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Old 04-08-2011, 05:33 PM   #1
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Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

Hello Everyone,

I know I posted earlier about Ian and Paddy but I cannot find it right now so that I can update their adventure.

Ian and Paddy currently own a 2007, Escape 5.0, in fact this is the very first Escape 5.0 we manufactured which was their second Escape trailer. What is special about Ian and Paddy is that they have recently accomplished a feat that I believe no other Escape owner has managed to do so far. - Yes even Dirk !!!! They have taken their Escape trailer to every state and province in North America.


Hello Reace & Tammy,

Our quest is complete. We have now taken an Escape Trailer to every corner of this continent, every province and territory in Canada and every state in the continental USA.

We are having a martini for Paddy and a rum and orange for myself. Tomorrow we will see the Kennedy Presidential Library and then go out for dinner and celebrate in style.

Cheers,

Ian, Paddy, Gypsy and Rubea II


So I promised Ian I would update/start this posting by adding a photo for him and he will fill in the rest of the information about their adventure.

I will add some more emails from Ian for everyone to read.

Tammy
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:51 PM   #2
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

Hi: Reace& Tammy...What to do to top that ENCORE!!! Will a 5.0 float Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:52 PM   #3
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

Wow, that is fantastic. What a great accomplishment, and no doubt a wonderful journey. I (and I am sure others) would love to hear some stories of this journey.

JEFF, I think we have a great candidate for a live interview, one I would love to see.
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:02 AM   #4
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

I wopuld like to see a photo of the trailer in "Nunavut"

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Old 04-09-2011, 11:03 AM   #5
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

Sounds like an excellent adventure. I wonder how many trailer tours were given; I bet lots!
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:51 AM   #6
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett
Wow, that is fantastic. What a great accomplishment, and no doubt a wonderful journey. I (and I am sure others) would love to hear some stories of this journey.

JEFF, I think we have a great candidate for a live interview, one I would love to see.
Hi: Jim Bennett...The mystery could be "Where it originates from"? Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:11 PM   #7
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

Hello all you Escapee's,

Ian here. Paddy & I are just taking a break in Chilliwack while Rubea II is at Escape getting a much need cleaning and new brakes.

We started our quest with Rubea I, presently at Escape getting a "tune up". Rubea I and Rubea II at Escape at the same time, is that a coincidence or what?

Our Quest was to take an Escape product to the four corners of this continent, to each province and territory in Canada, to each state in the continental US and to the highest and lowest points on the continent. Why? Because!

We will be happy to send photos, answer questions and in general, tell you how much we have enjoyed being part of the Escape Family.

My problem, navigating through the Escape Forum. I do have a love/hate relationship with my computer.

At present, we have no plans to put pontoons on Rubea II and head for Hawaii.

We hope to see many of you in Osoyoos this June.

Stay cozy,

Ian, Paddy, Gypsy and Rubea II
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:43 PM   #8
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

What Highway did you use to get to "Nunavut"

The capitol is "Iqaluit" used to be called "Frobisher Bay" when I traveled in that area.

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Old 04-25-2011, 02:18 PM   #9
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

