First Gig!

Bear Swamp Blues Band (Photo by Jim Panos)

It was yet another great ski season, and the call of fabulous spring skiing has been distracting us a bit from thoughts of travel.

As did our gig. Yup! We set a goal for our blues band to play at least one gig this winter. Success! We made our debut on April 7 to a well attended party at the Castlerock Pub, at Sugarbush, our local ski resort. Judging by the smiles, dancing, high fives, hugs and smiles, our friends appear to have had fun. Our 6-piece band, the Bear Swamp Blues Band, had a great time as well. With planning, rehearsals and requisite jitters behind us all, it’s now time for the Destinators to start focusing on this year’s trip.

But first, a quick recap of our 2018 trip.

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The last mile (yes, this is the road we live on!)

We’re back in Warren and our 2018 RV adventure is now in the rear view mirror.

It’s nice to be home and we’re really looking forward to settling in and seeing our local friends again. We have amazing, fond memories of this trip and we are definitely going to miss being on the road – already do…  Hey, it’s almost ski season! Let it snow!

Pittsfield, MA – Unanticipated interlude

Cousins – Roger, Jeanette (standing); Sam, Sue, Helen (seated)

We are occasionally reminded that our life on the road includes more than just traveling about, and no part of life is left out. It was with great sadness that we learned of my cousin Richard’s sudden and unexpected passing.

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South Ontario

Lake Erie, Middle Island

So yes, the most direct route from Kalamazoo to Vermont goes through South Ontario, from Detroit to Buffalo. We’d not yet visited that part of Canada. And we had the time for one more adventure!

Of course, as is our nature, the first thing we did was make the direct route a little less direct… This tiny slice of Ontario touches three of the Great Lakes. We can see them all! And to do so, we used our proven-based-on-vast-experience, late season approach to planning – where can we find places to stay.

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Jammin’ in Portage, MI

Doug & Tom

The more we travel, the more places there are that we have been to, and the more likely we are to cross a path we’ve followed before. Such was the case as we figured how we were going to get from St. Louis to Vermont. Suppose we went up to Michigan, then back into Canada and around the north side of Lake Erie? Well, looky here, that path might go right by Kalamazoo!

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Get your kicks…

Less than 10 miles outside of Tulsa, we started seeing signs for Route 66. Our band back home does that classic song! With so much of our travel on back roads, we’ve crossed Route 66 at least a few times in Arizona and New Mexico. As we rolled out of Tulsa we recognized that for the first time we’d be traveling right along the storied route. And it goes through St Louis – like it says right in the song!

So we started following signs. This could be fun!

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Tulsa, OK

Sue, Dave, Mardena, Doug

When my uncle Joe retired from a career in the military, after having lived in many interesting places around the world, he moved back to our small home town in NH. So, unlike Joe’s older sons MikeGary and Steve, Dave and I graduated from the same high school. Dave was only 11 when I left our home town, so I never really got to know him back then. During his own stint in the military, Dave met Mardena. They married, moved to Oklahoma and raised 3 kids. Like his brothers, Dave and I had only seen each other once or possibly twice as adults.

We contacted Dave and Mardena on our trip in 2016 hoping to visit – we could easily head to Oklahoma from southeast Colorado. *SIGH* They had just retired and moved to Costa Rica.

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