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July 2006 Archives
July 13, 2006
Pics up

As promised, the pictures referenced in an earlier entry are Flickr'd.

[From the 'Lincoln' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 10:32 PM
Those damn French fruit pickers!

Driving down the hill from Mom/Dad's place tonight, Dad relayed the local story he'd heard about the seasonal workers that move through -- and live in -- Osoyoos. Apparently, as can be kind of be seen in the pic, there's a tent city above Osoyoos where fruit pickers (from Quebec, usually) squat while they're working. One of their neighbours had suggested to her husband that they make a big pop of spaghetti, and invite the crew of them down for dinner. An emphatic "Are you nuts?!?!" was the response.
squatters.jpgUndaunted, she walked up the hill to see what whether the demonization of the group was justified. Apparently, when she saw half of them naked, some of them copulating in front of the others, and probably all of themk smoking dope, she bolted, all thoughts of offering pasta to them gone.
Dad said that there is some kind of deal that the Quebec provincial government has that pays these folks to come out west to pick fruit. Further, they get paid $50 more if they have a dog. The local legend is that they just come out west to sell dope instead. I did a little digging, and found a few articles that provide a little more confirmation (not about the dog thing, but I don't know *where* you can find information on that). This was the best shot I could get of the tents on the mountainside -- sorry, no nakedness.

[From the 'Amusing Bits' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 10:15 PM
July 12, 2006
Day Three

I forgot how amazing it is to drive through the mountains.

After the ridiculously-early start to the day yesterday, we flew through Montana, thanks to the 70MPH speed limit state-wide. No road construction, no cops and lead-foot Frances meant a 750km day, with still getting to the campground by 6:30. We traveled through Glacier National Park, stopped and again did the requisite photo at the Teddy Roosevelt National Forest monument, and introduced Naomi to pit toilets. I was honestly terrified of dropping her. The visual that conjured up was almost enough for me to *not* put her on.

By the way, the McGregor Lake National Forest campground? Worst. Campground. Ever. It’s only redeeming features were that it had trees, and that it was $8. Thank God for air mattresses – first-sized boulders make for an uncomfortable night’s sleep. I don’t mind rough camping, but when you’re travel-camping, as opposed to hiking-camping, and have two little kids, a half-decent campsite is a blessing. We also celebrated Naomi’s third birthday with fancy cupcakes, and a new CareBear. It sings. A lot. Who let her pick that toy? I see a batteryless future for that toy.

Up this morning at 6:15, and packed and ready to roll by just after 7:00, we’re crossing into Canada in about 15 minutes, after a 25-minute jump through Idaho. Creston here we come, and Osoyoos about three hours later. Then, I’ll actually get to upload all these entries, back-dated, of course.

[From the 'Lincoln' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 02:34 PM
July 11, 2006
Holly-Days: Day Two

Monday was…a challenge. From about 9:30 onward, Naomi was in a bad mood; no solution of food, drink, toy or otherwise would fix things. We stopped to do the requisite pic of the family at the geographical center of North America in Rugby, North Dakota. A highlight of the trip, let me tell you.

The temperature soared over the course of the day’s travel, to 39 degrees C as we got to close to Glasgow. The trip continued through the rest of North Dakota and into Montana, with the continuation of bad-mood Naomi’s travails. In hindsight, we think that a combination of not enough to drink, not enough to eat ( not for lack of trying, however) caused a minor case of heatstroke, which manifested itself in a high temperature by the time we got to the campsite in Glasgow.

We found the campground easily enough, and though the owner was a nice fellow, it could only be charitably referred to as rustic, and I would define it as tenement camping, complete with side-by-side, treeless slots, coincidentally just big enough for an RV. Oh, and yesterday’s Ontario RV travelers with the satellite dish showed up shortly after us, but abstained from hooking up the dish this time around.

If you ask Gareth about the trip, and his night in Glasgow, he would likely tell you that he “almost drowned.” While Frances started getting an evening meal together, the slackers in the family swam. Gareth decided to swim from one end of the pool to the other. Unfortunately, when Gareth loses his momentum while swimming, he gets stuck vertical, and…well, exhibits his Frances side, and panics. So, instead of jumping in and “saving” him, I coached him to swim over to me, which he managed to do, and then proceeded to wail for several minutes about how the horrendous danger he had endured. Life’s hard when you’re six.