Dear Family & Friends, (Message 9)
(I never expected this almost four month long trip to take so long to describe. Thanks for hanging in there with us. We had a great time and will be giving our fifth wheel a well deserved break. We probably won't be out in her again until June, when we go to Osoyoos.)
BOSTON, APRIL 6th:
Thirty miles into Boston was a mad jumble of rural areas, neat subdivisions, old tired roads, a tangle of streets and traffic. Put it this way - we thought we would never get there! I saw so many Dunkin' Donut franchises, I lost count. However, while the driver was a little frustrated, it was a pleasant ride with many fine old homes on large sites visible for miles and miles. Our final big tourist destination was the ten acre John F. Kennedy Library, situated inside the University of Massachusetts and overlooking Boston Harbor. The building is white and black and a big part of it is completely open (glass walls) overlooking the water. All of this was in homage to Kennedy's love of the sea. The interior is modern and it is structured so that you see an old video of Kennedy's campaign to become the president, and then move into a room with all the artifacts related to his campaigns. Finally we head into a series of rooms, one of which is a replica of his Oval Office set up, and then others devoted to various aspects of his life, ending up with the video of his assassination and funeral. Jackie Kennedy Onassis was featured as to her contributions, including her great fashion style, and refurbishment of the White House. In three years, those two did a tremendous amount, especially considering they had two small children at the time. He had already written several books, including the Pulitzer winning Profiles in Courage, and When England Slept. Many of us know where we were when JFK was murdered. The Library is 50 years old this year, tempus fugit (or whatever).
Back home to the park we went, through a scramble of Dunkin' Donuts and rush hour traffic!
APRIL 7th - Ian fought his way through Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and the beginning of Pennsylvania. More Dunkin' Donut franchises. By now we are discussing our favourite doughnuts. But we have not given in to temptation.
APRIL 8th - a very heavy rain day, and now we are really on our way home: Pennsylvania (Allegheny Mountains) - a much nicer drive, and after a rubby dub experience of a park the previous night (think wet dirt roads, very old trailers, and a crappy welcome), we hit a friendly place aptly named Gaslight RV Park. The water is cascading down their sites, it is cold, and we are concerned about frozen water pipes.
APRIL 9th - the Ohio Turnpike, Indiana.
APRIL 10th - we are through Indiana, Illinois (would have loved to see Chicago) and into Iowa. It was very hot and humid, and we had a dry lightning storm.
APRIL 11th - finished crossing Iowa, and got into Nebraska, stumbled into gorgeous, perfect weather. Stayed an extra day, and caught up on things. By the way, we are passing Lewis & Clark sites, Custer, Wild Bill Hickok, etc. but stuck to our deadline and didn't get distracted. By now we have forgotten about doughnuts, a good thing.
APRIL 13th - we are through Nebraska, missing the Plainsmens Trail past the Platte River sites - groan - into a very cold park where we were put into Site #0.
APRIL 14th - now this was fun. Went through 28 miles of snow and wind outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming and ended up in Caspar.
APRIL 15th - got up this morning and found out that two highways had been closed behind us, and a tornado had ripped through further south. It wasn't an interesting drive to Billings, Montana, but we had a warm feeling from missing the blizzard, etc. Wyoming, on the other hand,was a stunning drive of mountains, valleys, rolling high plains and nestled towns, farms and ranches.
APRIL 16TH - our longest drive, and a GPS glitch which had us, at the end of the day, going through Missoula, Montana rush hour traffic to outside the city, which is where we were supposed to be in the first place!
APRIL 17th - a pancake breakfast, then through Montana and into Idaho - holy smokes, that's a rough old road before Coeur d'Alene in the mountains, and now the scenery is more impressive.
APRIL 18TH - today we drove through endless miles of rolling agricultural plains, rocky areas, rivers, the Grand Coulee Dam, a snowstorm in Stephens Pass, Washington, and valleys to our final destination: Bellingham RV Park, Washington. OUR LAST NIGHT IN THE TRAILER.
APRIL 19TH - a short drive to Sumas where we went through customs in record time, a detour to Costco's and on to Chilliwack to visit friends and get the fifth wheel fixed (minor repairs) at the Escape factory.
TOMORROW WE HEAD HOME TO GABRIOLA ISLAND. Ian bought a used rowing machine in Vancouver, celebrated his birthday, attended the confirmation of his brother to the Catholic Church, and went to lunch with friends of mine who are getting married. We even managed to visit an 88 year old aunt of mine in Langley.
TAXES, here we come!
Thank you all. There will be one more short message from home. Hope you are all well.
Love, cheers, and a very happy Easter,
Paddy, Ian & Gypsy.
APRIL 19th -
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:23 PM   #10
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

Hello Everyone Again! (Message 2)
I have received wonderful catchup letters from several people, thank you so much. I have just about answered all of those, and so here we are with the doings since January 10th.
First of all, the weather is 88 degrees today, the hottest so far and unusual - about 13 degrees over normal - so the AC is now in operation.
Ian is just about finished with the merry-go-round involving his stolen wallet. So far it has cost about $150 to replace cards, to express the important ones down, to buy a new wallet, replace the $25 in cash lost etc. and then there was all the time involved with phone calls and the paperwork.
We have spent time cleaning the truck, cleaning the inside carpets and bathroom, the floor, shopping, getting Gypsy groomed, getting organized e.g. putting the winter clothes away,doing laundry, and joining the local library. We didn't even hook up our TV until last night, for the Golden Globes.
Our second movie yesterday was The Fighter. It is an excellent movie even though I don't follow boxing. It was the absorbing true story of two brothers who are boxers. The older one gets involved in drugs and stops helping his younger brother get in shape for his own boxing career and ends up in jail. The acting was phenomenal, as was the writing and directing.
We have purchased tickets for a pre-Oscar evening of clips and discussion at the Palme D'or Theatre on February 24th. This town is getting famous for its own Film Festival which is going on right now. They voted The Whistleblower from Canada as Best Documentary!
We have a Clubhouse Potluck Wednesday and a breakfast here for friends in the morning - Ian's famous blueberry pancakes will be featured - so our social life is picking up. It really has been fun meeting up again with all the people we know from biking, pool classes and the past five years.
Sam Betts who lives next door to us dropped by for a surprise visit yesterday morning! He was heading to Phoenix to pick up Dorothy, who decided that a road trip down the I-5 was not for her. I can really relate to that!
Our trip downtown last Thursday to go to the Palm Springs Art Museum was great. They showed the Richard Avedon Photography Collection and what a photographer he was. The pics were all in black and white and we recognized nearly all of the movie and stage stars, dancers, musicians etc. A real blast from the past. I remembered Suzy Parker, Jean Shrimpton, Twiggy and other models from the sixties in Vogue and other fashion magazines. Now, am I dating myself?
We finished with dinner at Ruby's, a venerable burger joint with a great view of the crowds moving along for the street fair. I had a lettuce wrapped veggie burger with trimmings and it was terrific. We even saw two separate sets of people from our park there. A small world.
Thinking of you, hoping all is well, and take care.
Cheers,
Paddy & Ian


