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Blog The Walk

This blog will follow Art's experiences as he walks across America on The Walk of Life. You can share your support for him or talk about your dedications to your loved ones that you have lost or are fighting some illness. Please leave comments and words of encouragement!

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Rain & computers

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on Wednesday, 27 June 2012
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Well Monday the 26th saw 23 even and today due to a rain delay and computer issues (I still have to pay the bills!!!) I put in a rather wet and chilly 19.4...the basic wisdom of the day is the ever true "computers and tequila, tools of the devil!!!)...yesterday took my from Manning Park to just outside Princeton, today took me through Princeton on my way to Osoyos...internet access is on the blink here so we are sitting in the restaurant at the RV park/golf club so this will be a quick "hit 'n run"...may hang around here for a couple of extra days as the golf course looks pretty nice and I have NOT swung a club in a month, we shall see...it is still nice to be greeted with a tap on the horn or a friendly wave, VERY energizing, also, folks please, Please, PLEASE give the cyclists you see a wide berth and the same with any walkers you may encounter...yesterday I stopped at a truckers "brake check" stop and had a rather pleasant conversation with Alfred from Vancouver, also of German heritage and choir singer as well (as was I in high school and college), he mentioned that he had seen me several days earlier and wondered what I was up to, he got a card and a picture, I met a nice guy...many of the same truckers ply the same route as me and I am beginning to recognize them and they are always ready with a blast of the horn, again very energizing...well it is time to wrap it up for the day and get some sleep...cheers to all, Norman thanks for the frequent check ins

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Friday and Saturday, two for the price of one, bears AND bear!!!

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on Sunday, 24 June 2012
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Well Friday I got in 18.5 to 26 even today!!!...it is amazing how going downhill goes faster than uphill!!!...Friday I did see a mother bear and her two brand new cubs making sure that I kept the eejit tourists between me and the bears, I don't have to outrun the bear JUST the tourists!!!...today I was reading a sign (surprise!!!) about bears and out of the corner of my right eye I caught movement, JUST as I uttered some conjugated profanities a bear looked at me, I looked and him and we BOTH run like scalded cats in opposing directions!!!...smart walker, smart bear!!!...Sunday is moving day to Princeton after several errands get run in Chilliwack...as "they" used to say on the Tonight Show "more to come" I'm gonna finish up the laundry, shower and go to bed!!!...cheers

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beyond Hope!!!

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on Friday, 22 June 2012
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Thursday June 21st...21.6 miles plus a rock in the windshield...at this point no ONLY are we past Hope but we ARE beyond Hope!!!...for all you geographers and cartographers we are now on number 3 highway allllllllllll the way to Alberta...had a little hiccup with the power ports today, two front ones are marginally functional, fortunately there is a third in the very back so we can still run the safety light on top of the Jeep...we have an appointment with Murray at the Shell station in Hope Friday at 3:00 PM to address the issue, I think I will see if he can install the replacement radio/CD player so my driver can listen to something other than me...lots of large rigs on the road and one of them coaxed a rock to fly right in the middl of the windshield, $38 later the chip was sealed and we were back on our way...gorgeous day today, ALL day long...we went through about two miles of construction where I was moving faster than traffic and at one point a gentleman in a red convertible handed me a ten dollar bill, very kind of him, now I have find some to whom the favour (eh!?) will be passed on, which brings to mind the other gentleman in a parking lot in Chilliwack who came over the car and dug into his pocket and gave me $1.15, quite frankly it looked like his last $1.15, gotta make sure it gets put to good use...that kind of generosity brings a tear to my eye...tomorrow will be an early day heading into bear country in E C Manning park so we can get a jump on the day prior to paying Murray at the Shell station a visit...just a recap on stuff found along the way:

today a quarter, that plus the seven cents earlier so we have a total of thirty-two cents (Canadian)

one pair of Revo sunglasses

one set of keys to a ski rack

one poker chip

one pink rubber duckie

cheers!!!

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June 19th a test (just like my first three attempts at College Algebra 101!!!)