It was *hot* until the sun was mostly set, and then the wind began shortly before the kids went to bed. Frances and I frantically packed up everything, in case the ominous clouds decided to open up on us in the night, and the tent was whipped around like a flag in the wind, but the rain failed to materialize, and the wind finally died down about 10:30, while I sat in the van drinking beer and reading my Canadian law textbook. Indy, as usual, slept in the van. Again.

This morning, we got up at 6:30, ate, packed, showered, and were on the road by 8:00. Except, when we got in the van, Frances realized that she had forgotten to change the time on her handheld, and that we had actually gotten up at 5:30. Much abuse from the first driver ensued. The upside is, however, that by 10:45 this morning, we’ve traveled almost 300 kilometers. Man, is Montana flat. That’ll change by this afternoon, when we hit the Rockies. Gareth is already excited by the mountains, which we just realized neither child has ever driven through. Good times ahead….

[From the 'Lincoln' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 01:03 PM
July 10, 2006
Holly-days: Day One

We departed from Emo just after 1:00 on Sunday, having accomplished a million different tasks (one of which was NOT packing the card reader for the computer – argh) before; lettuce and beans planted in the garden, house cleaned, van packed. Pictured is the van as packed. Damn, that’s a sweet packing job, if I do say so myself. You would too, if I could actually attach the camera to the computer. Room for the dog to do her crazy-ass car watching without anything falling on her, and everything has a home. Yes, I’m a little obsessed. Read on for more of day one, if you’re so inclined….

We’ve got four bottles of wine for Mom and Dad from East Dell Vineyards, and we attempted to get them marked as being in our possession before crossing the border. No dice. Note to self: keep wine receipts in the future. Further note to self: count on Canada Customs to be as useless as tits on a bull at…well, anything.

This being the first trip with the iBook and a wireless card, I’m having a ton of fun wardriving for open networks, but, sadly, when I’m wardriving, Frances is vandriving, and not nearly as interested in trying to get connected as I am. I think I’ve got her convinced to at least let me try to check email today.

The troupe made it to Turtle River State Park last night without incident. The kids’ bikes are tied on the roof; fuel economy is teh suck as a result. I’m going to make sure they ride the damn things every time we stop. Can you guess whose idea it was to bring them?

Turtle River was pretty, and really quiet; the park ranger wondered why we were coming on a Sunday evening. One more sign that the concept of tenting on a traveling trip is a withering ideal. Our site was near several RVs, mostly older couples. As we were doing dinner dishes, I glanced over at the only other “younger” (read: mid forties) couple RVing with their daughter, and in disbelief I watched them screwing around with a portable satellite dish for the next hour, trying to aim it so they could get cable in their RV. Kill…me…now. I thought I needed to unplug, but that’s insane. You can see the ridiculousness in the pic that I’ll upload when I actually have a camera card reader (moron).

The evening was otherwise uneventful, other than cooling off dramatically, probably south of 10 degrees C., and Gareth successfully – thought without contact – identifying the poison ivy scattered everywhere in the campground. Oh, and the dog sleeping in the van. Talk about roughing it. We’re off today for Glasgow, Montana, and a private campground.

[From the 'Lincoln' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 07:01 PM
July 04, 2006
26:32 and goodies

Saturday, July 1, I ran a 5k race with about 100 other people in Baudette, Minnesota, celebrating their centennial, or somesuch. There's more than a little irony in running a US race in on Canada Day, I figure. The race was great, especially since I hadn't particularly geared up for it -- just the usual 5k two to three times a week -- and still managed to shave a full minute off my last race time of 27:34 or so. Anyways, the friend who ran the race with me is a *much* run.jpgfaster runner than I, so we stuck around for the award presentation afterwards. As they're working through the age categories, they got to the 30-39, and I hear, "Third place, Lincoln Dunn."
What the hell?!?!
Anyways, the medal in the pic was the result. it was pretty gratifying, though I know it was more because of the number of runners (or lack thereof) in my age category than anything else. I'm sure that the primary reason for the time difference was the fact that I've lost 20 pounds since April, when I ran a 10k race.

I also managed to win a $15 GC for Ben Franklin craft supplies that I'm sure Frances will have no problem burning through.

[From the 'Lincoln' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 09:21 AM