31 May 2010

The Mighty Peace

Hub of the Peace, Rycroft, est. 1944 and home of my youth. The railroad bridge, about half a mile from the village (pop 600), was a great spot to flatten pennies.
My Mom, Eunice, celebrated her 80th. She had her first pedicure ("very nice but they charged too much") followed by a great smorgasbord dinner.
Busy as a beaver, as their work on this two-level dam attests.
British Columbia's newest and largest wind farm outside of Dawson Creek has 34 turbines purring -- we walked right up to them. Each is 82 m in diameter and can generate up to 3 MW.
The Johnson brothers and their wives in historic North Rolla Lutheran Church, est 1929 where their father once preached. "Amazing Grace' closed the annual service. Heated by a large drum stove and with a one-hole outhouse in the back, it's a gem. Later the Ladies' Aide served lunch, musicians tuned their guitars and violin, and there was even some dancing in the community hall/formerly one room schoolhouse.

25 May 2010

Fritz's big trip

We're at the northern point of our trip, arriving in Rycroft (Hub of the Peace) on Victoria Day. This is Diane's childhood village so we're staying with her mother and step-father (trip map, http://persjohn.net/DTJbl/trip2010.png.) As Fritz has morphed from a Texas native to an international traveler, he's the focus of this blog post. Fritz monitors the highway from top of the load in the backseat where he sees out between our shoulders.
He's seen everything, from the cactus and wildflowers of Texas where we called him the "burr magnet" to snow at 10,000 feet in Utah, and even a little leftover snow around here.
Does he look like he enjoyed lunch at Bijoux Falls?
Chetwynd, BC, has an annual chainsaw carving festival (http://www.ourbc.com/travel_bc/bc_cities/alaska_highway/chetwynd.htm) where a ninja from Japan got the 2009 award.
On the tracks of the old Northern Alberta Railroad our eager traveling companion enjoys his first big trip.

20 May 2010

Salt Spring Island

Since our last blog post we acrossed the state of Washington and entered our home and native land to visit high school vintage friends in Oliver, BC, AKA the wine capital of Canada. We spent 5 nights with them, then drove to the coast to visit Daniel's father in Burnaby for a couple nights before taking the ferry to Salt Spring and Victoria. Diane in her biker chick (hen?) outfit with Ray; Daniel also got his chance to play born to be wild.
Their house is beside a lake where the fruit orchards are rapidly being replaced by vineyards.
Daniel and his Dad in bloom.
BC Ferries taking us to Salt Spring Island where we discovered farm eggs, artisan cheeseries, and tie dye clothing.
Our classmate from Camrose Lutheran College is a shipwright in the area. He built his own boat, the Gormenghast, 3 decades ago and sailed south.

13 May 2010

From May 7 to 12 we headed north from Phoenix, across the Colorado River at Glen Canyon Dam, and visited Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, then stops in Idaho and Oregon before heading for Canada.
Hiking at Horseshoe Bend in Arizona. Those little legs really had a workout. Splendor in the grasses, Zion National Park, Utah. A great hike in Bryce Canyon National Park, where great vistas of Utah await. Twin Falls, Idaho almost left Diane singing in the cold rain.
Oregon's Pendleton Woolen Mills, weaving Indian trade blankets since 1895. We left with our pictures plus purchases from their retail store. We can't afford many visits like this one.

08 May 2010

Diane and I share this blog, and committee composition doesn't seem appealing so we plan to alternate writing posts. We won't be rigorous 1, 2, 1, 2 ... but that's the general idea. I like text more, and her style is more like photos and captions. Our blog starts with our retirement road trip, leaving Houston May 3 and staying in Ft. Stockton, El Paso, Phoenix, Page (AZ, near Glen Canyon Dam), and tonight in Cedar City, Utah after driving through Zion National Park. I aim to do a map of our travels, like I did for my solo road trip in 2008:

The original version of this map is on our own website, at http://persjohn.net/DTJbl/trip.png, and my blog from that trip is http://persjohn.net/DTJblog.htm. We aim to post only once every week or two, so I don't want to promise too much.

I now have a 2010 map on my website; the first update looked like this:

The full-size current version is at: http://persjohn.net/DTJbl/trip2010.png Daniel, Cedar City, UT 2010-May-08.

07 May 2010

This is our first blog post, so a little background. We are Diane Persson and Daniel Johnson, of Houston, Texas. Married in 1976, we retired in 2010 to move on to the next stage of life -- this blog is to share our experiences. We left Houston on a two-month road trip in May 2010 to see the country and visit family and friends. This first post was from Phoenix, and since the blog puts most recent at the top the picture below is from Phoenix, and below from El Paso and on the bottom our dog Fritz in the Texas wildflowers. Fritz perches in the back of our PT Cruiser -- we're a one-car family again for the first time in decades.
As this is our first road trip following retirement, we were surprised to learn Frank Lloyd Wright was the most productive in the last third of his life. When he died at age 91 he had a couple hundred designs commissioned. We may use him as a role model for our next third. Outside of Scottsdale we visited Talliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home and architectural school. His philosophy was that if you enjoy the luxuries then the necessities will take care of themselves.
The 1840 mission sports handcarved beams and brackets supporting an adobe roof. Nuestra Senora del Socorro Mission outside of El Paso is the oldest continuing parish in the U.S. In the foreground are two especially unique grave sites, one matching the color of the sky and the other decorated with plastic poinsettias and tinseled garland. Fritz makes his debut amidst the wildflowers and burrs of West Texas. From his perch in the backseat he watches the miles role on and is somewhat uncertain this is will be a fun road trip.