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on Thursday, 21 June 2012
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Tuesday we went looking for more shoes...I have three pair that I rotate and only two of the three do I really like and guess what!?!?!?...I can't find them ANYWHERE!!!...we even dropped by Ferndale (Bellingham) and could not find any (some would say I am rather picky AND some would be correct!!!)...anyway I did get some Starbucks coffee, Mom got her new sunglasses and I found out that CB radios are just as useless as the walkie-talkies we have (unless we had four foot antennas and I have NO idea how to mount one on me short of drilling a hole in may head!!!)...so we work with what we have...one thing I am learning on this trek is that communication IS paramount!!!, just like life in general... sometimes in life we can hide that fact that there is no communication (or a negligible amount) on this trip it becomes rather obvious REAL fast!!!...also like life we are working it out as time and situations require...we ALL have things to learn and can ONLY use past experiences to assist us in making a better future by dealing ONLY (did I say ONLY!?!?!?) with what is...soooooooo I mad an attempt to walk Tuesday without the aid of Advil or tape, NOT a good idea!!!...Advil is my friend and ALL kinds of tape is now my best friend!!!...a short day walking (12.7) miles, other than the aforementioned observations nothing of substance to report, except for the pink rubber duckie I found on the road and the nickel, bringing the loose change total to seven cents (Canadian, eh!?)...today was a moving day, a quick trip to the laundry, some other minor errands AND a stop at the Dead Frog Brewery for some well deserved file for the trip...I suppose if I was a marketing major (oh wait, wasn't THAT the first college degree!!!) I would seek endorsements from Tim Horton's, Starbucks, BandAide, Adidas, New Balance, 3M, Dead Frog Brewery, Mark's Work Warehouse, Hawkins Cheezies, Advil, Advil AND ADVIL!!!...today e moved from Aldergrove, BC to Othello Tunnels Campground and RV Park in Hope, BC right next to the Coquihalla (COKE - i - hall - ah) River, very cool little place off the beaten path...we plan on spending three or four nights here and then off to Princeton, BC...from here on it is allllllllllll highway number 3 all the way to Alberta...a year ago when I was on this same road (moving just a tad faster!!!) we passed four bears, I do hope bears don't like duct tape!!!...no Starbucks in Hope so I guess tomorrow's segment will be fueled exclusilvely with Advil, duct tape (3M) and Tim Horton's (look it up!!!)...cheers!!!

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back on the trail, plus eggs

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on Tuesday, 19 June 2012
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so far the rain seems to hit on my days "off"...Mom had guests come and visit over the weekend, Saturday rained ALLLLLLLL day, Sunday most of the day, today about 38 drops fell at one point, otherwise cloud ceiling of about 3000 feet, a good day to make 22 miles even in just a wee bit over 8 hours...stopped at a wrecking yard to get a new radio for the Jeep as the old cassette tape (ask your parents what that is!!!) crashed the other day and YES I still use those antiques (just got rid of my 8 track a few months ago!!!)...picked up a couple more flame yellow safety shirts from Mark's Work Warehouse, I love that store!!!...still love it when people honk 'n wave as they go by, I feel a wee bit more connected when that happens...now on to the egg story...a 13 year old had set up "free range, farm fresh" egg stand for $3.00 a dozen on the honour (eh!?) system, well apparently there are a lot of starving people in the Chilliwack area as the person running the stand had posted a note that people were taking eggs and not leaving cash, today I had cash but there were no eggs...as I walked down the road I ruminated on the note and dictated a note that my pilot car driver and left it in the cash box along with a few The Walk of Life cards, the substance of the note was that there is "good" in all things even those that we perceive to be "bad" or "evil" (who are we to judge!?)...I believe that things are what they are and that is the ONLY thing I can deal with, passing NO judgement...doors close, windows open, my one and ONLY job in life is to wake up, put my pants on and greet the day, it is HOW I respond to things that will determine whether they be "good" or "bad"...so the bottom line is DON'T steal eggs from 13 years olds or you WILL inspire me to pontificate and ramble on about good and bad, right and wrong, blah, Blah, BLAH!!!...anyway tomorrow should take me to Hope, BC (or BEYOND Hope!!!) the start of some serious mountains that ARE extremely scenic and with luck, less rain than here in the Fraser Valley...remember, give cyclists and walkers a wide berth on the road and honk 'n wave at ANYONE carrying a large orange sign on the back of their Jeep!!!

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20 miles, FINALLY!!!

