Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ALASKA TRIP WRAP-UP . . . . . . . BLOG # 20

   My old original Fishermen Trio buddies, Dan Betzer and Jimmy Smith, made a connection with me while we  were out near the Utah/Arizona border. We are going to try to get together and do a little music out of the past down in Ft Myers around the middle of  this coming January. We all came to work for Ford Philpot in Lexington in the early seventies. Dan was an Associaate Evangelist, Jimmy was piano player, accompanist and soloist and me, as Crusade Choir Director and soloist. A few weeks later, while gathered around a piano at Tattnall camp in Georgia, we just sort of began putting together a little harmony and voila', there it was, a good sound and a lot of fun. Two or three years later they both moved on. So here we are, about 35 years later and we're going to give it another shot. Can hardly wait. Awesome!

   Now, back to the journey. OF COURSE WE MADE IT TO TEXAS.  The short cut around Albuquerque takes us for about 30 miles over the old MOTHER ROAD. That would be Historical U S 66. For me that's memories of November, 1954.  Ron Scheibner and I were just a few months out of Marlette High School and both working at General Coach building house trailers. When they shut the small factory down for deer season, we jumped into my lightly customized '52 Ford and headed for California. Being young and needing little sleep, we drove day and night. I recall so well rolling along through those western states to the music of the Chordettes singing, "Mister Sandman, bring me a dream.....". Heady stuff for two l8 year old squirts who at that time, had ALL the answers to life. We truly "got out kicks on route 66." So here we are in the Motorhome rolling along on 66 a few days ago and what comes up on disc three of that multi-stacker up top? Along with Tennessee Ernie Ford's, Sixteen Tons, there again was the sounds of Chordettes, doing it one more time , just for me, out there on the Mother Road. Awesome again. This trip has had an awful lot of AWESOME!

   Just outside of El Paso we picked up I-10 and with a few breaks here and there, ran that super-slab the whole 880 miles across Texas. West Texas was hot, wide open and a bit boring with an 80 MPH speed limit. No, I do not drive the coach 80 miles per hour. I might approach it at times heading down a long hill in order to gain momentum for the up-grade ahead, but that's all. Besides, there is a governor that cuts everything off at eighty.

   We pulled into the Hidden Valley Campground just outside the circle by-pass on the southwest edge of San Antonio on Tuesday afternoon. We called Daniel and Kristen to plan our schedule. We wanted to see them an Little Zeke. We set up camp, turned on the A/C and headed over to see the grandkids. After warm and exciting greetings, it was time to head for the hospital to see the baby. When Ezekiel and I had our first greeting I could tell he was excited to see his great-grandfather. What a precious little boy. Small of course, but doing well. Great-grandmother, Sweet Lynda, thought he was very SPECIAL too. We had a bite of supper and went back and spent more time with him.

   On Wednesday we decided to check out a bit of downtown SA. We parked the Blazer in the deck at the RiverCenter Mall and walked inside. Ambled back out to the River Walk and strolled up and down and back and forth along this delightful path through the city. How nice and so appealing. Went back into the mall to catch the IMAX movie of the Alamo. Very good, too! At 2pm it was time for our scheduled tour of the city. Which tour, you might ask? Gray Line? Taxi? Horse and Carriage? No way, Hosea. Young and virile upstarts like us headed for Segcity. You probably know that a Segway is that two-wheeled conveyance with handlebars that you stand on and lean ever-so-slightly forward or backward to make it go. It takes TALENT and SKILL of course. I was a little slow but for Sweet Lynda, no problem. Matt was our leader and we saw the city. Gorgeous old theater's, more of the River Walk, remnants of the 1968 World's Fair and of course, the Alamo.  We really had a good time.

   On Thursday we spent the day again with the kids and Ezekiel. These are special loving people and we continue to pray that the little boy will do well. Not easy to say good-bye to these dear folks.

   We pulled out early Friday morning, filled up with gas on the east side of town at Flying J and pointed this home-on-wheels toward Louisiana on Interstate 10. Rain off and on throughout the day. Stop and go traffic through Houston. Camped north of Lake Charles at Quiet Oaks in Fenton and moved on up US 165 at 6:30 Saturday morning. Did the breakfast buffet at Shoney's and kept on going. Picked off the southeast corner of Bill and Hillary's home state and turned east again , this time on US 82. We crossed the Mississippi river on the old bridge but they are nearing completion on the beautiful new one. US 82 across Mississippi is an excellent highway. We eventually came to the Natchez Trace Parkway and turned north/northeast. About 240 miles to Nashville. The Trace is a very lovely and well-maintained two lane road with no towns to contend with but a little too much of the same thing. The Blue Ridge Parkway is much more interesting. It was after dark when we got to Nashville. We continued on up to Flying J at Franklin, KY. It was a long day of over 700 miles While having breakfast at Cracker Barrel in Bowling Green Sunday morning we got at call from Dave Evans with the Central Ohio Camping Club. The group was at the hot air balloon doin's in Findlay. We would like to be with them. They are great people to hang out with.

   We were back in Danville about noon. . . with a bit of sadness in our hearts. Good to be home of course, but sad because this marvelous journey was over. Saturday evening, Evans, Teresa, Jasmine and Sophie arrived back from the other side of the world. Sunday evening we went over to the farm to see this precious, new little granddaughter. WELCOME SWEETHEART! It was good to see everyone again, including the neighbors. . . . . and last but not least, Madchen, the Doxie.

    THE TRIP?  Of course we missed the planned conclusion because of the Texas swing. So, maybe in a couple of years we can still do the Arches, the Canyonlands, the Million-Dollar-Highway, Durango, Mesa Verde, the Four Corners, the Royal Gorge, Pike's Peak, the Garden of the Gods, the Air Force Museum and Rocky Mountain National Park. And maybe the Gateway Arch too. We drove the Georgieboy Cruise Master 13,812 miles and the Workhorse with the Chevy V 8 performed perfectly. No problems at all. For that I am truly thankful. In every way, it was a wonderful journey for both of us. Alaska has been a strong desire for most of my adult life. To have been able to do it all with my beautiful wife and companion, Sweet, Sweet Lynda has been an extra special joy. We have traveled well together.

   To our families, loved ones and friends from all over, thank you so very much for all the phone calls, e-mails and blog comments along the way. We could not have possibly made it without you. Hope you've enjoyed the blog.

Love and blessings always . . . . .thanks for sharing the adventures of Winston & Lynda


1 comment:

Teresa said...

phone calls, blog comments, and SKYPE!!! Don't forget about SKYPE! lol

This cannot be the end, you know. You have plenty of things to blog about in your everyday life!

Please continue to write about things, it helps to keep the family connected. :=)

Love you both,