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Old 04-25-2011, 02:26 PM   #11
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

Hello Everyone, (Message #3)
We are now at the end of January and so it is time to collect my thoughts and to put you in touch again with our happenings. Thanks to those of you who are writing back and keeping us in your loop!
First of all, the weather has continued to be just about perfect. Ian and I are amused and chuckle at the Desert Sun's newspaper reports. Each day there is a description of that's day's temperatures, a picture, and a caption. This past week it was as follows: "mostly sunny and nice", "times of cloud and sun", "partly sunny", "sunny and pleasant", and finally, "mostly sunny and pleasant". We were getting lovely breezes and not the winds that often occur in this part of the world.
However, it changed yesterday - windy and the temperatures have dropped from 75 degrees to 70 degrees, which feels quite noticeable.
Friday we saw our fifth Oscar nominated movie "127 Hours". As Ian says, the wow factor is getting to him , due to the excellence of all these films. As I sipped on his martini, I reflected that it is the cumulative factor of all the strong stuff we've been watching - amputations, hallucinations (in four of them!), mutilations, masturbation, political machinations; shooting, stabbing, drugging, stammering, punching, skipping, dancing, boxing - we are working hard here...
Yesterday we saw the critically raved about The Social Network. It is an impressive movie: great writing, acting, story, etc. and topical in the extreme. In this case we have a 'but' because though well done, it focused an the ethical vacuum of the main character, which was not only sad to see, but turned the movie a little black. Strong film though, about the founding of Facebook. To which we do not belong, by the way!
Four to go,people. We're saving the delightful Toy Story 3 for last.
By the way, for the first time Friday we decided to opt out of the Painted Canyon walk, an all day affair and a fabulous hike of 5K among spectacular land forms. We didn't want to leave Gypsy alone and we have developed a different rhythm here, but I have to tell you that after being in a (filmic) canyon for two hours with a guy who had to cut off part of his arm, we did a canyon walk, anyway, in "127" hours - what a coincidence!
Saturday night we went to Trio's, a good Palm Springs restaurant, with David Kellenberger, who we know from the yacht club and his Aunt. Terrific food and great fun.
So that's it from our end, hope you are all well and happy,
Cheers,
Paddy & Ian


Hello Everyone, (Message 4)
Finishing off our previous theme of movies, we have now seen all ten nominated films! Plus Blue Valentine and Biutiful, which were excellent.The last films were Winter's Bone, Inception - which we disliked heartily and shut off the DVD after 10 minutes, The Kids Are Alright - which was better, however it was billed as a comedy and turned out to be not so, it was a draw on that one for us, and finally, Toy Story 3, which was amazing, however Ian thought it was too frightening to be a movie for kids.
The weather has been up and down. Last weekend, it rained heavily and turned quite cool, in the high thirties. Snow fell on the surrounding mountains and the wind came over, bringing us out in jackets, puffy vests and gloves, with the sandals getting a rest. Today is is sunny and getting warmer so we are looking forward to a comfortable week.
I have been adding brisk walks to my pool routine and so am getting up for an earlier class. Ian went on a bike ride in the Tour De Palm Springs, opting for 25 miles (highest level was 100!), and enjoyed it. The upshot of that excitement was he bought a new second hand bike, a hybrid, and plans to do the 50 mile ride next year. And also to join a bike group at home. Sounds good to me!
We switched from Tangonet to Time Warner for our internet and now get four bars at last.
Valentine's was celebrated with enthusiasm! I built a rock valentine heart for Ian out in front of our site; Ian sent in a valentine to the local city newspaper to me from him and Gypsy - what a nice surprise, especially the photo of the three of us - and we went out to dinner at Trio's downtown in Palm Springs. I actually wore a real live dress! I bought him a barrel cactus for the site and he bought me an orchid, which is blooming beautifully right now.
We stayed away from the stores for President's Day Weekend but will go today.
We are looking forward to seeing friends Casey and Paul tomorrow for dinner. They have driven down from Gabriola and will be here for a month. Betty and Rick will be arriving on March 1st and we four will depart for points east and south on the 5th.
We have developed such a nice easy rhythm here and the time has gone so fast. Still lots to do before we go, but that will be reported in the next message. Ian is cooking for the Oscars here in our rig on the 27th. Cross your fingers for The King's Speech!
By the way, that earthquake in Christchurch New Zealand which was so severe is just the latest in a series, and luckily my brother and sister -in - law had travelled away from there two weeks ago or so and missed the big one.
On the news front, we are following the Middle East protests and the continuing pressure by Harper to allow right wing radio shows into Canada, similar to Fox News.
Dorothy, will you do us a favour and email that you received this, so that I know all of you did? Thanks! Of course, as usual, anyone who responds will get an answer.
Take care and cheers,
Paddy



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Old 04-25-2011, 02:29 PM   #12
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

