prune picker

This is the blog of a prune picker. (Native born Californian) Retired oilfield. I am an old man. (91) I blog a lot about my body and getting old. As I approach death life gets more interesting. More interesting is not good. I still drive. I attend sports, music, and civic events. I am writing my memoirs. I attend swim class three times a week. Some of my blogs might be interesting. A lot of my blogs are silly and trivial. None are very long.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fifth wheel travels in Western Canada, Part One.

In 1988 Jackie and I decided to tour some of Western Canada. Jackie's  maternal grand folks, George and Neway Smith,  lived in San Luis Obispo. We spent five years living at Cal Poly in SLO from 1946 to 1951. We spent a lot of time with the Smith's. They were lovely people. We heard the stories of their life many times. (I wish that I had taken notes.)

In 1915 George and Neway, who were living in Chicago, homesteaded in Elk Point, Alberta. It was a long way off on the north edge of the world. It is Northeast of Edmonton on the north edge of the plains. There was not any civilization North of Elk Point. That is probably true today. The Smith's homesteading came to a tragic end when George fell off a roof and broke his neck. He was a semi invalid the rest of his life. He retired to that garden spot of the world, Taft, California and opened a grocery store. This led to the birth of Jackie. Life is wonderful, huh? I owe my sweet marriage and four wonderful children to the broken neck of George Smith.

Jackie and I decided to visit Elk Point that we had heard so much about. And extend our trip to the West Coast. We were living in Willis, Texas.

We added a couple side trips (Winnipeg and Moose Jaw) on the way to Elk Point. I made a reservation at a large RV park in Winnipeg. The park had a thousand sites. We arrived in the middle of May 1988. The park was empty! It was like Canada was not open yet. Two more rigs arrived in the evening and parked by us. We huddled and visited and stared at the rolling hills of vacant RV sites surrounding us.

Good thing that I had a reservation, huh?

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