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Back on the Coast

Back on the Coast

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Road Trip

"On the road agin', I'm always on the road again..." excerpt, Willie Nelson song.

The magical words every Nomad loves to hear. Road trip... Last year, as the BC 'non-summer' of '07 was winding down, I decided it was long overdue. Road trip... But not just any road trip. A good road trip! Hell, no, a great road trip!!? The Great Canadian Road Trip: -Coast-to-Coast- 'Sentimentality Tour' 07. ;-)

Why? 'Cuz. What for? When you get close to 50, you get sentimental about friends, family, places you've been and places you've always meant to go to. These places and people are spread out across the country, in many little nooks and crannies; flying is not an option. Plus, you gotta' be 'mental' to drive by yourself, 11,700 miles (18,837 km.). When? Sept. and Oct. '07. How? Vandwell with 'Aero', paid for with funds saved by vandwelling in 'Aero'. Road trip...

My planned itinerary was as follows:
1/ Leave BC coast, a.s.a.p Sept' 07 - Head East on the 'Beaten Path' ( Trans-Canada Hwy.)
2/ Be in Port Credit, ON - for Blues Festival, Buddy Guy headlining.
3/ Turn around in Halifax, NS - Go Back West on the 'Beaten Path'
4/ Get back to BC coast, end of Oct'07

No hotel/motel rooms booked, no ferry reservations, just phone calls or emails to people along the way. If they are there when I'm coming through, great; if not, no problem, I'll catch you on the return trip. Cell phone for communications. Of course, the trip route was planned with maps, both online and with BCAA paper ones. Just pack and go!!

The trip was amazing! Freedom on the road, set the cruise control and watch the world roll by. I visited James / Darlene in Calgary; Kennie in Winnipeg; John / Marie in Thunder Bay; Charlene in Schribner; Janie in Sault Ste. Marie; Steve in Elliot Lake; Pat in Minden; Merl / Eugene / and at least 30 more in Port Credit, my hometown; Uncle Bob / Auntie Jeannie in Fergus; Uncle Tony/ Auntie Margie in Maple; Uncle Ted / Auntie Joan in Stouffville; Johnnie in Toronto; Jennifer in Montreal; Seamus and Cindy in Halifax; Doug in Banff; Thomas in Jasper; Al in Lone Butte; Dave in Whistler; and so on.

What did I see? What didn't I see. Canada is a beautiful country, coast-to-coast. I could fill pages with my trip, but for now, I'm just gonna' mention a few highlights. The Blues Festival in Port Credit was a gas! I knew people both on and off stage. I was drafted to work the festival, by the end of my first beer off the road. Watching Buddy Guy do his show, from 15 feet away dead centre in front of 9,000 people plus, was like a dream. Unplanned, but stunning! To see bands like Downchild Blues, Powder Blues, The Lincolns, Lighthouse, after all these years, was downright spiritual! Every night at the Legion, were late night open jams with stars, locals, and new talent, mixing it up 'til the wee hours of the morn'. When the wrap-up party for the organizers and volunteers, was finally ending after 3 1/2 days of continuous music, action, dancing, hustlin', we were beat. Next day, when the main stage, beer tents, and fencing were all gone before we got there to do final cleanup, it was unreal, like a dream. Did it actually happen? My friend, Merl, laughed," So you gonna come next year, for the 10th anniversary. The rumour is, we might get the Allmon Brothers, to headline."

Buddy Guy in my hometown, Port Credit

There were surprises and memories, happiness and sorrow, a very emotional trip. Seeing my grandfather's house in Mount Dennis brought tears to my eyes; Grandad Bill was a great guy. When seeing all my old hometown friends, it was like picking up where we left off, without missing a beat. Both Port Credit and Jasper are still two of the friendliest places I know. After 24 hours in Jasper, I was hung over from a house party/jam, with folks I met the night before, having coffee at their table, when Thomas, a long-lost friend, comes walkin' in. The last leg of the trip, four days in Whistler, was anti-climatic, relaxing up at the ol' cabin with Dave. It just never ended, twists and turns; guess I'll have to do it again, some day.

All of the above, was made possible by vandwelling. In a era of financial difficulty, it's great to find a simple solution to provide freedom, pleasure and experiences.

"On the road agin', I'm can't wait to git on the road agin'..."

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