Hello Everyone, (Message 5)

We are now in Vidalia, Louisiana, right across the Mississippi River from Natchez, Mississippi. We've had thunderstorms this afternoon but luckily it was an 'off' day for shopping, repairs, etc. Our last message was sent on Tuesday, February 22nd from Desert View, California at our RV Park and we have been on the road since March 5th. Betty and Rick arrived today from near Corpus Christi, Texas and we will be continuing our journey together through Kentucky, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Florida.
To recap, our drive through southern Arizona to tiny Ajo was typically desert, similar to the Palm Springs area...vast areas of barren land with some native settlements. We were surprised at how nice the Ajo RV Park was, landscaped with a wide variety of cactus and other desert loving trees and plants. Our next night at the Little Vineyard RV Park in New Mexico near Deming was depressingly gritty, though the drive was more rocky and mountainous than before. We met Betty & Rick there. (They had driven in from Phoenix.) The next day we joined up at Boot Hill RV Park near Alamogordo, and went to the White Sands National Monument and Space Centre.
White Sands was huge and it is a national park. It consists of hundreds of acres of white sand dunes, very fine to the touch, with mainly gypsum. It was a strange experience being there, because it felt and looked like we were in the middle of winter, but at the same time we were in light clothing. Rick drove us around the area road route. They had explanatory signs of the plant life, history etc., very normal for a park, but it felt like we were driving in a blizzard! Truly odd.

Following that we drove to the Space Centre in Alamogordo. The outside park had various models of spacecraft and shuttles and the inside held the history/artifacts/models of all the astronauts' trips plus the engineering feats involved. We didn't see it all because we had to rush over to the IMAX Theatre to see the last showing of the doc on the repair of the Hubble Telescope in space and photographs taken of the exploding universe. We learned that there is no known end to the galaxies out there. The concepts are staggering and I felt like a grain of gypsum sand.
Back to reality here on earth, we drove back to the park is a blinding dust storm. The previous day, some roads had been closed due to the severity of these winds.

The next day, Tuesday the 8th, we had a windy, long drive through the mountains and plains of southern New Mexico. We actually saw some pine trees. But next,there was one stretch of 45 miles with not a house in sight or a gas station. That last part made us a little nervous. We finally drove into Texas and stayed at the Duro Robles RV Park and now things were getting greener, but not by much! Miles and miles of fenced plains, feedlots (ugh), huge slaughterhouses in the Hereford and Amarillo areas. The stench was remarkable. Remember Oprah winning the burger war down there? Good on her.

Wednesday we finished up Texas and drove into Oklahoma, which slowly became more rolling and we saw lots of red earth, typical of that part of the States. Another long drive, this time to Oklahoma City, where we ended up at the Rockwell RV Park and promptly headed downtown to the Memorial Museum.

The bombing of the Murrah Federal Building and many others in 1995 by Tim McVeigh with 4000 pounds of fertilizer and diesel fuel resulted in 168 deaths and half a billion dollars in costs. Five floors of artifacts, videos, tapes, and description was not only emotionally exhausting but extremely well done. The city, state and federal response to this crisis was amazing and is still on- going. The community is still hanging together, taking care of the survivors and surviving the pain of losing loved ones. Some are still undergoing rehab for their injuries. They had glass display cases for each of the victims with a photo and objects belonging to or symbolic of them. The most poignant one for me was a toddler with all his little toy cars arrranged in front of his photo. Heartbreaking.

Outside the building, there is a park, with a special big tree from 1905 which has been coaxed back to life. It was torn up by the explosion and symbolizes survival for all the families. It has a beautiful reflecting pool, huge gates at either end (The Gates of Time) and 168 chairs facing the pool and museum , 19 of them in smaller size to symbolize the children who died.

We survived the drive back to our park in traffic, high speeds and narrow overpasses. No regrets, going to this museum was so worthwhile.
Next day was our drive to Little Rock, Arkansas... rivers, lakes, greenery and hills! We ended up in a city owned RV Park and loved our site on the river complete with benches, sunsets and night lights. There are eight bridges spanning it and connecting the north and south sides. Little Rock has only a handful of high buildings and the downtown is just starting to develop, in large part due to the Clinton Presidential Library.
The Library is situated on the south side and looks like a huge glass container hanging over the river. It is right next to a defunct bridge which is being retooled to handle pedestrian traffic to the Library site. The Centre is three floors and modern in style (unlike the Reagan Library which is traditional), with granite, stainless steel furniture etc. A shuttle bus takes you to the Museum Store nearby, which was excellent. The traffic coming in has led to that whole area being upgraded and restored.

They had a Dr. Seuss retrospective at the Centre, which I thought odd, until we discovered that Ted Seuss Geisel was NOT just a children's book author but some kind of genius who spent several years developing art, cartoons, etc. for the government during WWII and also did all kinds of magazine covers, political cartoons and art which closely matches the Democrats' point of view. We were impressed by his talent and clever wit in discussing the economy of the time.

