Saturday, June 21, 2008



SATURDAY, MAY 31, 2008


Before leaving Mitchell’s, I took Ripley for another walk along the shore towards the mouth of the river. A cormorant flew over and the black flies were terrible. I suppose I will be encountering these little pests for the next couple of weeks until the weather gets warmer.

I have really enjoyed my short stay here because everyone has been so friendly and helpful, but it’s time to move on.

At Massey I stopped to treat myself to a butterscotch ice cream. Everyone seems to be towing a boat behind them in this region.


At the turnoff to Espanola and Manitoulin Island, I stopped in at Goodman’s Hotel to make a reservation on the ferry that goes from the tip of the island over to Tobermory and southern Ontario for Monday, June 2. I have decided to go this way instead of traveling around Georgian Bay, partly because I have never been on the island and partly to save on gas. The people at Goodman’s very kindly allowed me to hook into their wi fi so that I could update my blog. It has been really difficult to find wi fi connections in northern Ontario, so I was grateful for the opportunity.

The island itself is home to several First Nations tribes. The peninsula leading to the island is still very rugged – trees and rocks. There are no farms visible until you get to the island itself. I don’t know for sure how large it is, but it is a gigantic island that lies between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, and is considered a sacred site where the god Manitou lives.


Instead of heading south to the ferry terminal, I decided to go west along Highway 540 on the North Shore, to search for a nice, scenic campground to settle in for the next two days, and I found what I was seeking at Idyll Glen Resort on the shore of Lake Mindemoya. This is another one that is not listed in the Camping in Ontario directory, but I happened to come across their sign on the road. It led down to a beach area and the entrance where Linda greeted me and set me up with a site with electricity and water for $25. She and her husband Dan just bought the campground in March after having stayed here as campers for the past twenty years. They are in the midst of upgrading the playground, bathrooms and other parts and are looking at this enterprise as their retirement career.

I set up on a shady site at one end of the park but away from the beach because many seasonals have claimed those spots. The shore today was choppy from the strong winds and chilly, overcast sky. One advantage is that there were no black flies or mosquitoes.

Ripley and I took a walk up the road, passing For Sale signs on either side. One appeared to be a bed and breakfast place, judging from the size and the other was a very nice summer house on a large lot on which lilacs were blooming. As the house was vacant, I couldn’t resist taking some of these beautiful fragrant flowers back to my RV.

SUNDAY, JUNE 1, 2008

Well, here we are on the first of June, the start of summer more or less – but only 20 days away from the Summer Solstice.

Today began with a light breeze, sunny and warm and the birds were joyfully singing their individual songs as I sat at my picnic table working on writing the next part of my blog.

I am too far away to pick up the wi fi at my site, but Linda invited me into the office/store/rec area. As the store offers a variety of coffees, I couldn’t resist ordering a latte. It also features jams and jellies made on Manitoulin Island – a nice gift to bring along with me.

Linda is an enthusiastic woman, who is a teacher assistant in a town near Sudbury and is fluently bilingual. She was very proud of herself in mastering the intricacies of working the cash register since yesterday – her first day on the job, and we chatted about herself and her husband who is a part-time actor/comedian as well as having a full-time job, and also working around the campground. I suspect that they are both going to find that running it will take more time than they had anticipated.

I would like to have stayed longer in this hospitable, pretty place and would consider returning here in the future.

As Ripley and I walked along the beach in the evening, we encountered a family of Canada geese – Mom, Dad and three goslings swimming just offshore.

MONDAY, JUNE 2, 2008

I was up early in order to get to the ferry, some 45 minutes away, passing through the town of Mindemoya, a typical small town in rural Ontario that caters to tourists with a grocery store, gift shops and restaurants.

The wind is helping pollination as I encountered many seedpods blowing across the road as I drove along the twisting, winding road to South Baymouth. I arrived in plenty of time and got into the lane directed about two hours prior to departure time. With that much time to kill, I joined the other waiting passengers in cars and trailers to visit the various gift shops and restaurants. Because of Ripley I went to a take-out window to order a BLT for breakfast.

The ferry was scheduled to leave at 11:15 but didn’t arrive until around noon. It seems that the ship had to return to Tobermory because of a passenger who became ill and had to be taken away in an ambulance.
The crew quickly got us all boarded, cars, trucks and RV’s and I guided Ripley up to the area designated for dogs on deck. It was very cold despite my having a sweater and jacket on, so I sneaked Ripley into the closed-in area, just inside the doors. A crewman came along and kindly showed me an area where I could sit out of the weather and out of the way, and I gratefully accepted. It would have been a very long two hours outside, otherwise!