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on Sunday, 17 June 2012
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Friday the 15th of June dawned rather pleasant (for a change no rain!!!) with a start of 9:10 and a finish of 18:30 with a total of 22.8 miles!!!...I could have gone further but we where expecting some guests from Vancouver and the Seattle area...the reason for the good showing was that I discovered the "trifecta" of blister control for long distance walking...1) BandAid blister pads on the bare skin followed by 2) white cloth tape used by athletes to tape ankles, wrists, fingers, etc and again 3) that medical miracle, duct tape!!!...one tip on all that tape, KEEP IT OFF THE POTIONS OF THE BODY WITH HAIR!!!, the application is easy, the removal a wee bit more intense!!!...Friday took me from Aldergrove-ish through Abottsford along country roads, one road did turn out to be a major truck route, however the views of Mt Baker and the other snow-covered mountains made it worth the inconvenience of the many trucks...later in the afternoon there was precious little vehicular traffic, a few farmers working their fields, a few cows and a few cyclists...no great epiphanies just some wonderful rural scenery...today (Saturday) it rained and Rained and then RAINED some more!!!...the rain makes this part of the world VERY beautiful when the sun shines, however the agony of all the rain to get to that beauty makes one pause and consider if it is really worth it...I guess this part of the Pacific Northwest is the same as the Seattle area, summer begins on July 5th!!!...Sunday will be spent watching the US Open final round and perhaps an airplane museum...my final words of the day to myself and to all who read this is honesty and integrity along with a rather healthy dose of personal responsibility and accountability will lead to a happy and peaceful existence...peace, love, harmony and joy to all

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no fancy name...the eighth day of walking

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on Friday, 15 June 2012
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The day started with clearing up a variety of house-keeping items, DISH, Verizon, CampingWorld, forgetting my shoes AND the map, all the unpleasantries of the trek!!!...We then retraced my steps from yesterday to determine that I did 18 miles even (I was sure it was 22!!!)...today I only did a few miles 12 (maybe only 11.9!?) ending at the Dragon House restaurant in Aldergrove...tomorrow there are no impediments ('cept those pesky blisters) so I should get an early start and have the entire day...hopefully there will be a round of golf Saturday with Sunday spent "on the couch" watching the US Open (memories of Payne Stewart)...kudos AGAIN to my mother who is willingly putting up with my way (is there ANY other!?!?!?!?) of doing things...many, Many, MANY thanks!!!

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medical miracles!!!

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on Wednesday, 13 June 2012
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Monday dawned a wonderful day in the Vancouver area with the exception of the nagging blisters NOW on both feet...after a good deal of bitching, moaning, whining and complaining I decided to go back to basics,FLIP FLOPS!!!...armed with a back pack filled with goodies to eat as well shoes, socks and the "kit' I carried around during my hiking days I set off across Lions Gate bridge...in my estimation the view from the bridge is every bit as good as that FROM the Golden Gate bridge...the bridge itself is significantly shorter but the view is spectacular!!!...a couple of miles down the road I could feel a "hot spot" developing on the left foot so in downtown Vancouver I stopped and took off the flip-flops and broke out the old hiking kit, BandAides and DUCT TAPE!!!...ahhh the miracles of modern medicine...the nice thing about the duct tape is that it also has a reflection capability so the radio waves get blocked so "THEY" can't track me!!!...anyway BandAides and duct tape to the rescue!!!, in spite of getting a rather late start I still managed 17.3 miles...today I started out with the same modern medical cure and breezed along until I hit Langley...milage (or "klic-age") was not recorded due to my pilot car driver's aversion to city driving, today I caught the SeaBus from the North Shore, took the SkyTrain out and then a bus from where I stopped yesterday, everything in reverse order at the end of the day...11:13 to 18:33 with about an hour off for lunch...tomorrow will be a moving day...we are pulling up the "jacks" (air-bags actually!) and moving the coach to Aldergrove, just down the road a few klics and MORE than a few steps...I will retrace my steps from today's stroll to determine the actual milage...so Wednesday off, Thursday back on the trek and hopefully a MUCH DESERVED round of golf soon and Mr. Porter I will ride!!!

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light day

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on Saturday, 09 June 2012
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today just a quick 10.8 miles from Horseshoe Bay down Marine Drive to the RV park...tons of cyclists out today offering words of good luck and encouragement..."Rob" the biker the first of many...many "honks 'n waves' from the motorists...yesterday was modified upwards to 19.8 miles, had I known I would have crawled another point two to hit the magic 20, I suppose I do have a few days ahead of my to do that...balance of the day will be doing the basics to keep the trek going, laundry, errands, etc...tomorrow I do believe will be the first official round of golf for the trip (walk or ride tomorrow, THAT will be the big decision!!!)...another fabulous day here, sun is out, greens are vibrant!!!...life is good!!!

