Greetings from the wild man of the north. I want to give a brief account of my adventures in Utah, Alberta and British Columbia. A full report will have to be filed later because of health considerations.

Saturday, November 16, 2002 - I flew from Ketchikan to Salt Lake City. Doug McGee and Jim Cobabe met my plane and we went out to a very nice restaurant where we got into such a stimulating conversation over good food we tied up a table longer than the management was willing to tolerate. I think it is the first time I ever got kicked out of a restaurant in my 57 years. Then Jim drove me to Provo to my daughter's place. We sat around and made conversation for a while, mostly about the relative merits of the various Star Wars movies.

Sunday, November 17, 2002 - I attended church with my daughter. She and her husband live in a very good married students ward. The buzz of the morning was the departure of the Haskell's (Rebekah Redelfs-Haskell and Jeff Haskell). The Relief Society scheduled a cleanup party to help with the move.

Monday, November 18, 2002 - Immediately upon arising I telephoned Nebraska Vital Statistics to have them FedEx a copy of my birth certificate for "proof of citizenship" which is required for passing over into Canada. Then I got a 96 hour "in transit" registration for the Haskell's 1996 Geo Prism. It cost me $2.50 and supposedly could be extended at the Couts-Sweetgrass Port of Entry when I got to Canada. The rest of the day I worked myself to exhaustion helping Becky get ready for the move. This mostly entailed hauling many garbage bags of low priority personal belongings to the dump

Tuesday, November 19, 2002 - The birth certificate showed up. So did Jim Cobabe. Jim, Becky and I went to the Provo Temple and did an endowment session. Afterwards, Jim helped be take two more car loads of garbage bags to the dump. After he had left I hauled four heavy boxes of books to mail to myself "book rate" through the postal mail. I then desperately tried to find an auto insurance agent to sell me a policy on the Geo for the trip through Canada. No luck. Two agents didn't sell that kind of insurance, and a third was already closed for the day. I resolved to drive carefully and pray that I wouldn't need the insurance. I had nightmares of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police demanding proof of insurance if I were stopped for speeding.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002 - Defying all expectation we drove out of Provo at 4:30 AM only 30 minutes later than the plan. We had gorgeous driving weather throughout the trip. At the border they did not ask for the birth certificate I had so desperately sought from Nebraska Vital Statistics. The didn't even ask to see our picture identification. We must not have fit their terrorist profile. I was, however, told that they could not extend my temporary auto registration, and that I would have to get that done in Edmonton.

When we rolled up to Tom Matkin's place, we had been on the road for 13 hours or so. Tom and his family treated us like visiting royalty. Both Becky and I enjoyed the best night's sleep we had had in days. I got to learn a bit from Tom about his poetry list. We also had quite a discussion about his hair cut, or lack thereof. Tom wears his hair VERY short. If it were any shorter, he would look like one of those toughs out of a post apocalyptic SF movie, or a WFL wrestler. I got his wonderful wife to tell me the difference between being the wife of a bishop and the wife of a stake president. All in all, the visit was outstanding. I have never felt more loved or better feted. The Matkin home really has its ducks in a row. It astounds me that Tom has enough time to spend with us here in the list in addition to all of his other responsibilities and projects. He is a true wonder.

Thursday, November 21, 2002 - Tom, Becky and I went to the Cardston temple and did an endowment session. The we headed north for Edmonton arriving at Marc Schindler's at about 8:30 PM following some difficulty finding the place. Marc is even more wonderful in person than online. His smile, cane, goatee, and unassuming dress puts one at easy. He isn't nearly as intimidating in person as he can be online. His wife Cathy is a charmer. And the curried rice was out of this world. Yum. Becky was exhausted, so she hit the sack early. Marc and I had a good time making conversation until late.

Friday, November 22, 2002 - My problems with auto registration came to a head. I learned that I could not extend my temporary registration without proof of insurance which I did not have. I tried to buy insurance but learned that the least I could buy was 3 months for $300 plus a $75 processing fee. I checked a couple of other places but the news just got worse. Further, the 3 months of insurance would only be good for as long as I would be in Canada, about 2 more days. I just couldn't see spending $375 for 2 days of insurance. One insurance guy pointing out that it would be cheaper for me to rent a truck and package for towing the car than it would be to buy the insurance. Becky and I set out to do that when it occurred to me that we had enough time left on the original permit to make it to Prince Rupert if we left right away. But that would mean I couldn't see Mark Gregson, something I had really been looking forward to.

