Detour Up Ahead!

Trip Start Jul 10, 2008
Trip End Aug 04, 2008

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Flag of Canada  , Manitoba,
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

150 miles
4 hours
2 hitchhikers
1 dog
2 detours
By now a lot of you may be wondering why I'm in Winnipeg. I called this Paul & Alexis' Wicked (as in Very Good) WEST Coast Tour, but, I haven't mentioned Alexis yet and only mentioned my other daughter, Katrine.
That's where today's detour comes in. You see, Alexis put on her Vision Board (from the movie The Secret) that she wanted to travel. She's been doing a lot of that for a 13 year old this past year and this summer is no exception. Last weekend she flew to Montreal with her mom, Louise, to meet up with Louise's sister's family. They also met our son Nicholas who is finishing his Basic Officer Training just south of Montreal (read Paul's Journey for more on Nick). Instead of flying back to Calgary they made a stopover in Winnipeg where Louise's parents and two of her brothers are. The family was having a family reunion and Alexis wouldn't have been back in Calgary until next Friday.
I believe I mentioned in my other blog, Paul's Journey... that Alexis' was suppose to meet me in California during spring break. Since I never made it to California she never made it either. That's why I decided that we would take a trip to the west coast this summer (we did the east coast last summer). When Louise asked me what my (and Alexis') plans were for the summer, I had none (I'm kinda broke after my 8 month Journey and having quit my job). So she also planned a trip to Florida leaving on August 8th. If I waited until they got back from Winnipeg we would have had about two weeks to get to L.A. and back home. So now you know the reason for my detour to Winnipeg.
Now why my detour to Falcon Lake which is about 100 kms east of Winnipeg? That's where Louise's family decided to all meet up for a few days. I had to go get Alexis so that we can hit the road bright and early tomorrow morning. Now you also know why Katrine was here. In addition to wanting to attend Louise's family reunion, we also attended my nephew's wedding social on Friday night. For those who don't know what a wedding social is, on the Prairies(and maybe other places) before the actual wedding and dance the wedding party organize a pre-wedding "party". It's basically a big dance/fundraiser for family and friends. Stef and Suzi are getting married next summer. When Katrine mentioned she was going to a "social" in Winnipeg, her Alberta friends had no idea what it was (actually, I don't think she really knew either).
There you have it. The reasons for my detour east (and even further east) when we're on a west coast tour. There are other reasons that I'll note in another blog.
Alexis and Louise flew in from Montreal on Saturday night. Alexis stayed at my Mom and Dad's so that they could visit a little bit before she headed to Falcon Lake on Sunday afternoon. Sunday morning we all went to the same church and then out for lunch with Louise's family. Louise's parents and my parents have known each other a long time. Actually, Louise's mom and my dad are first cousins. Which made us "kissin' cousins" when we were married. I've also known Louise's family a lot longer than I've known Louise as I went to elementary and high school with her twin sisters. I also knew two of her brothers from high school. I never met Louise until Katrine and Rhéline (our daughters) met in elementary school.
Now where was I going with this? Ah yes! Lunch. There's about twenty of us at lunch. Louise's boyfriend had driven in from Calgary on Saturday. Louise is sitting between the two of us. Just because you're divorced doesn't mean you can't be friends. Besides, I like John (Louise's boyfriend). He's a really nice guy. Reminds me of me. Actually the old me. The new me (or actually, the real me) is so far removed from who I used to be.
Now my drive to Falcon. I had told Alexis yesterday that I would probably go get her with the motorcycle and so to pack light. It started raining an hour or so before I was about to leave. I decide to pack up the trailer and take the truck instead. My sister said there was a short cut (cross country) to get to the main highway to Falcon and that one of the roads passed by her son's house (which I had been to on Friday). I plug in "Falcon Lake" into my GPS  and the fastest route is the cross country route. I get to where my nephew lives and there's road construction. They've re-aligned the roads. My GPS tells me to turn where there is no road. I "forget" my sister's directions and have to go make a detour of a few kilometres. Should have listened and ignored the GPS.
Finally on the main highway. I drive a while and notice a lone hitchhiker up ahead. I'm trying to decide whether I should stop. Then I notice that the hitchhiker is female. I'm a sucker for pretty young women. I pull over and as I'm backing up notice her motioning to someone else to hurry up. Then I see a guy and a dog. Where did they come from? Then I notice all the stuff they have. The back of my truck is full of camping, biking, and motorcycling   gear. The back seat is also half full. There's no way I can take all their stuff, plus the dog. Sorry guys!

Back in St Adophe as planned. I had told my sister we would be back by 8 PM. We arrive at 8h01. I had also told Louise that I'd be in Falcon Lake at 4h00 and wanted to be on the road by 6 with Alexis. I arrived at 4h05 and would have been there by 4h00 if I hadn't made the hitchhiker stop. I'm either psychic or I've lived this life before. By the way, I left much later then I had planned in either directions thinking I would need more time to get to where I was going and be there when I wanted. Somehow I think this is a sign of things to come on this trip.

Life is AWESOME when you are living the life you are meant to live!
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