I'm the author of the book "A Passion for the Edge: Living Your Dreams Now." It's about a 6,500 mile motorcycle trip across Alaska, The Yukon Territories, British Columbia, and the Pacific Northwest - and about how to live your dreams. This blog is about another dream - selling our house, putting everything we need for a two year adventure into an RV, and spending time with family and friends; and being saturated by the people and places of America. You're invited to share this adventure with us. We have no firm plans, just each day as it comes and an idea for our tomorrows. Hope you enjoy the story as it unfolds.
Blog Log - Joan and Tim: On the Road and RVing in America
Arizona, Alaska, and In-Betweens (April 18 to August 27, 2012)
August 18-27, 2012
In Vancouver, Wasington.Cleaned up Saturday evening, after dry camping for a week, then went to church with Cristi, Brad, Caleb, and Elias on Sunday. Monday we celebrated Elias's birthday.Joan and I took Elias and Caleb to JJ Jump (a bouncing castle and slide play house – cool) then took them to lunch at the RV. This gave mommy and daddy time to set up one of Elias's main birthday presents – a big boy bed and a redo of the picture and wall theme to match the theme of his new bed/bedding – Trucks. Yaaaaa. It blew Elias away when he saw it!!!
Picking fresh-off-the-bush blueberries for $1 a pound – WOW – fun and outrageously delicious. Mmmmmm. Then home to play board games with the kids – more fun.
Pic-Nicking, hiking, and playing.
Caleb's last T-Ball game.
Thank you sooooo much Cristi, Brad, Caleb, Elias, and Molly too for the wonderful times while we were in Vancouver.
August 11-18, 2012
Camping with our friends Mark and Joy (and their three dogs) at the Klahowya campground in the Olympic National Forest (Klahowya – the "K" is silent – is the Chinook word for welcome). Mark and Joy found this campground, located the perfect sites, and saved one next to them until we arrived – many thanks. Our sites were next to a beautiful river – a picture perfect place to spend time roughing it smoothly together. We had a great time hiking through the rain forest, walking on a nearby beach, visiting some of the local water falls (Marymere, Madison, and Sol Doc falls), playing games, sharing meals, and visiting.
Thank you Joy and Mark for the great times – You're awesome.
August 9, 2012
Took our RV to the dealership where we bought it, at 8:30 am, to have some minor maintenance work done. Since it was estimate the work would be done at about 3 pm, we returned to the RV park where we were staying. We had Tilly outside, sitting on the grass, with our Jeep parked in the RV site. People were amazing. Our neighbors, Mark and Maxine, brought over some chairs for us to sit in; one of the employees at the Seattle/Tacoma KOA invited us to come into the day room so Tilly could stay cool (even though dogs are not allowed – she said to tell people that Tilly was a service dog); another person down the road came by and visited for a while and offered to let us to stay with them if our RV wasn't finished today. None of these people even knew us and they were all kind and concerned about our comfort and wellbeing. The road subculture is amazing. An example of Christian living in America at its best.
Here's some pictures of the RV, on the site where we were staying, after its maintenance was completed. WOW - looks shiny new.
August 8, 2012
In Kent, Washington. Going to take our RV into the dealership, where we bought it, for some minor maintenance and warranty work.
August 6, 2012
Crossed the border into USA today. Can't believe we were selected for an agricultural search when we came back into the USA (especially after our entire RV was searched for one and a half hours when we entered Canada on our way up to Alaska (see May 11-12, 2012 entry). Now coming back into our country (the USA), Tilly (our dog) was significantly traumatized when they made her wait by herself in a wire kennel outside. We told the border patrol that she was old and it would be stressful on her. The replay was that she had to be put into the wire kennel, by herself, and wait while we went inside to do some paperwork and they did a search of our RV. When Tilly started flopping around in the kennel (injuring herself) they let her out and said it was OK for us stay with her – grrrrrrr. Tilly - Poor baby. Seems like if you're an old retired couple with an old dog and you've travelled through Canada dozens of times you're the target for a search (going both ways). Might be easier to get through the USA-Canadian border if you're an illegal alien, gang banger, or terrorist - but don't let those scary old people pass without an intense search. Insane!!! The border screening criteria is in need of a radical review and update. We probably won't drive through Canada again – flying seems like a better choice. What's going on in the world??? Even hard to come back into your own country!!! WARNING – be careful of scary old people.
August 5, 2012
Hot. Hot. Hot in Hope, BC – 100 degrees.
August 2, 2012
Alaska Highway from Watson Lake, Yukon to Fort Nelson, BC was not disappointing. We saw yet another grizzly (brown) bear, fox, wild horses, buffalo herds, goats, caribou, and deer – this section of the Al-Can is always an awesome drive for seeing wildlife. Weren't able to get pictures of everything but here are a few.
August 1, 2012
Saw another grizzly bear near the road on the way to Watson Lake. Two travel days, four grizzlies – rare.