When I departed from the ferry, I sought out the entrance to Bruce Peninsula National Park, just south of Tobermory. The Cyprus Lake Campground is about 7 km inside from the main road, nestled around scenic Cyprus Lake. As is usual in national parks, there were no hook-ups but the site was large and shaded by tall trees.

I was warned at the gate that a bear had been sighted in the area, so I kept Ripley on a leash any time she was out of the RV. I armed myself with bear spray and took her for a walk on the hiking trail around the lake. The environment was simply beautiful, with the myriad trees, bushes and wildflowers as we walked around about one-third of Cyprus Lake and a bit of nearby Horse Lake on the well-maintained trails. On the way back we sat on a bench by the water dedicated to a volunteer who apparently passed away at the age of 18. So young.

Sunset at Cyprus Lake Campground

The brochure mentioned that the Bruce Peninsula is designated as a World Biosphere Reserve (so is the Grand Canyon, amongst others) and that 44 of the 66 species of orchids in Ontario can be found in this region. It’s too bad that the black flies made it almost impossible to sit outside to enjoy the beauty.


I heard a loon calling on the lake early this morning before pulling out.

I passed through several small towns on my way south down the peninsula, and since I hadn’t had access to TV or radio asked the gas station attendant who had won the hockey game last night. I was happy to hear that it was Pittsburgh, forcing a Game Six and hopefully a Game Seven.

At Wiarton, I couldn’t resist making a stop to visit the home of Wiarton Willie, the albino groundhog who supposedly comes out on Groundhog Day every year to predict whether winter will continue for awhile or not. I’m sorry to say that his home is not very large, and that he was confined to the indoor area which seemed very barren.


Cathy Chambers volunteers as the placement person for the Jack Russell Terrier Rescue Ontario and was responsible for putting me in touch with Ripley. She has been following my adventures on my blog and graciously invited me to stop in to visit on my way through.

Cathy is retired from retail sales and Gary was a police officer in Toronto before his retirement. They have a gorgeous country home near Owen Sound and own a Schnauzer (Roxy) and two Jack Russells (Buddy and Rica). When I arrived, Gary brought out each dog individually to check out Ripley before we attempted bringing her into the house, and I’m happy to say that it was a peaceful encounter.

Their home is a tranquil haven on a country road, with a view of woods and ponds in the back. Cathy told me that they had done quite a big of renovating when they first moved in here and it features a deck with hot tub, yard for the dogs, an open kitchen/dining area, a living room and three bedrooms (one is an office) plus a finished basement. Gary is an avid gardener and the grounds are filled with plantings of flowers, bushes and vegetables.

I suggested sleeping in my RV rather than in their lovely guest bedroom, just to make things easier all around.


A lot of different species of birds are attracted to the many feeders around the property, and just today I saw bobolinks, phoebe, red wing blackbirds, Baltimore orioles and ruby throated hummingbirds. A mother robin hatched her brood of four babies in a hanging flower pot right beside the side door, at eye level, so it is possible to witness the development of these precocious youngsters.

I contacted a local garage to see about getting the RV serviced, which it needs badly, but couldn’t get an appointment until Monday. Cathy and Gary have kindly allowed me to stay until then.

The local newspaper has been featuring the plight of a woman who worked as a server at a restaurant called Nathaniel’s. She had shaved her head as a fundraiser for cancer, and her employers told her to stay home for the summer because she was inappropriately attired, according to their standards. Well, this pseudo “leave of absence” has caused quite a furor, both locally and abroad, as the feature was picked up by other press as well. There have been many furious letters to the editor, mostly supporting the woman. She has received several offers of employment, and many are suggesting that they boycott Nathaniel’s. The owners have refused to apologize, making matters worse.

The day was rather cool, so it seemed like a good time to hop into the hot tub—not that I need an excuse!


Cathy arranged for both of us to have our hair cut by her favourite stylist in Owen Sound, and I have to say that he did an excellent job. Ever since I had the butchered job back in California, I have been waiting for my hair to grow long enough to be styled, and now it is. It is easy to look after and that’s what I like. No fuss. No muss.