Ian bought his book You're Only Old Once! A Book for Obsolete Children for our coffee table.
The next day, we walked downtown from over the bridge, discovered that other than restaurants, not much shopping was available, and watched the St. Pat's Day Parade. Americans love their parades and they do them so well. Speaking of shopping, we don't where it is, especially in Arkansas and Louisiana, as Wal*Mart seems to be the only viable option for travellers. But all in all, our journey has gone well. And as of today, we have been on the road for 3300 kilometres.

While in Desert View we passed the two year mark of days spent in our various Escape rigs camping.
Tomorrow we are going to visit Natchez, eat at a typical Louisiana style restaurant, perhaps see some antebellum mansions and whatever else strikes our fancy.

We hope you are all doing well and looking forward to spring. We are seeing daffodils and blooming flowering plum trees, not to mention lots of green grass, so things are looking up.

If you could drop us a line, we would love to hear from you.

Cheers and Hugs,
Paddy, Ian & Gypsy...who has recovered from the thunderstorm of today!


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Old 04-25-2011, 02:31 PM   #13
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

Hello All, (Message 5 cont'd)

In my last message, I stopped at MARCH 17th to give you a break from all the information! I left us at GRACELAND MANSION in Memphis, Tennessee, which Rick, Betty, Ian and I visited in the evening. It was right across from our park, but you buy tickets and then are shuttled over. On our side at the park were located the many museums (his cars, for example), souvenir stores and Heartbreak Hotel.
We passed on the museums and the planes and went straight to the mansion. It sits on a huge piece of property and I imagine was quite isolated at the time of buying it. It sits well back but is visible from across the street. Every square inch of the rock fence going along it at the front is covered with notes, initials etc. The landscaping was nice but nothing exceptional. The house has a piano just a few feet inside the front door at which ELVIS played the morning of his death. The sofas are white leather, there are glass coffee tables, etc. but again, though expensive, nothing stood out for me. What did impress were the corridors, walls and rooms lined with all the awards, plaques,trophies and other things he received in his short life. He sold something like 400,000,000 records and that number is still increasing. There is a horse paddock out back, and a patio area around a pool which has been converted into a memorial/burial area. There we saw the graves of Elvis, his parents and a couple of other family members. It was amazing to see the number of people there paying their respects. One of the things I remembered is that he so wanted to do serious films and his manager, Colonel Parker, would not allow it. We were all glad to have made this visit and to recall our memories of him in the sixties. Cost? about $60 for the two of us. Just start adding that up...

We repaired to HEARTBREAK HOTEL and drank green coloured martinis and beers in honour of "my" day! By the way, our campsite was on Love Me Tender Boulevard.

The next day, MARCH 18th, we had another great day. We took a shuttle bus downtown to SUN STUDIO, where it all began. There, we entered a historic site which is the location of the studio where Elvis Presley and many other entertainers got their start. We were in the mood, having watched music clips of mostly Elvis all the way on the bus. This place is just about what it was back in the day...a jammed little cafe on the first floor with diner food, tickets and souvenirs, then the crowd made its way to the back where a tacky little room contained CD's for sale, a young guy at the cash register was handling that, and he sent us up some very narrow stairs to a larger room over the diner, where glass display cases were filled with memorabilia, old musical instruments, old posters, old everything, once again very tacky looking, and well, dated. To my great surprise, the young man came up behind us and changed hats...he was now a tour guide, outlining the entire history of Sun Studio. He had a remote, and when a piece of music germane to a poster came up, he pointed it and the music played! He was fantastic. He was funny. And he made it all come alive. After we finished on that floor, he took us downstairs, out the front and into the original studio, looking pretty much the way it did way back then. More posters, more history, more music...at one point he had us singing the words. At the end, we could be photographed with the microphone/stand that all these singers used. We stood on the spot Elvis stood. Despite the fact that RCA Victor took over his contract, he spent formative years there honing his repertoire, along with others such as Johnny Cash (I think.), Carl Perkins and Jerry Lewis.
Afterwards, the bus took us to BEALE STREET, home for decades of the blues music scene in Memphis. It is blocked off. We wandered into a bar with a group of musicians playing wonderful music, a mixed black/white group, and we sat for over an hour listening to them play. Since we did not get to New Orleans, this was the next best thing. The bar was long, narrow, very dark, with bar stools etc. and full of atmosphere in the middle of the afternoon.