July 30, 2012
Saw a black bear cross the road. A little further down the road we saw and a blond grizzly bear and her two blond cubs. They crossed the road in front of us north of Destruction Bay, Yukon. The mama bear came up to the edge of the road, her two cubs then appeared from the brush and fell in close single file behind her, they casually walked across the road, went to the brush on the other side of the road, and one of the cubs stood up on its hind legs and watched as we slowly drove by – very cute.
Spent two days in Whitehorse, Yukon.
July 29, 2012
Entered Canada today and stopped early. Had time to reflect on our time in Alaska. It was an unforgettable trip and a delicious treat to be able to spend time with so many family members, relatives, and friends. We swam, biked, hiked, camped, shared meals, visited, laughed, played all sorts of games, ate in the northern most Denny's in the world (in Fairbanks), and as we left Alaska we stayed in the western most city in the Yukon – Beaver Creek (just across the Alaskan border). We were blessed by every moment.
July 28, 2012
In Tok, Alaska. The sun set with a rainbow - reflecting on our day and our time in Alaska.
July 22-28, 2012
Fairbanks – Last visit to Fairbanks for this trip. Lots of visiting and lots of good-byes to family and friends as we prepare to head south again.
July 9-21, 2012
Anchorage – Last visit to Anchorage for this trip. Lots of visiting and lots of good-byes to family and friends.
July 4-8, 2012
At Elutna Lake campgrounds. This is an amazing place. It's only about 35 miles from Anchorage, has a wonderful lake, large campsites that are fairly isolated from each other (feeling of no neighbors), nice fire pits/tables/sitting benches, a gold panning stream, bicycling and hiking trails, and best of all very few mosquitoes so you could enjoy the outdoors!!!
Spent a long weekend at Eklutna Lake. Noel met us there after she got back from TKD Nationals in Dallas and spent the forth-of-July weekend with us. We did a lot of hiking, biking, gold panning, cooking out, exploring, eating outdoors, and building fires. Great fun!!!
July 2, 2012
Tilly Chill'n in the RV.
June 28, 2012
Noel posing after showing her Tae Kwon Do class the weapons routine she will be doing at the TKD Nationals in Dallas, Texas.
Noel took second place in weapons and third place in form at Nationals. Way To Go!!!
June 26 – 27, 2012
At Byers Lake Campgrounds. A beautiful campgrounds but the abundance of mosquitoes makes it hard to enjoy.
June 18 – 25, 20212
We spent a couple of days swimming at Chena Lake, did a bicycle ride to the library, went to Karsons final soccer game of the season, went to another of Harrisons soccer games, then Friday through Sunday watched Jason and his team go undefeated in a soccer tournament where they took first place. An exciting conclusion to this time in Fairbanks.
One of the people in the Fairbanks RV park had custom built a Radio Flyer Car. He's been invited to Las Vegas and car shows around the USA. He says it has driven it on the highway at 70 MPH – it's fully licensed and road worthy. Very unique.
June 15 – 17, 2012
Spent three days at Denali Grizzly Bear Park with our grandkids Jason, Harrison, and Karson.
Our time we spent building a campfire and making s'mores (no photos as the picture taker's hands were covered in melted marshmallows, chocolate, and graham cracker crumbs), exploring, hiking, being crazy, playing by the river, stacking rocks, watching river rescue training, and some downtime in the RV.
June 13 - 14, 2012
Headed back to Fairbanks to kidnap our three grandkids and take them camping for three days in Denali.Spent the night in Byer's Lake again. It's dry camping but nice sites – except the mosquitoes are wicked.
Stopped to enjoy an exciting view of the North Face of Mt. McKinley and some ghostly mountains across the valley from us.
June 12, 2012
We spent most of our time in Anchorage visiting with Noel and friends (swimming with Carol, Melitta, and Garner; lunch with Pat, visit with Larry and Pam, seeing our many friends at church). One afternoon Noel came over with a fun movie, Tintin – we love spending time with Noel while here in Anchorage.
June 6, 2012
We stayed in the parking lot of our Anchorage church (Trinity Presbyterian) for three days and looked for a suitable RV park for our long Anchorage stays to stays. While at Trinity Noel and several friends came by to visit and see our road home. June 6th was Joan's birthday. During the day friends stopped by bearing gifts, we drank a little wine, and visited. Later that day Noel took Joan (and me) to the Olive Garden for Joan's birthday – Yummm. Very sweat of her. We had a great time.
June 3, 2012
Camping at Byer's Lake – a nice state park but too many mosquitoes.
June 2, 2012
Kason's dance recital – too precious.
May 31, 2012
Joan giving Harrison some pointers on knitting – he likes it.
Karson's first real soccer game. All the kids on the field seemed to be playing a different game or involved in different activities – Cute. Focus comes later.
May 30, 2012
We all went on a bike ride (except Shannon who had to work – sad face). Ended up at Alaska Land – had an ice cream, playground time, and a merry-go-round break.