Cathy, Gary, Roxy and Buddy

Later on Cathy and Gary took me to a popular restaurant called Rocky Raccoon, owned by a Nepalese and his wife. Although we had a long wait for our food (they seemed to be short of wait staff), the meal was excellent. Cathy and I had barbecued ribs and Gary had vindaloo chicken. As usual, we were given too large a portion, so we had a doggy bag or ribs to take home and enjoy for lunch the next day.

FRIDAY, JUNE 6, 2008

There was a terrible thunderstorm overnight and poor Ripley just shook all night. Her eyes were bugged out of her head in terror, and nothing I did would soothe her. The lightning was crashing very close to the RV with loud booms that frightened even me.

I offered to provide the food for dinner tonight, and we drove into Owen Sound where I bought some rainbow trout and a lemon meringue pie for dessert. As it happens, the person serving us at the fish counter suggested that we boycott Nathaniel’s! I doubt very much if the owners had anticipated such a backlash. But you don’t mess around with cancer fundraisers! I wouldn’t be surprised if this incident puts them out of business. They have already been closed for the past couple of days since the word got out.

It is extremely hot today, and consequently I have moved into the house, which is geothermally cooled. One of the baby robins has left the nest and I suggested to Gary that it would be a good idea to spritz the three remaining ones because the sun is shining on them. They seemed to appreciate the cooling down.

Cathy spends a great deal of time on her Jack Russell rescue work, interviewing potential new owners, learning about new dogs needing foster homes, talking to foster parents and discussing matters with the president of the group. She is a very dedicated woman, and thank goodness for people like her! I will always be grateful that she found Ripley for me – a perfect companion. Not all the dogs are as easy to place, however, as some come with problems. Jack Russells do not necessarily make good pets for inexperienced people, as they are extremely intelligent, with minds of their own.

Rica and Ripley had a little spat over a ball. Jack Russell terriers are known for their feistiness; neither would back down and Ripley ended up with a small cut. After that, she avoided Rica and there were no further incidents.


There was another severe storm last night. Cathy had mentioned that some people give their dogs Gravol, so I tried this approach with Ripley, but she still cowered. I woke up with a migraine, thanks to the bouncing barometer and spent much of the day in bed as a result. It gave me an opportunity to start reading a book that Gary loaned me -- The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold. He is an avid read of fantasy and science fiction, a genre that I used to enjoy a great deal. I greatly enjoyed the character development, and have added the author’s name to my list of ones to seek out in future.

Later Ian Parker, a neighbour, came over to have a look at my RV to see if he could do the servicing on it, at Cathy and Gary’s suggestion. They felt that I would not be cheated by Ian. However, he didn’t feel that he could tackle the job in a timely manner and made a call to Johnny B’s garage in nearby Meaford, on my behalf, and arranged an appointment for Monday. So now I have two appointments for Monday; I’ll cancel the first one. Ian is an interesting outgoing character; he is a mechanic as well as a part-time musician who plays at some of the local pubs

There are now only two robins left in the nest. Since it is still very hot, I got out one of my syringes from my animal first aid kit and gave them each a drink. They greedily opened their beaks to sip the water.

SUNDAY, JUNE 8, 2008

This morning there was just one robin left in the nest. We all hope that the other three are safe and enjoying their newly-found flight. I did give the remaining chick more water by syringe, which it readily accepted.

Although the sky is overcast, the temperature is still very hot, and I am grateful to be able to remain inside the cool house rather than to roast in my RV.

Gary drove Cathy and me into Owen Sound so that I could do a few errands and also to go to some garden centres where Gary bought even more plants. I remember that when I had a garden, I couldn’t resist getting more plants whenever I was near a garden centre, so I fully related to Gary’s enthusiasm.

When we returned, we found that the last remaining robin baby had left, much to Gary’s relief. The flowerpot in which they had been living was very soiled, and he could now remove it. I thought that it had been very thoughtful of Gary and Cathy to allow the nesting process to be completed, even though it had been inconvenient and slightly messy on their porch, but then they are both animal lovers.

Even without air conditioning, the house remains nice and cool, thanks to their foresight in installing a geothermal unit when they moved into the house.

The evening brought a lot more rain, extending overnight, making the walking trail around the property very soggy and impassable. So, we had to change the route for walking the dogs.

MONDAY, JUNE 9, 2008

I was up early to take the RV in for 8:00 a.m. and Gary followed me in so that I wouldn’t have to sit and wait. Later in the day, Johnny B’s receptionist called to say that all the work had been completed except for the generator and that it might be quite late this evening before he could finish that. He thinks I need a new fuel pump. Despite all the money that I spent to have the generator repaired while I was in Tucson, Arizona, it still doesn’t work properly, so I agreed to let him go ahead. I expect to be boondocking next week, and it would really be handy if the generator worked.

