Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ferry to New Foundland

Arrived in South Sydney, Nova Scotia, at 9:20 tonight. Met Paul, a 30 year old Newfie chef on the bus, and learned that the 7 hour crossing by ferry for New Foundland departed at Midnight. Newfies are great to spend time with. Excellent story tellers and very experienced im many practical ways. I got off the bus to see if I could get a ticket on the ferry and before finding out, instinctively went back to the bus that was almost leaving with my bags still aboard. The driver said "Let's go Mister!". My original plan was to stay in South Sydney for the night and then explore Cape Bretton in the day. I have been told that the drive around Cape Bretton is spectacular. Arriving in South Sydney, I became convinced that this was NOT a very desirable place to spend the night. There are many fireworks to be seen in Sydney to celebrate Halloween, and it is true that Nova Scotian's in general to really get into dressing up for this particular day, moreso than I have witnessed, even in San Francisco (which is saying alot) but hanging out in Sydney on Halloween night seemed very depressing to me. Catching a cab back to the ferry terminal was no problem, but it did set me back $24 Canadian dollars. The taxi driver said the their dollar was now worth $1.05 against the US dollar. He told me how the steel mills all closed down in 2000 and that he had put 30 years in. He said that he had a good pension of about 60% of the $45,000 a year he used to earn working at the mill. A fixer upper house around here costs $35-40K, but the onwer of a coffee shop in Truro told me she had just bought a nice house up in Sydney for $8,000. He told me that this was probaly down a spell from the city where all the coke plants use to be and is somewhat of a toxic zone, but that people still live there. Anyways, I am on the ferry now and it will dpart at midnight and arrive at 7am. I will catch up with some of my previous adventures and post some new pictures when I get a chance.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Arrived in Halifax Yesterday around 5PM. Hiked up to the Citadel and walked around it for a specatcular view of the city and it's environs. Staying at a hostel downtown and meeting quite an assortment of folks from all over the world. Will write more when I get a chance.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Montreal Rocks!

This city knows how to celebrate Haloween! Hiked up Mont Royal, absolutely spectacular.
Meeting amazing people all along the way. Off now to Halifax, got to catch the train shortly. Montreal is truly a remarkable place.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Who Are You to Not be Magnificent?

Wow, got a nights sleep and a shower and am feeling rested and refreshed. Off to Montreal at 11:30 this morning. Toronto is nice but want to make it to Halifax. Will write more when I get to Montreal.

Arrived in Toronto

I have arrived in Toronto after a truly remarkable journey across Canada. Visited my cousin Deb near Kamloops. Got to Jasper and decided to stay on the train headed East. The Canadian Rockies are spectacular. Very eventful trip across Canada from Vancouver. Met the most amazing assortment of people. It's 2:27 Saturday morning and I will add some pictures and tell a some stories of my time since leaving Vancouver, till then~don

Monday, October 22, 2007

October 22-Gambling and Hockey

I am leaving Vancouver in the morning at 7AM to head towards Jasper, but I will be taking Greyhound and doing a bit of a detour so that I can see one of my other cousins. Making these travel arrangments occupied my time such that I did not get to play pool with Jack, but we watched the Vancouver-Carolina hockey game and I get quite and education about a sport I knew relatively nothing about. Jack used to be quite a hockey player in his day, so it was good to hang out together for the game even though Vancouver lost.

I was suprised to learn that the train to Jasper that goes to Montreal only runs three days a week. Along with the fact that I only have 30 days on my rail pass I have been having to make some adjustments. Marge and Jack have been champions helping me out to make sure I get to see as much of the clan as possible. Two of my other cousins, Nancy in Dawson and Rick in Quesnel, I will have to see next time I visit.

Today Marge and I took a bus ride along with some of her other gambling friends to the River Rock Casino in Vancouver along the might Fraser river, where I watched timber being floated down to the mill. It was nice to be have the bus ride to get to know Marge better. I played some BlackJack and enjoyed myself immensely.

I am grateful to have this amazing family of compassionate and loving souls to help me "Along the Way". I probably won't write anything until I arrive in Jasper this weekend.

Spokane/Vancouver October 18-21

Greeting from Surrey, British Columbia,

It's Sunday night, and I'm just getting a chance to get caught up on this blog. I'm staying with my my mother's brother, Jack Grant and his wife Marge in Surrey, a short distance from downtown Vancouver. It's been raining a steady bit for the past day or so. The picture at right is of me on a bridge over the Spokane river. This brought back memories of when my brother Steve brought one of my other brothers, Jeff and and I to "Expo 74" for the Worlds Fair. More than 30 years later I still vividly remember flying over the Grand Canyon at the still standing IMAX theater a short distance away.