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GORGEOUS DAY!!!

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on Saturday, 09 June 2012
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It is hard to explain how nice this part of the world is, WHEN ITS NOT RAINING!!!...great day, sun off and on, VERY light scattered showers, enough to keep the walker going...did 19.2 miles and that was after about 45 minutes fighting with walkie-talkies and cell phone, TECHNOLOGY!!!...no great insights tonight other than odd things at the side of the road:

on the road TO Whistler I saw all sorts of hats and gloves, did they freeze their fingers on the sloops?

those "P" shaped floss tool, who flosses in the car?, apparently an overwhelming number of people between Squamish and Whistler

one blue on white poker chip

the keys to a rather nice Thule system, hope they had a spare otherwise is was all the way back to Vancouver, one rather nice set of sunglasses, unscratched I might add!

and Canadians just like their cousins to the south really, Really, REALLY like to drink and drive!!!

tomorrow brings a very narrow road until I start walking the streets of greater Vancouver so we will attempt to hit it early before substantive traffic...cheers!!!

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rain Rain RAIN!!!

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on Friday, 08 June 2012
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that was it for today...rained half the night and ALLLLLLLL day...considering the traffic on highway 99 there was no way I was going to venture out, if the deluge didn't get we the wash from traffic would, oh well gave me a day to run errands, 48 trips to Canadian tire (love that store, Jonathan you WOULD pee your pants!!!)and a bit of time for the blisters to go down a wee bit...changed out the walkie-talkies as the old ones only worked if I could see the whites of Mom's eyes!!!...set up cell phones and other communication codes if electronic technology completly fails us.. forecast is for more rain just not quite as heavy as today so we shall see how it goes...we did hit the Britannia Mine Museum in Britannia Beach, brought back old memories of my days in Thompson, Manitoba working underground for INCO, 18 years old playing with dynamite and other high explosives, what could possibly go wrong!?!?!?...I did revise the distance travelled yesterday to 17.7 miles as I missed taking into account some rather important steps at the end of the day...tomorrow I plan on sticking a foot into Howe Sound, part of the Pacific Ocean, so when I get to Key West I can hit the Atlantic AND the Gulf of Mexico!!!...at Starbucks this morning I saw one of the employees wearing a tattoo that read "pain is temporary, pride is permanent", rather appropriate for this excursion...the road tomorrow will be an adventure, Joe if you read this you know what I am talking about as 99 literally hangs from the side of the mountain...see ya'll down the road

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how do YOU spell BLISTERS!?!?!?

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on Thursday, 07 June 2012
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my spelling is OOUUCCHH!!!...wondered how long it would take for the martyrdom to set in, well it just did on day three...today got alate start due to insomnia last night and battery cables on the Jeep...six hours got me just shy (40 feet) of another 17.7 mile day (learning curve)...that included about an hour of Marks Work Warehouse (love that fluorescent yellow!!!), Starbucks and Telus...anyway the model of Uniden walkie-talkie that I bought is WORTHLESS, advertised to be good up to 22 miles, not only no but HELL NO!!!, more like 22 feet line of sight and of course I burned the receipt...Mom's Telus phone has no coverage most of the time, so just like life in general communication is key, DID I SAY COMMUNICATION!?!?!?...blisters on the right foot, left is fine...oh well nothing a little duct tape won't cure (yes I used to do it when I hiked 14ers in Colorado and other rather large "ant hills"...so we shall see what tomorrow holds other than walking on a blister AND some rather narrow roads with TONS of traffic...next time I do this it will be from West Vancouver to Puerto Rico!!!...Marc, no GoPro, that would be like watching paint dry or grass grow!!!...some footage should be hitting YouTube soon if not already...it was fun walking through Squamish today handing out cards to various folks...please pass the word as this little excursion is all about awareness, some is good, MORE is better...peace, love, harmony and joy to all!!!