Later, he called to say that he needed to keep the RV overnight to finish the work on the generator in the morning.

TUESDAY, JUNE 10, 2008

It is pouring again this morning. Both Gary and Cathy mentioned that they haven’t had this much rain in a long, long time.

More bad news about the RV. It won’t be ready until tomorrow morning because Johnny B is very busy and hasn’t yet had time to work on the generator. Thank goodness Cathy and Gary are tolerating Ripley and me, and don’t seem to mind the delay in my departure.

Ripley is going to be a celebrity! We spent some time taking photographs of her because she is going to be one of the featured animals on the 2009 Jack Russell calendar. The person who is in charge of putting the calendar together asked for an action shot – not an easy thing to do, but Gary has a good digital camera and he managed to get a couple of good ones, including this one.

Later on the receptionist at Johnny B’s called to say that my generator needed some new parts for the carburetor as well as a new fuel pump so he took out the new fuel pump, thinking that I probably would not want to go to the added expense. He was probably right. The total bill for everything came to $784, quite a bit more than I had anticipated. And I still don’t have a working generator.



It was time once again to move on. I can’t thank Cathy and Gary enough for putting up with Ripley and me for over a week.

My holding tanks were full, and I found nearby Roebuck Campground where I could dump for a fee of $5.

The Meaford area is known for its apples, with several roadside stands selling delicious apples. I chose to stop at Almond’s market where I got some crispy Empire apples and fresh asparagus from their garden.


Steve and Anna were the first people whom I met after registering at Indian Skies RV back in Arizona. Like many of the campers there, they are from Ontario, close to where Cathy and Gary live, and had invited me to stop in on my way through.

Steve and Anna now live in what used to be their cottage in Craigleith, Ontario but really don’t spend a great deal of time there. They were packing to leave for a two-month trip to Alaska in their large motorhome, and from there they will slowly make their way back down to Arizona for the winter. So, if all goes well, I’ll meet up with them yet again down south. In the meantime, Anna prepared lunch of bacon and eggs while we caught up on what had happened to each of us since we last saw each other. What I really appreciate is the genuine friendships that have been made on this trip, and the open hospitality that I have received as I have moved around the country.


After saying goodbye to Anna and Steve, I continued onward to Barrie to visit my old friend Monika, her husband Peter and their son Phillip. Monika and I first met at York University where we were each pursuing our Master’s degrees in Environmental Studies as mature students in the early 1990’s, and we have stayed in touch since then. She and Peter have had many adventures before and after the birth of Phillip (including a lengthy canoe trip through the Northwest Territories) and will be leaving for Hawaii shortly for yet another trip.

They very kindly invited me to park the RV in their driveway, but it was too big! So we settled for parking it on the street. However, Monika had checked with the local authorities and found that my living in the RV is not allowed in Barrie. Because a by-laws representative lived just up the street, we could not leave the water and electricity hook-ups on it during the day. We just waited until dusk and plugged me in. Their house is small, and they do not have a spare bedroom, but it worked out just fine.

Ripley and Friends

Peter left for his teaching job at a nearby high school and Phillip went to school, so that left Monika and me to go for a walk in the park with Ripley along Lake Simcoe.

Monika and her family are very nutrition-conscious and she spends a good deal of time in the kitchen preparing healthy food, as compared to the ready-made preservative-loaded foods that many of us, including myself, indulge in. She was very sweet to make a special cake for me!.

There was yet another storm tonight.

FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2008

I had mentioned to Monika that my parents are buried here in Barrie in St. Mary’s Cemetery, and that I hadn’t been to visit their grave for many years. She very kindly offered to take me there, and we spent some time trying to find it.

From there we headed to an off-leash park where Ripley and several other dogs enjoyed their freedom to romp around. I was surprised at just how many Jack Russells we encountered, one of whom had enjoyed rolling in a muddy bog, and then into a small stream. It was a hot day so Monika and I took off our shoes to wade in the stream, and I managed to persuade Ripley to join us to cool off.

