Friday, August 13, 2010

Where in the Hell is WaWa Ontario....Heaven perhaps?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Oh Canada! Jeremy for Mayor of Buffalo!

My ethernet cable is hooked into a goose's ass that is flying south over Lake Superior....can you hear me? Can you hear me now? Hello...??? We rode bareback on a moose and drank beer right from the streams. This is where hockey pucks grow on trees. You feeling me? My Canadian friends are! I'm always busting on the "Great White North" and the folks that live here, but I have to admit.... it's gorgeous! After spending a few nights on the north shore side of this behemoth body of fresh water, I'm convinced it isn't a lake after all, but more of an Alien Shore (Rush fans??). Seriously. You can see down to the glittery bottom, chock full of perfectly smooth granite rocks that have been tumbling and tossing in the big waves for millennia. It is too cold to swim, however if it were hot outside the past few days I would have gone in for a little shrinkage action. My junk would have looked like an acorn on the bottom of a forest floor.... yes it its that cold.

We passed through Duluth and spent our first night at Grand Marais, Minnesota at a fantastic municipal park that was right on the lake. Yes, you heard right, municipal. I thought, how cool would it be if Buffalo did this down on Route 5 in one of the empty lots near the small boat harbor and Tifft Farms. Put in some basic utilities and hook ups for RVS and Wallah! People will come! I guarantee it. Almost every RV park we've stayed at, even in the middle of corn fields, has been close to capacity. This is a big industry in America. Plus, there would be no crazy funding needed and no top heavy bureaucratic oversight to take care of it. Charge $40 t0 $50 a night, which is pretty much standard anywhere in the US and Canada for full amenities and you've got yourself a start. Then have shuttle service to downtown, events, and Niagara Falls. Somebody email the mayor! Or hell, elect me instead!

We are camped for a night or two just outside of Wawa, ON near Lake Superior Provincial Park. I've been trying to spot the northern lights since the suggestion from aunt Linda a few days ago, but I haven't seen them yet. Both times that I woke up in the middle of the night to go outside I was amazed at the amount of stars I could see, shooting stars especially, but no northern lights. Maybe tonight? Here are some shots we took... mom took some especially cute ones of John! Hope you are all wonderful and warm! Jeremy

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Minnesota, Land of 1,000

This part of the country is very familiar to us subconsciously and I believe this is because of the very similar rolling landscape and the abundance of fresh water. You can't go very far on any road in these parts without seeing a lake or river. We are staying in the Itasca Lake State Park which is where the headwaters of the Mississippi River begin. Having crossed the Mississippi several times during this trip, this was a great sentimental discovery. Its always nice to see the point where things begin and end, especially large rivers since they have so much spiritual and historical ties. I have yet to go to New Orleans, but I do believe I shall sometime soon. Mardi Gras anyone?

John Isaac and I spent the day at the beach today playing frisbee with some local kids followed by a serious game of "toss the little brother" where I fire him skywards for front and back flips back into the lake. We had a good time. I think the other feature of this area that reminds me of home is the way people talk. They have that quasi-Canadian accent that we have in Buffalo. Somewhat nasal in tone with similar expressive projections and volume. I've heard the occassional "eh" too, which is a dead giveaway that you are within a few hundred miles of Canuckville. They also greet each other with the very common, "How aaaare ya!!!" which of course is answered with "Goooood and you?" I know some of you are laughing right now, because it is totally true. Having spent lots of time away from Western NY, then coming back, these are the kinds of things I pick up on in the grocery stores and diners. Visit your local Tops or Wegman's supermarket and see how many times people do this. It's astounding!

Anyway, we are enjoying the stay and laughing a bit because my little brother knows that he's back in bear country so he's taking his normal psychological precautions at night. All of the sudden he needs his light on to do Wordsearch puzzles in bed and he doesn't dare go to the bathroom without an escort... even though we are parked right next to it. Such is the mind of an 8 year old! We bounce out of here tomorrow and head a few hundred miles east to the greatest lake of them all... Superior! I'm very excited about this part of the trip! More to come.... Jeremy

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Goodbye Yellowstone... Hello Great Lakes.

Happy Birthday me, since it is midnight in the mid West! I've been getting the Facebook and text message pings for the last hour or more from all of my lovely friends back East. I'm wide awake, with internet connection, and of sharp and active mind... so I decided to report on the current state of affairs. Very currently there is an amazing lightning storm coming our way here in Jamestown, North Dakota. I can see the flashes in the distance from the window, and I'm hoping the pending rains will cool the air enough for me to get some sleep. It is very hot here compared to the 10 cold nights we spent in Yellowstone bundled under sleeping bags and thick blankets. The front air conditioner where I'm sleeping doesn't work and my mom and brother always shut theirs down because it gets too cold in the back bedroom. Such is life in the RV. My mom even said today, "We are going to need a new roll of duct tape soon" while fixing another fallen piece of the 38 foot puzzle we are living in. We all looked at one another and laughed. We have utilized, to capacity, the adhesive powers of the mighty gray-wonder tape to keep this boat a-sailing! Tomorrow we get the vehicles serviced and re-lubed so that we are ready for our return trip through the mighty North of Canada, skirting the north side of the Great Lakes as we trek back to Buffalo.

Yellowstone was fantastic. We swam and paddled crystal clear glacier lakes. We saw tons of wildlife including grizzly bears, black bears, moose, elk, fox, bobcat, deer, hawks, eagles, falcons, bison, and the tiniest little squirrels you ever saw. It is a most splendid piece of this earth and if you have never been, please treat yourself and go check it out. There is a variety of natural phenomena at work and if you are lucky, and up early or late enough to see it without a mass of humans, it is extremely rewarding. We traveled most of the park and saw many of the famous landmarks, but were also able to enjoy some spontaneous finds in Grand Teton and just outside of West Yellowstone in Gallatin National Forest. It felt like we were the delta force of bear watching with my mom constantly urging us to keep a sharp weather eye out for them. She is the best spotter I know though not always accurate. Cries of, "OH Look!!! A Cougar!!!" yielded deer, twice. John got a kick out of the bison we almost ran into in the middle of the road while looking for bears one night. He scared the souls out of my mother and I when he screamed and pointed straight while we were both looking out the side window with a spotlight. There were plenty of things to get our adrenaline pumping.... and it seems his has just dissipated tonight. The boy is finally sleeping. He's been up almost every night with a light on, for fear of bears and Bigfoot and now that he knows we are officially out of bear country (he showed me the map today in his wildlife book), he's out like a light. This is good, because he's been acting more silly than normal with me in the car and he's got my mother a bit ragged from lack of sleep. She's enjoying a peaceful slumber as we speak too.

I feel so blessed to have this wonderful opportunity to travel and seek out great experiences and this trip has been no exception. We live in such a complex and fast paced world today and it is a pleasure, nay, a necessity for us to take time to reconnect with the important things in life; family, nature and love. I've gotten all three on this trip thus far. Here's to you, and me, and all of us.... from the RV, in the middle of nowhere to wherever you live.... that we may all be blessed and realize what wonderful gifts we already have. Thanks for checking in..... Jeremy