Then we walked to the NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM a few blocks away. The building is attached to the motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated, and we could see people being shown through that area from the street. We only had time to check in to the Museum's Gift Shop, which turned out to have an excellent selection plus wonderful books. I bought Psalm Twenty-Three, a children's book illustrated by Tim Ladwig, where the words match the pictures of the activities of a black neighbourhood. Beautiful work.
To finish off the day, we ordered a pink limousine and went to dinner at MARLOWE's, a nearby restaurant. We were not impressed by the food, but that was the only disappointment of the day. I didn't know one could do a bad job of BBQ, and this was the South...
TO BE CONTINUED LATER...coming up...NASHVILLE TENNESSEE and the GRAND OLD OPRY! Time to rest your eyes and drop us a line...Paddy & Ian
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:33 PM   #14
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

Hello Everyone, (Continuing Msg 5)

After yesterday's blast from the past at Graceland and Sun Studio, it occurred to me: just how many of you actually recall the beginnings of Elvis Presley's career and his transformation of the music scene, much as Michael Jackson did later? After some thinking, I remembered that at my tender age of 13 , that was the year he signed with RCA Victor, and at age 14 , he became an international sensation. He was 18 when he made his first record with Sun Studio, 19 with RCA Victor, and by 20 he was catapulted to stardom. It was not apparent at the time that there were only 7 years between us.
The man who sold one billion records in a 22 year career exploded on the scene like a nuclear bomb. You have to remember that the most popular entertainer up to then had been Frank Sinatra (more my mother's vintage), and Frank was a short scrawny man, associated with the Mafia, but gifted with an incredible voice. Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, et al. all of that era and type were popular.
Elvis appeared and we were all stunned. He swivelled, rocked, bent his knees, roared into the microphone all his blues and rock fervour and twanged the hormonal strings of every female in the vicinity of the known world. He was gorgeous, "bad", sensuous, you name it. Every parent in the known world was twanging too, this time with concern. Even despite the twinkle in his eyes, evidence of his having a great time as he performed.
However, this was soon allayed. He was of Baptist vintage, devoted to his mother and father. But the turning point was his rendition of "Love Me Tender" which turned everyone around. Anything that sensitive, beautiful and heartfelt could only be, allied with his family values, a person who it was okay to let your daughter enjoy.
And today, we still hear Heartbreak Hotel, Blue Suede Shoes and Don't Be Cruel and resonate to the emotional power of that music. No voice before had such emotional thrust, heat and challengel We all fell into that groove, dancing and resonating with it. All the later movies, songs and the stuff he went through would never blunt those initial fireworks. I felt lucky to be present at such a seminal moment in the music of the past century. Even the Beatles, who I loved, could never match that power of personality.
Okay, on with the GRAND OLD OPRY IN NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE!!!
We were in an RV Park with all these trees in bloom. It was beautiful. Ian and Rick went off to get tickets. They returned, triumphant, because, when they asked for four tickets together, they were not available at the usual price of $40 each. A very sympathetic person at the window provided them with four tickets at $10 each, and said "Don't ask." We ended up with four seats on the upper level, right hand side, with the huge screen to our immediate right and all the performers easily visible down below on the stage. Okay, we lucked out.
Plus it was Saturday night, one of three nights weekly for a live performance. Well, they were terrific. The leader of one group wore a cactus shaped tie. Jean Shepherd, despite her obvious pain in performing sang the most heart wrenching version of Tennessee Waltz, on which she had a solid lock, and Charlie Daniels played (easily in his seventies) so vigorously he kept snapping his strings and had to have his bows replaced while performing. You could see them curling around him, off the bow, onto the floor! Six times!
The Gift Shop afterwards was so packed you could hardly move. What a great time we had, with such good timing.
We stayed the next day to recover, MARCH 20th, and of course, what would happen but I broke my glasses. On to Walmart the next day to get them fixed. Then on to Kentucky.which by the way was beautiful and we saw horse forms, but that was a short trip in due to our schedule. On the 23rd we separated, Betty and Rick heading for Orlando, Florida, and us to Key West.
MORE NEXT TIME. This is enough for now.
Thanks everyone, for your emails. They will be answered!
Love,
Paddy& Ian