That night I was reminded why I hate subdivisions. The weekend is the time for Party Central and as a result I got very little sleep. The last “guests” didn’t arrive until 2:30 a.m. and of course I heard it all since I was in the RV. I was still awake at 4:00


Phillip wasn’t feeling well this morning, having probably picked up one of the many bugs that children at school seem to be susceptible to. Monika was just completing her seven-day detox diet, and they had plans for today. We sat for a group photo after Peter set up the timer on my camera and then I was on my way once again, this time heading north to my own property in Muskoka.


On the way I stopped at the Wye Marsh where Ripley and I went out on the trails, despite the ubiquitous black flies. We came across some Trumpeter swans who are being rehabilitated from injuries, etc.,
and I was pleased to hear several different species of frogs in the marshes.
On the way back, we stopped to see two barn owls that are used as part of the raptor program.


It was getting late by the time we finished our walk and I looked in my campground directory for something nearby. Bells Falls sounded good and we headed there where we found a very friendly manager who directed us to a large, shady site. The park seems to have mostly seasonal trailers parked there. Despite the hot temperature, their outdoor pool unfortunately was closed because it had not yet passed inspection by the Health Department. Down a path at the back Ripley and I came across Bells Falls with its inviting waters.

As there were many children in the park, I had anticipated a nice quiet evening. Imagine my surprise, then, to find that here too a party was going on until 1:30 a.m. But what I really objected to was the amount of profanity used by the mostly male group who were sitting around a campfire about 100 yards from my site. I was beginning to seethe when the noise continued after the 11:00 rule for quiet was broken, and probably should have gone down to waken the manager. Instead, I just covered my head, closed my windows and tried to ignore these louts.

JUNE 15 – 19, 2008


After another sleepless evening, I headed north to Rosseau where I have ten acres of vacant land with a small trailer parked on it. I do have a driveway and managed to get the RV in, despite the overgrown nature of the road. It would have been nice to have a working generator so that I could boondock more comfortably, but that’s life.

I hadn’t been parked for long when my neighbour Mary Wood came over to say hello. Mary and her husband Barry have been diligent in keeping an eye on my property and Barry brings his mower over to cut the weeds on the driveway every once in awhile. They moved from their house in Markham, just north of Toronto, a few years ago and have settled in nicely to country living, as there are very few houses along our road. As a small thank you gift for their care of my property, I gave them a bottle of California wine and a jar of preserves from Manitoulin Island. They have invited me to bring my empty water jugs over to fill when needed.

I couldn’t believe how bad the black flies are. Normally at this time of year, they are bad, but this year they are horrific! It was virtually impossible for me to spend any time at all outside of my RV, so Ripley’s walks were very quick.

I did take Ripley down to the Rosseau waterfront park where the black flies are much less and she enjoyed playing with a soccer ball and two young men from the nearby college.

Rosseau is the home of Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, founded by Audrey Tournay on her farm of 300 acres, when she first arrived many years ago to teach there. Little by little, people began to bring orphaned and injured animals to her for care, and she has written many stories about the animals that have come through there.

The sanctuary has grown steadily over the years and now cares for hundreds of raccoons, deer, bears, skunks, beavers, porcupines, wolves, foxes, coyotes and any other native animal. Tony Grant is the manager of the staff which numbers about five plus many volunteers. I have always been very impressed with the work they do, and their refusal to give up on any animal needing help. Their mission is to release back into the wild all animals that can be rehabilitated and to give a permanent home to any that cannot.

I am privileged to call Audrey and Tony my friends, and I spent time with both during my visit. Audrey drove Ripley and me into Huntsville where we ate fish and chips in a park by the water while Ripley roamed around.

I invited Audrey back to my RV on another evening to share a dinner of pork chops, asparagus and baby carrots. She is now 78 years old and doesn’t bother too much with making meals, and it was nice to spend time with her sharing stories. She is a very talented illustrator and showed me her latest project – a children’s book of animal folklore, illustrated by her and written in conjunction with her Ojibway friends.

Audrey invited me to her secluded cabin to visit with her latest orphans – two baby skunks
and a baby porcupine named Blackberry. She had a great time sitting on my head and rooting through it. What a unique and delightful experience for me!

I visited the sanctuary as well, and chatted with Tony in between his many different jobs. He and Ben had returned from dropping off some bear cubs to the officials at the Ministry of Natural Resources in North Bay, as they were ready to be released. At another point he left to pick up some orphan raccoons to bring back for nurturing – just another typical day. While I was at the sanctuary, I walked around to the area behind the buildings and encountered some wild bears who were wandering through. Bernie, a volunteer, was sitting on a pile of logs watching them, and Ripley and I joined him. The bears apparently are quite accustomed to seeing humans as they visit often to see what they can scrounge, and I was able to get fairly close to photograph one. He kept standing up in the tall grass to get a better look at the humans and Ripley, but showed no aggression whatever.