Later that day Harrison had a soccer game. A fun day.
May 29, 2012
Karson's soccer practice was a riot. Learning the basics – cute.
Later that day Jason had a soccer game. He played great and his team is very focused and works well together.
May 28, 2012
Arrived in Fairbanks May 26th. On Memorial Day, Jere's parents (Ted and Joan) had us all over for a Bar-B-Que, visiting, and games.
We ended the day with some basketball with grandkids at Shannon and Jere's house.
May 23-25, 2012
Entered into Alaska today. Stayed in Tok to wash the RV and Jeep, do some laundry, relax, see a performance by some local musicians, enjoy the sunshine, and wait until the RV Park in Fairbanks opens for the year. Feels good to be in Alaska for the summer. Even Tilly seemed to enjoy being back.
May 22, 2012
Onward – Watson Lake, Whitehorse (2 days), Beaver Creek. The trip north since we left Prince George has been filled with many animal sightings – Bears, Buffalos, Caribou, Deer, Doll Sheep (to rams with full curl horns – magnificent), Ducks, Hawks, Lynx, Moose, Muskrats, Porcupines, Rabbits, Swan, and Wild Horses (a small herd). The Al-Can is an amazing drive.
May 18, 2012
Canadian severe storm warning in effect last night and woke up to snow again today. The weather is forecast to break tomorrow so will continue our trip up the road on Saturday.
Stopped by the Fort Nelson museum on the way to dinner and talked to Marl Brown who was featured in my book. I gave him a signed copy of my book and we chatted for a while. He said the book would be great advertisement for the Fort Nelson museum and asked if he could buy a dozen copies. I was happy to sell him the books at a price that would allow a good profit margin for the museum. He was tickled.It was nice to chat with him again.
May 16-17, 2012
Left Dawson Creek yesterday.About 100 miles north it started snowing. At one point the snow was heavy with large feathery flakes cutting visibility down to about 50 yards - very strange experience driving in snow this heavy looking through a 4 by 9 foot window. Snow lightened up and was on and off the rest of the way to Fort Nelson. Woke up this morning to snow on the ground. A heavy storm passed through the area overnight - up the road twenty minutes there's over 10 inches and further north the roads are icy so we decided to stay another day (or two - depending). Interesting road trip.
We're taking the Jeep into town today to look around (be early tourists) and will return to town this evening for a nice dinner. Yes, we're having fun!
May 14-15, 2012
Spent two days in Dawson Creek. Walked around town. Saw the zero mile marker for the Alaska Highway. Lots of paintings on buildings – on the sides and down alleyways. Also saw the Alaska hotel and Pub – ornate.
May 11-12, 2012
Tilly's Birthday and as is our tradition she had her own bowl of ice cream (usually a McDonald's ice cream cone but couldn't find a McDonald's as we entered into Canada). She enjoyed the ice cream. Could tell by her eyes rolling back in her head as she ate it – for her, a piece of heaven on earth.
Going across the border we were selected as the one that got a full search of our RV (never happened to us before). We sat outside as the customs officers spent almost an hour and a half looking through our RV – inside the coach, in our storage compartments, and underneath our RV. They looked in absolutely everything. Felt violated. Oh well. Guess they have to do so many of these to keep the bad guys guessing.
Decided to spend two days in Hope. Beautiful view out the front window of our RV and a very nice park.
Walked around town and looked at the wood carvings then sat in the park next to the Frazer River and ate ice cream.
April 27 through May 9, 2012
While time spent with family and friends is like enjoying an exquisite meal - spending time with our daughters, son-in-laws, and grandkids is the dessert of our lives. We had a wonderfuleleven days sharing meals, picnics in the park, playing, and visiting. Cherries Jubilee!!!
Oh, and Cristi got me hooked on the Hunger Games Trilogy – it's addictive.
April 24-26, 2012
Stayed three days in Walla Walla, Washington. Got to spend some quality time with Beth and Joe.Also shared a meal with both Tyler, and Todd and his kids (no pics – sad face) – wonderful to see them.
Joan and I have always wanted to visit some of the 160 wineries in and around Walla Walla. Beth and Joe graciously volunteered to take us on a tour of some of the countryside vineyards. One thing I didn't understand – the bucket. Why would you spit out or pour out a perfectly delightful wine – a barbarian act. I never used the bucket and we all had an amazing time – thanks Beth and Joe!!!
April 20-21, 2012
Spent two days in Provo, Utah.We had a Bar-B-Que with my sisters and son-in-laws; Jan, Trudy and Gary, and Sue and Darryl.
Ashley (our niece) also stopped by for a little while to visit – a great treat.
April 18, 2021
Left Mesa after having a wonderful winter. Going to mosey our way to Alaska then back down to Arizona for the winter taking the most indirect and scenic route possible. Our schedule, as usual, is no schedule – just general concepts on what we'd like to do and see.