Hello Everyone, (Message 6)
My last message was sent, I think, on April 9th, and included everything up to our Sun Studio Tour on March 18th. This bit starts with March 19th at the GRAND OLE OPRY in Tennessee and continues to March 24th.
The Grand Ole Opry was a huge success after our drive from Memphis, Tennessee. First of all, we got settled into a nearby RV Park which was loaded with trees just blossoming, then Ian and Rick went over to get tickets. These were priced at $40 per and when they said they needed four, the lady tried to find four together but couldn't. Finally, after pounding the keys a bit, she said here, these are $10 per, they are together, and "Don't ask"!!! (They didn't.) We wound up with seats on the second level up on the right hand side, right near the huge screen and could look down and see all the performers. Wow. It was a great evening. All sorts of country and western performers, many older than we are, playing both old hits and new tunes. One guy had on a tie shaped like a cactus. Jean Shepherd, hardly able to walk, played the most wonderful rendition of Tennessee Waltz. Charlie Daniels, still well-known, and in his seventies, came out and played with such vigour e.g. "The Devil Goes Down To Georgia" that he snapped several of his horsehair bows right off and had to be constantly replenished with new ones! The crowd went wild. Rick wore his cowboy boots and stomped away. We had hit the right night: Saturday was live and recorded, one of three nights that would happen - all the rest were recorded performances only. The Gift Shop afterwards was packed like no other shop I've ever been in - it was like a conga line.
March 20th -day of rest. March 21st, Ian and I headed for KENTUCKY while Betty and Rick went south and we met up at Noccalula RV Park in Gadsden, Alabama. The drive north of Nashville and into Kentucky was replete with wonderful homes, mansions and horse farms. Noccalula had a stunning waterfall and beautiful wooded sites. We all met up again in FLORIDA March 23rd, and the next day split up again. This time they went to Orlando and we headed south and east to the Keys. By the way, the drive through ALABAMA was not on a major interstate, and it was obvious how poorly the countryside was faring. No shopping visible, no signs of prosperity.
THE FLORIDA KEYS - this was Ian's holy grail. He wanted to reach the southern most tip of the U.S. We did it, but it was one long drive. We went past the Everglades (missing all the airboat rides), and then drove another 123 miles from Key Largo through some of the most tacky tourist areas and oceanside homes, over many bridges to the end of the line, KEY WEST. This area has been incredibly developed since I was last there in 1995 with my second husband Scruffie Cunygham, but the historic and downtown area is still very interesting. We spent one night at a RV Park for $120.00, right on the ocean, six inches away, in fact. We had a drink at the same bar, Sloppy Joe's, haunted by Ernest Hemingway, right around the bar counter from where Scruffie proposed to me. The bar was as jammed and noisy as it had been back then, a veritable gold mine, with a huge marlin still mounted up there on the wall. Ian and I went on to dinner and struck more gold at the Pier Hotel on Zero Duval Street. We walked all the way in, to a patio/restaurant with a beach you had to walk over to get there, right again on the ocean. There we had a great dinner and watched all the different boats come in at twilight into the harbour. Power boats, sail boats, catamarans, tall ships, fishing boats, you name it. it was fabulous. It was a short, but perfect time for us and very romantic.
At this point I will stop: coming up - AIRBOATS IN KISSIMMEE, CAPE CANAVERAL, SAVANNAH (GEORGIA), AND HARPER'S LANDING IN WEST VIRGINIA.
Thank you again for all the wonderful responses to my previous family/friends message. We love hearing from you!
Today, April 16th, we are in Missoula, Montana and will be in Washington tomorrow. We are beginning to smell Canada and home!!!
Paddy & Ian
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:36 PM   #15
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

Dear Family & Friends, (Last One)