Meanwhile, back at my land I discovered that during my absence, the mice had moved into my little trailer and had used the insulation to make cozy beds over the winter. On top of that, the roof leaks, so at the moment it is uninhabitable and I am considering removing it entirely now that I have my RV to stay in.

Rosseau is a small sleepy town until the tourist season begins after school break begins. It hasn’t changed very much since I first began coming here about ten years ago, and I hope it never grows to be like some of the other cottage country towns that have been developed with numerous restaurants, gift shops, clothing shops, etc. etc. to cater to the very wealthy cottagers who flock to this region. Lake Muskoka, Lake Joseph and Lake Rosseau have attracted movie and hockey stars, as well as executives from Toronto, all of whom have multi-million dollar “cottages” on these lakes. The town of Port Carling has been ruined, in my opinion, by the demands of these seasonal visitors, but Rosseau still retains a great deal of charm, with only a few gift stores, one general store, one restaurant, one antique store, several quaint churches and houses that have been there for many years. The community centre was built in the early 1900’s and now houses a small library in the basement, that can do double duty as a banquet hall for some of the dinners that are put on there. One improvement that I was pleased to enjoy is the advent of wi fi and internet service there. The library raises funds by having an annual book sale, and I was able to pick up six new music cassettes.

On June 19, I said goodbye to Barry Wood, my neighbour who had come over to cut the grass in the driveway, and then to Audrey’s for one last visit with Blackberry before going on to the sanctuary where Tony was giving a tour to some Toronto media people who will be doing a feature on the sanctuary for W-5, a popular local program.

JUNE 19-21, 2008

As I headed south on Highway 400 towards Toronto, I encountered many trucks and cars whizzing by, reminding me that I was about to enter a huge metropolitan area where I have spent the majority of my life.

My next stop was to stay with my brother Carl and sister in law Jennie at their house in Brampton, just west of Toronto.

Jennie kindly loaned me her car so that Ripley and I could visit my old workmates at the Canadian Kennel Club where I worked on contract for six months in 2006-2007. Diane, Lita and Tara had kept in touch via email during my travels, and Diane had invited me to come to see their new office space. Dogs are allowed and I brought Ripley along so that they could meet my traveling companion. Of course, she was an instant hit as we toured the huge office space, which has expanded considerably since I worked in the old place where the toilets didn’t flush properly and the carpet was torn. In comparison the new digs are quite opulent.

I enjoyed a lunch at the Swiss Chalet with four of my CKC friends Diane, Lita, Leila and Rachel, all of whom are managers. While I worked at the CKC, I encountered so many nice people, all women, and I am pleased that even after an absence of over a year, our friendships still hold. I look forward to more visits in the future.


Up to this point I have still been on my extended vacation, but the journey is almost over, and hence this will be my final blog entry. From time to time I may add a bit of news but the reality of ordinary life will soon take over. I haven’t yet decided what comes next, but have a few things on the go.

My brother Carl had been looking after my mail while I was gone, and handed over a bagful of correspondence, magazines and bills. My insurance company has still not paid my medical bills from my encounter in the US and this will be a priority to follow up on as soon as possible. There are other things that I need to look after and many people to visit as well in the coming weeks.

Tonight (June 21), my family is treating me at Montana’s to celebrate my 66th birthday. My niece Natalya made a special cake (this is what she does for a business). It is also the birthday of my great-niece Cassandra and she will have a special cake as well.

Tomorrow Carl is coming with me to the place where my car is up on blocks, so that we can get it on the road again. From there I will be taking my RV to my friend Sue’s farm where I will park it, hooked into their electricity and water for the time being.

I do know that I will be house sitting for my friend Vanessa while she is in Africa from October to December. Other than that, nothing else is definite yet.

At this time I want to acknowledge and thank all of you who helped me in one way or another as I made this journey. I especially appreciated hearing from you via email or letter. Despite the various setbacks with mechanical problems, I would not have missed this for the world. It is definitely not the end of adventure for me, but for now I will be staying put in Ontario. It is my fervent wish to return to Arizona early in 2009 to spend more time with my new friends at Indian Skies. We shall see what unfolds for me and Ripley in the future.


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