After crossing this bridge I met up with Steve and my parents. We enjoyed a nice dinner together at Moxie's and turned in early. I got a bed to myself and Steve bunked with his youngest son Garrett. We watched the movie "Transformers" and enjoyed it quite a bit.

Friday we spent most of the day on the Campus of Gonzaga, attending classes, going to an openhouse reception and later in the Evening watching Steve's oldest son play in an intermural soccer game.
We ended up meeting Mathew's girlfriend and her parents at the soccer game and then we all went for a nice dinner at Spencers. Mathew is now 21 and he ordered "Moose Drool", which I had to try, it's quite good actually. After dinner my brother and I joined Matt along with Kelly and her dad at Jack and Dan's, the famous sports bar near Gonzaga.

Math showed me the place he shares with 6 other Gonzaga students, definitely a bachelor pad!

I packed up my stuff back at the hotel and said good bye to my mom. Dad and Steve took me to the train station and said our good byes. Fortuneately I got a two seats to myself and was able to fall asleep pretty shortly after pulling out of the station at 2:45 in the morning. Icaught a connector bus to Surrey from Seattle because the next train to Vancouver did not leave for another 17 hours. It was a short trip of only a few hours and I kept to myself, nursing a bit of a hangover from the night before. Jack picked me up and we got caught up with Marge and went out for an "OcotoberFest" celebration that the folks in his housing association wer putting on. It was delightful to be fed an authentic German meal and get to hear "War" stories.
Today Judy (Jack and Marge's daughter) and Dave came over for lunch and we had a great time getting caught up.
We headed over to Visit with Sue and Dave and both kids were there along with the newest grandchild. Time for me to go to bed. Tommorow I'm going to the casino with Marge and then playing pool with Jack afterwards.

Definitely going to simplify this blogging activity. It has been taking an inordinate amount of time to get these posts up. I have uploaded my photos to Googles Picassa site and hopefully this will make adding pictures to this blog easier.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday, October 16-18 Oakland to Spokane

Hey All,
Departed Jack London Square in Oakland and a had quite a sendoff from the guys in my mens group, parents and the lovely Minia from my Burning Man family. Thank you to everyone who came out and sent me off like a "Rockstar!".

On the journey I met two great guys whom became my traveling compatriots on the way to Spokane. Jared is only 18 who just graduated high school and wants to travel to Africa. I gave him a copy of Richard Bach's "Illusions". Isa who works in Pittsburg CA, and is a webmaster for a Hip Hop organization called Words-Beats and Life. After two train journeys, and a bus ride across Oregon, we all arrived in Spokane, Jared to see his dad and Isa his brother who is getting married. It was great traveling with these two as they made me feel more hopefull for the future. I hope they read these words.

I am writing this from a gaming store called Merlyn's on Main Street in Spokane. Sitting next to me, I struck up a conversation with Terry, aka Maximlliano. We talked about the price of gold and the the current economic situation and I shared with him the website called the "Daily Reckoning". He told me about, "Nomads United" a group of horse riders coming up from South America to the Rainbow Gathering in New Mexico. Check out their website. Terry goes back and forth bewteen Mexico and Spokane. He is another adventurous soul. It was a challenge finding a computer with Internet access to update this blog. Kinko's wanted $12 an hour and the library would only allow 15 minutes of use, unless you get a library card and then you can only use the computer for 1 hour on any given day. Merlyn's has got great spirit and they only charge $3.24 an hour. Across the street is Rocket Cafe and I'm happy to say I found two of the niceist places in Spokane.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Zero Hour is Approaching!

Great to hear from my Burning Man Friends, Kali and Minia. I visited Sundance Coffee shop and said goodbye to my friend Meagan. She is one of those people that is friends with everyone. She is also in a "Moped Gang", which I think is very cool! I gifted some of the material possessions I was no longer using, knowing that she would put them to good use.


Hi All, It's Tuesday, October 16, and I depart on Amtrak tonight at 9:38, headed towards Canada. I bought a 30-day rail pass for Canada and the U.S. for $638.10 (AAA membership and off season pricing). Some of my family and the guys from my mens team will be seeing me off at Jack London square in Oakland. My first stop is Spokane Washington, where I will get to visit my Nephew at Gonzaga. My next stop will be in Vancouver where I will visit my Mom's family, the Grant Clan.

Traveling the America's

Hi All,

It's Tuesday, October 16, and I depart on Amtrak tonight at 9:38, headed towards Canada. I bought a 30-day rail pass for Canada and U.S. for $638.10 (AAA membership and off season pricing). Some of my family and the guys from my mens team will be seeing me off at Jack London square in Oakland. My first stop is Spokane Washington, where I will get to visit my Nephew at Gonzaga. My next stop will be in Vancouver where I will visit my Mom's family, the Grant Clan.