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day two

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on Wednesday, 06 June 2012
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through rain, snow, sleet and hail!!!...ok MAYBE just a wee bit of rain, lots of wind and somehow the UPGRADES seemed waaaaaaay longer and steeper then the downgrades!!!...17.7 miles (haven't looked up the klic converter yet, eh!?) in just under (30 seconds!!!) 5 3/4 hours...I seem to recall walking my entire life but the last two days is NOTHING like I have experienced before...when my back surgeon said, " no more running, no more biking but you can walk all you like " I figured how hard can it be!?!?!?, some is good MORE is better!!!...the entire experience is taking me AND my feet out of my comfort zone (not a bad thing!!!)...right now working out the shoe/sock thing...I appreciate all your support and a special thanks to the drivers who move over a bit for this walker and the many cyclists out there, a little courtesy goes a long way...and here I thought I was the ONLY one to do that!!!...a little tap on the horn after they have passed the pilot car is kinda cool as well...see ya'll down the road!!!

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at LONG last!!!

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on Tuesday, 05 June 2012
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Ladies and gentlemen, boyz 'n girlz!!!

At long last we have movement!!!...13.3 miles in 4 1/2 hours!!!...WOW what a day!!!...Mom (my driver and I got to Whistler at approx 11:30 am to find the Ransom family, Staci (my best eldest,best first daughter) her husband (what a stud!!!) Todd, the 16th birthday boy Chance, Cashton, Cody and (not so baby) Cason along with Todd's Mom, Jan Wray already there...somehow the news media got the due and/or location wrong (perhaps they thought it a joke!!!)...after plenty of hugs and kisses photos suitable from framing and video suitable for editing I'm sure we went off to the Olympic Ring Park and with the VERY generous cooperation of some local workers we had the ceremonial "walk-off" three steps in flip-flops, tee shirt and shorts (is there NOTHING better!?!?!?)...after that "we" got a wee bit serious as the walker lovingly added to the medicine bag the names of, my son, Jonathan Michael Werner, my nephew, Ross Werner, my mother's husband Cecil Bund and the names of my other children, Staci, Joey, Stef, Jay and Jake (as I walk to honor the wonderful people that they are) were added to the medicine bag along with that of "Doc" Jan's late husband and numerous other names still here and some who have left us...after a very delightful lunch the Ransom family headed for the gondola ride as Joan Bund (my mother and VERY game pilot car driver), my delightful, birthday boy grandson, Chance OFFICIALLY started the trek...thank you VERY much Chance, what you did was VERY impressive and will stay with me FOREVER!!!...so at approx 3:00 pm Pacific time on June 4, 2012 The Walk of Life got under way only to find out that 3.3 miles later Chance's grandfather realized the error of his ways and started heading south instead of north!!!, and he is walking how many miles!?!?!?...good grief he could end up in Russia instead of Key West!!!...after a few good laughs and a correct of the compass we headed south...thank you again Chance as the official FIRST co-walker of the excursion...at the end of the day, 13.3 miles later the day was done...I wish to thank Staci and her family for being there, that meant to world to me, thank you Chance for choosing to walk with me and thank you Mom for being game for another adventure...my brain is having difficulty processing all the feelings and emotions of this undertaking, I know one thing, I AM a better man for these experiences and again as I show up on a daily basis, put my pants on (and my walking shoes!!!), greet the day and get out of my own way and let life unfold around me I am rewarded with all sorts of surprises, today was one of those days!

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new "official" date

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on Saturday, 02 June 2012
in The Beginning

At this point it looks like Monday the 4th in the afternoon (Pacific time) will be the official first step...it happens to be my eldest grandson's (Chance) 16th birthday...I will find a suitable spot in Whistler for the kick-off (step-off)...stay tuned and I am sure a clip will find its way to YouTube...love 'n kisses to all

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getting close!!!

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on Friday, 01 June 2012
in The Beginning

It appears that things are on track to take the first step next Tuesday or Wednesday!!!...WOW after a year of plotting (not much planning!!!) here I am...I suppose at this point the most important thing that I have learned is..."get out of the way and let life happen"...more to come on that...Sunday I will pick up my first AND most appropriate pilot car driver, (No Mom you DON'T have to drive the motor home!!!) and head for Vancouver which will be the base-camp for about a week or so...when all else failed my 80 year old mother (OK 70!!!) chose to start if NOT finish this journey with me as my very first pilot car driver, complete with safety sign and flashing lights...thanks Mom, a number of people owe you one!!!

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before the beginning

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on Tuesday, 29 May 2012
in The Beginning

Here we have the consummate techno-rube getting ready to blog his way from Whistler BC to Key West FL...the "web-master" has been kind enough to teach me how to access this so I can keep ya'll informed as to what is going on...as they used to say on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson "More to Come"!!!

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