turned 40, surrounded by super friends, several who are traveling with us for a time and several who made the drive out to make it a special day for me (and to see how we're thriving.)

Up to today we've traveled as a group of up to 12. Our friends the Swansons (Matt, Renee, Adam - 5 and Clare - 3) are traveling the first 2 weeks of the journey with us. We will drop them off at the train station at Sand Point Idaho next Tuesday for their return home to St. Paul, MN. Shannon joined up with us our 2nd day in "Don't leave me behind" she said as she found someone to cover her work. Then her partner Josh joined us three days ago. Tonight they returned back to Calgary, hopefully to join us again later in the trip. Then Robert from Australia, biking from Alaska to San Francisco joined us to celebrate by b-day and partake in the kid-fest/food smorgasbord.

Highlights thus far? The ride into the mountains out from Ghost Reservoir - viewing the mountains and finding ourselves inside them. Taking on the dirt/gravel crawl up to the Goat Creek Trail cooling off in the reservoir at it's summit, flying down from Sinclair Pass and landing at Radium Hot Springs, turning 40 and being surrounded by incredible people.

An entry from Sampson's journal:

July 23, 2009
This morning we woke up and had bagels for breakfast. We went to the beach and kayaked and swam the morning. Then we had peanut butter and jam for lunch. Then we swam and kayaked the afternoon. Then we went to Shauna's house and had pasta for dinner. After dinner we went to bed. We had a day off today.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

11:20 pm July 14
Kids are asleep. Bags are pretty much packed. Neighbours continue to drop in. Had a big shindig last night, thinking we'd focus on packing tonight. Clearly it'll somehow all come together. We've been pampered by Matt and Renee, who've traveled out from St. Paul, Minnesota to travel with us the first two and a half weeks. Their kids Adam, 5, and Claire, 3, are great company for our guys. While we've been packing they've been serving up the food from our now cleared out fridge and cleaning up after us too. Tomorrow four bicycles/tamdems, five kids, and four adults will head out.

We're excited, we were born mentally ready and whatever we forget, we either don't need or experience will provide. The next posts should be from the boys. Ride on.