From the West Coast of Canada to the State of AZ; to the MESA ISA!!


Phase 1 of our journey to Arizona took us from Lindsay, Ontario to the West Coast of Canada. We paused for some time, about 1 month, on Vancouver Island before beginning the final leg. With this issue of ENROUTE TO MESA, we begin the second phase of our journey, that part from the west coast of Canada to the State of Arizona, and finally to the site of the ISA 24th Tournament itself, Mesa, AZ. The evening before our planned departure, snow, snow in a “really big way” hit central BC and the state of Washington. As we watched TV from the Seattle area, shots of Snow Boarders and Skiers were front and centre~~all expounding the delight of the newly found “white stuff”. As the night progressed the situation deteriorated, so much so that we decided to delay our departure by one full day. We depart from Nanaimo, Duke Point where we board the ferry which takes us to Tswwasssen on the mainland of BC. From Tswwassen we make our way to the border crossing near Blaine Washington and begin the long trek down I 5 through the major cities of Seattle and Tacoma. We had, by conducting an on line search, selected our “stop” for the first evening. Utilizing Microsoft Streets and Trips, we then mapped our travel for day one. As we set out for the ferry, the temp was 2degreesC, apparently cool for this time of year on Vancouver Island. Being Saturday, the 10:15 crossing was certainly not heavily patronized. You may be interested to know that the cost of your trip when pulling a 5th Wheel Trailer is determined by your total length. Our total overall length is 57ft and the total cost for a one way crossing was $147.00. The run across is a 2 hour trip. Ship is equipped with a full kitchen, owned and operated by BC Ferry Corp. The “Bride” took a pic of me while updating “the record”~~the pic appears in the column. It is not a long run from where the ferry docks to the Canadian/American border. In our many many crossings, we have been “invited” into the customs buildings twice, to-day, Nov 22, 2003 and upon returning to the US from Mexico several years ago. In both cases it was to “check with the Agricultural Component of the government offices established at border crossing points. We were asked to remain outside while two inspectors examined our fridge, our freezer and kitchen cupboards. They confiscated two cans of soup, beef soup, “product of Canada”; 1 Orange; 1 Pear; one frozen lasagne; two potatoes; and a package of wurst. Hats off to the Canadian Snowbird Association Website. They have been advising Canadians that precisely this is what will happen~~see
their site– As I type this, we have had our dinner (bought), have returned to the 5th Wheel to enjoy a hot cup of tea as we sit in front of the fireplace and watch a bit of TV. Catch you in the morning for day 2 of phase 2!! Reporter Stan 2003 11 22.


The greatest part of day 2 was taken up by the run through the state of Oregon. Waiting “for the weather” in Nanaimo turned out to be a “good decision”. Any snow that had fallen in the south of WA OR had melted and the road surface was dry. It was not until we got to Grants Pass, OR, the high point of elevation for the run “down”, that we observed snow, and then only on the sides of the highway. We entered CA near the end of the travel day on Day 2. CA “the great state of CA”!! Indeed it is a large state with a diversity of geography. When last we visited, we spent time tasting wines in the Napa Valley. This trip our travel seemed to be confined to rough terrain, more like a desert than the lush foliage which pops into your head when someone utters “California”!! We now understood the reaction from two of our granddaughters when first we took them to FL and to Disney World. As we crossed into FL, and announced same, their faces dropped in obvious disappointment, and the words came: “where is Mickey?” (As we crossed from OR into CA, we looked at each other and asked: Is this the home of Hollywood??)
Day 3 has us cruising down I 5 and finally picking up SR 99 at Sacramento for the run to Bakersfield, CA. The end of day 3 found us just east of Bakersfield on SR 58. We had begun to experience near desert like conditions~~pix tell the tale. California’s newly elected governor inherits a finely tuned highway system; however; he does have the opportunity to effect “improvements” in housing if the residences we are observing are representative?? From green forests in the north of the state, to rugged mountains and yes, a desert, we have experienced it all in California and we still have another day’s drive within the state!!
Stay tuned!! Reporter Stan. 2003 11 24.

AZ 13 Ph2 ENROUTE TO MESA ARIZONA DAY 4, PHASE 2. We didn’t wish to alarm you but we were desperately short of fuel as we “bunked down” for the night on the 3rd day. We could not proceed and risk running out while on the road!! (Especially troublesome with a diesel engine) I “hit” the computer that evening in search of the next available diesel fuel. Microsoft Streets and Trips have a feature which enables you to conduct a search for this type of facility within a distance established by you. The software was previously loaded into the computer so it was not a difficult task, nor is it necessary to be “on-line”! We did identify fuel within our range. I was sufficiently confident in the programme to sleep reasonably well that evening. However; for insurance purposes, before departing in the morning, I emptied my reserve fuel into the tank. We did make our fuel stop, I have to be totally honest–we actually hit fuel a little before the stop identified by the computer?? Have not yet got to the bottom of that snag, but I can assure you, we did take advantage of the fuel. Back to the topography and the trip. In CA, we are still in CA!! The speed limit, state wide, for trucks and those pulling recreational vehicles is 55 mph. It appeared to be enforced and accordingly we “ran with the transports”~~often as high as 60 mph, but seldom above. As much as it irritated me, taking a purely rational view, I believe it is a sound law and while it does confuse the traffic flow from time to time, on balance I expect it reduces accidents and saves lives. (Remember, we are on multilane highways) The highway seemed to layout in front of you, the “normal sense” of progress escaped us. We were of course crossing the Mohave Desert. At Barstow CA the hwy. changes to SR 40; the Cady Mountains are to the north, a huge huge Marine Corps Base is to the south and while I have not been to Afghanistan, I rather expect the terrain is similar!! Our destination objective for day 4 was Laughlin, NE, and we arrived safely, and on time. Laughlin is in the bottom right (south east) corner of Nevada~~built right on the bank of the Colorado River. We found an RV Site with a commanding view of the entire town. Booked in for the two days preceding American Thanksgiving. The weather, what can I say? Compared to what we had just come through, it was heaven!! Not only that folks, we had cable and CNN reported that Yuma, AZ was warmer than Miami, FL.!!! I could not resist tossing that in for my many friends in FL!! Dined out~~nice dinner; hit the pit early; see you in the morning!!

Reporter Stan: 2003 11 (think the 25th) Date entered 2009. The 27th was Thanksgiving in 2003.

Reposted by Stan on 2019 04 09.

Courtesy of Josh, Erik, Josh, and Kerry.



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