I think this is our ninth message, not sure now! We are in Chilliwack with Jim and Shirley, and will be heading to Vancouver tomorrow for a couple of celebratory occasions with Ian's brother and my pal Carol from Oakville. Sunday we return, visiting Aunt Jean along the way in Langley, and then on Monday return home to Gabriola, taxes and hopefully, good weather!
WASHINGTON, D.C.- This was one of my most looked forward to destinations. You may recall that we left Harper's Landing in West Virgiania, and soon found that the Beltway around Washington more than lived up to its reputation, giving our GPS a run for her money. We landed safely at Cherry Hill RV Park, in Maryland,which is north of Washington and the closest park to getting there. This park provided everything we needed: tokens, fare cards, information, change, maps, and best of all, a bus stop just inside its gates. Just inside the door of the office was a tall cut out of an Obama mannequin - which I stood beside for a smiling photo op for Ian. We arranged for a dog walker for Gypsy and were all set.
PADDY & IAN GO TO WASHINGTON - The next morning we took the bus and then the Metro into the city. Both were easy, and the Metro proved to be simple to negotiate. Our first day, we toured the White House Visitor Center , then headed over to Pennsylvania Avenue for the real thing. Well, we ended up on the wrong side, buried inside the throngs of kids and visitors who were on a tour. (Arranged six months ahead of time by senators.) We went the wrong way on a very cold day, and had to go all the way back to make the correct turn. The White House is as beautiful as the photos show, and the landscaping is extensive at the "front", which is NOT on Pennsylvania Avenue.The grounds were larger than we thought. We continued around and saw monuments, memorials (e.g. the First Army Division), and large buildings such as Treasury. On the other side were galleries, Blair House, the Hay-Adams, etc. Continuing around the corner, we saw that curving road so familiar on film clips, and the area where the press gather for the daily briefings outside. Across the street was LaFayette Park, where protesters gather with their placards.
We celebrated this visit with a wonderful lunch at Ebbit's Old Grill, a huge restaurant which is a local political hangout. It had a great buzz to it, the prices were reasonable, the menu extensive and the place was traditionally decorated in dark woods. So fortified, we headed for the SMITHSONIAN NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, the one with the elephant in the rotunda. It was amazing, and the exhibits of skeletons of various animals, sea life and humans superbly organized. An extra was the exhibit of the Hope Diamond on the second floor. The history of that diamond is a reflection of so much that is both good and bad in human affairs - fascinating.Back home to Gypsy.
PADDY GOES TO WASHINGTON - Ian opted to stay home and look after Gypsy and do the laundry. I decided to hit the FOGGY BOTTOM Metro stop as so much seemed to be clustered in that area. After walking around and using a park to stay grounded on the map (lots of diagonal streets), I went south, passed the huge WATERGATE apartment complex (where Richard Nixon saw the beginning of the end of his presidency) and reached the JFK CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS. It is a white, elegant building set on 17 acres, overlooking the Potomac River. The inside is lofty, with the flags of all the nations hanging from the ceiling to mark the gifts contributed in memory of the assassinated president. Eisenhower is the president who actually instigated this national centre and it become a living memorial to Kennedy who became very involved with it during his three year tenure. The chandeliers inside really light it up and the bust of JFK on a pedestal was remarkably well done and lifelike. Once again, lots of kids and tourists.
Next, I walked along the Potomac to the LINCOLN MEMORIAL. Regrettably I didn't take the time to visit the inside, but focused on the VIETNAM MEMORIAL instead. As most know, the "names are the memorial", the idea instigated by an infantry corporal who fought in Vietnam. It is run by the vets association, and they were much in evidence. In particular, they would locate names for people, and had strips of white paper with Vietnam Memorial at the top, and do a rubbing of the desired name(s). I imagine family, etc. would really treasure these. The black granite memorial is solidly covered with the names of all those who served, died or went missing.I was surprised that is was not high - rather it began low, rose gently to six or seven feet at the centre, then tapered back down to match the other side. The famous REFLECTING POOL was blocked off, as it is undergoing renovations.
I took my time, then walked north into a heavy rainstorm complete with wind, towards historic GEORGETOWN. I passed the STATE DEPARTMENT earlier but didn't go in, this being the weekend. After a light lunch and tour through a terrific Barnes & Noble bookstore, it was past time to get home. The laundry was done, Gypsy and Ian were happy and I cooked dinner.
PADDY AND IAN GO BACK TO WASHINGTON on April 3rd. It was a beautiful sunny day and we took the bus and Metro to see ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, which is 624 acres and located across the Potomac River. It is beautifully landscaped and the cherry trees were in bloom. The original 1100 acres were originally meant as a memorial to George Washington from 1802 and the history is just too detailed to outline here. Slaves who lived in the Freedman's Village on the property in 1863 were some of those originally interred. It passed from Washington, to Confederate to Federal hands over the years. We got a map showing all the categories and these cover Monuments and Memorials (23 in all, including the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice in 1925, Unknown Dead of 1812, Pan Am Flight 103 in 1995); Presidents and Family, Military and Politics (Audie Murphy, Medgar Evers), The Supreme Court, Exploration and Space, Medicine, Science and Engineering, and Sports. We visited the graves of JFK AND HIS FAMILY, TED KENNEDY, ROBERT KENNEDY and saw the ETERNAL FLAME. Next, the TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER and the CHANGING OF THE GUARD (which ceremony took 30 fascinating minutes).
Back to the Metro, and downtown to have a light lunch at McDonald's (where this huge black guy of dubious cleanliness came in and cheerily said to Ian "How ya doin' Grampaw!!!" This was a regular customer, no doubt about it.
We visited the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WOMEN IN THE ARTS - or I did, Ian went on a photo shooting expedition, and that was our last stop of the city trip. So much more to see and do, so little time!
WASHINGTON is a compact city of political, not economic energy. Very few high rises and the biggest buildings belong to the government and cover many years of design and historical progress. It was a wonderful experience to go there.
April 4th, we were heading north, through Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey - the famous NEW JERSEY TURNPIKE, where we paid $22.50 in tolls- and beginning to hit parks with water issues due to the cold. April 5th was interesting, as we drove through: the rest of New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Rhode Island (the Newport Bridge was fantastic), Massachusetts, Rhode Island again, back into Massachusetts. However, with Rhode Island, the 50th in population size, we hit our last and final state. OUR RIG NOW HAS ALL THE CONTINENTAL STATES, THE TEN PROVINCES AND THE NORTHWEST TERRITORIES covered on our map. It was a thrill to stick the last decal on and it was so tiny!
Finally, the end point of our trip - Bellingham, Massachusetts, 30 miles from BOSTON.
And it is time to give you a well deserved rest. We are going shopping to get fish for dinner as soon as Ian gets back with our rig from Escape Trailers.
Best to you all, and keep writing! We are looking forward to seeing many of you soon.
Cheers,
Paddy, Ian & Gypsy.

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Old 04-25-2011, 05:55 PM   #16
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

[quote=Yukon Escape ]
What Highway did you use to get to "Nunavut"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon Escape
I wopuld like to see a photo of the trailer in "Nunavut"

Doug



So which road did you use to visit Nunavut? :

Probably an ice-road.

Nunavut became the largest of the three (3) Canadian territories in 1999. Very difficult to "drive" to, but if there is a road going in please let us know 'cuz it would be the trip of a lifetime! Kinda like the Canadian version of the Darien Gap on the Pan-America highway.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:59 PM   #17
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

WOW!!!
That is a lot of information. Unfortunately, without better formatting, it is way too hard on my eyes to try and read it.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:28 PM   #18
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Re: Ian n' Paddy's Adventures

What a journey! Very entertaining and informative. Thanks all.
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