Sunday, June 7, 2009

North By Northwest

Joyce and I arrived back from visiting the grandchild (and her charming parents) last Tuesday night. I played hooky from work on Wednesday and then returned on Thursday. I'd scheduled vacation through Friday but I reasoned: By returning a couple of days early I'll be able to catch up and be ahead of the game on Monday. Of course, I re-discovered that old truism: "Work expands to fill the time available." My boss quickly figured out that I was available to attend meetings that he'd rather miss and to do (what seems to me) other pointless busywork, so now I'm farther behind than I was when I returned on Thursday.

That's okay, I'll get caught up in July and August by taking an extended vacation to help Andy make the move from Ohio to Alaska (Wright-Patterson AFB to Elmendorf AFB, to be precise). I've volunteered to drive one of their two vehicles. On Friday July 24th, Andy and Lauren will be flying here for James and Amber's wedding the next day. Then on Sunday, Andy and I will fly back to Ohio, spend the night at Wright-Patt and (after Andy has finished signing out) we'll begin our northwestward trek sometime before noon on Monday, July 27th. Meanwhile Lauren and the grandchild will be catching up on visits with friends and relatives back here in Texas.

Just this evening I got an email from Andy confirming that he's reserved motel rooms along the entire 4000+ mile route. (Damn those Canucks for making it so hard to figure out the mileage! I mean, is there even such a word as kilometerage?) Taking the most efficient route (i.e., avoiding Chicago by way of Joyce's family's farm in Illinois), we'll be departing on July 27th and arriving on August 5th.

Here's a view of the route captured from Google Earth.

And here's an even more striking view, showing Anchorage as the midpoint of the route from Dayton to Yokohama.

This should be an interesting adventure. It might even provide a little fodder for Ye Ol' Blog. I can't promise I'll chronicle the trip each day -- I hear Internet connections can be a bit spotty in the Yukon -- but who knows, we may actually see some of those moose Canada is so famous for.

Which reminds me of a joke --
Question: "How do you spell Canada?"
Answer: "C - eh? - N - eh? - D - eh?"

Which also reminds me what Andy told me I should not say when the Canadian border agent asks if I have any weapons in the car --
"Nuthin you'd be able to find, eh?"


Bag Blog said...

Those images make it look like you will be traveling halfway round the world.

joyce said...

I'm sure you will find a lot to blog about. Just take notes on your laptop or a notebook or something. We want to hear all about it. No way could I survive such a trip.

Bob said...

I expect I'll survive the trip, but I'm even more sure I'll be glad to come home to my sweet wife.

Bag Blog--
Yeah, it's a long way -- the trip ends pert near a sixth of the way toward where it starts.

Gladys said...

Oh WOW what a great trip. I love road trips.

Buck said...

Wow... that IS a trip! The Canadian prairie won't be all that exciting...when you've seen one grain elevator you've seen 'em ALL... but once you get beyond that point... Yowza!

And I hear ya about work and available space. I'm just glad I don't go there any longer. :D

Mrs. JP said...

First, congratulations on gaining a new family member.
Second, you are a trooper for volunteering for that trip. That's what Dad's do right?
Thirdly, oh please do keep us posted there are bound to be stories eh?
Fourth, love the Canada jokes...

JP said...

I triple dog dare you to say that at the border crossing, eh?

"Not unless you count my rapier whit, eh?"

Bob said...

I grew up on the border, so I've heard too many personal accounts of the Border Patrol and Immigration Service have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to humor. I have no doubt the same is true of our norther neighbors.

Mrs JP--
We're thrilled about Amber joining the clan. She's a keeper!

Yeah, I get the impression Manitoba, Saskatchewan and most of Alberta are just extensions of North Dakota, but I have high hopes for British Columbia and the Yukon.

When it comes to road trips, the Al-Can Highway is no Kalispell city dump, but we'll make do -- somehow.

Burkulater said...

WOW! Talk about some quality time :)

Bou said...

Wow! I knew it was a long trip, but mapping it out like that seems like... just WOW. FOREVER. Half the world! Like it would be closer to drive to Australia, oceans not being a problem and all.