Finally, after some discussion with my daughter, I decided that we would just risk it and drive for 2 days without insurance or registration hoping to be inconspicuous so that the authorities wouldn't notice. I was told by several people that the fine for driving without insurance was $2500, $3500 or $5000 depending on who I asked.

Then Becky and I went to the West Edmonton Mall, reputed to be the largest mall on earth. I was truly impressive. It includes more than just shops. I had an indoor water park with artificially generated surf. On one end of the mall was a rugby game in progress on a full size field also under the mall roof. Most of the fast food stores like A&W, KFC and Baskin Robbins have two stores, one on each end of the mall. There were two movie complexes, but unfortunately none of the shows we wanted to see were starting early or late enough to fit our schedule. We also found a gun shop called Wild West. It had a huge array of rifles, shotguns, pistols, semi automatics, and several so-called assault rifles, all available for gun toting Canadians like Marc Schindler. <LOL>

Finally we got back to Marc's place and enjoyed some more good conversation while we waited for Mark Gregson to arrive with his guide service leading the Redelfs back to his place. I was surprised to see how young and good looking Mark was when I met him. I knew he was a computer nerd, but little did I realize he could have been a movie star. He has seven beautiful children and one beautiful wife. I have never felt so much at home as I did in Mark's place. One of Mark's children was struggling with some kind of flu, and Mark was helping out a lot. The next morning we got in more conversation.

Saturday, November 23, 2002 - We rolled out of Edmonton at about 11:45 AM headed for Prince Rupert by way of Prince George. Against wise counsel I was determined to drive the whole thing in one sitting. We drove through the Canadian Rockies and Jasper before dark. As the sun was setting we drove through Robeson Provincial Park in BC. We saw big horn sheep, and elk. At one point I had to brake hard to keep from hitting a moose crossing the highway. And we even saw a wolf.

Sunday, November 24, 2002 - About 4:30 AM, in the dark of night, we had a flat tire about 70 kilometers east of Prince Rupert. Up until that point, the entire trip had been like a clock work, absolutely flawless. I discovered that I had a spare and a jack, but no jack handle and no lug wrench. Two would be rescuers who stopped to render aid did not have the right lug wrench, and were headed in the wrong direction to give us a lift into town. Finally, a fellow headed our way stopped. He too tried to figure out a way to get the flat tire off, but to no avail. Instead, we loaded the car back up, locked it, and he took us to the McDonald's in Prince Rupert. Becky and I ate breakfast and called around for a tow truck or some help getting our flat fixed. It was very early on a Sunday morning. And initially I was unable find anyone. Finally a fellow agreed to pick us up at the McDonald's and take us back out to the car. Even he had a hard time getting the flat tire removed and the spare installed. But he finally managed it, and we followed him back the many kilometers into Prince Rupert. The assistance ended up costing us $160 Canadian, which considering how far he had to drive to reach our car I thought was a bargain.

Next we bought our ferry tickets and went out for lunch. Big mistake. Becky and I ate something that laid us low. All the way back to Ketchikan we were in great pain and suffering from acute nausea. Finally, early this morning, (Monday, November 25, 2002) Esperanza had to take me to the hospital where I was sick in a major way.

It is 2:22 PM now, and I'm feeling a little better, but still very weak. I still can't figure out whether I was poisoned by the eggs I ate, or if I just caught the bug that Gregson's child was fighting.

Summation: It was a great adventure, and great fun. I finally got to meet Tom, Marc, and Mark whom I have meant to visit for several years. I made it home without attracting any attention from the authorities. For over a week I worked myself to exhaustion, but I'm finally in the home place, wrapped in the love of a good family, and enveloped in the comfort that can only be found in my own nest. In a few hours I'll try taking a little solid food.

Thanks Tom, thanks Marc, thanks Mark. I just cannot say how much I enjoyed meeting you and your wonderful families. It was a joy and an adventure that I will always remember with great pleasure. Now you have got to come see me. <grin>

Your friend and brother,
John W. Redelfs, [EMAIL PROTECTED]

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