Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lost in the Wilds of Canada

Note:  This is our next to the last blog installment regarding our autumn, 2013 travels.

Miz Garmin II endeared herself during my plein air odyssey through the Pacific Northwest.  She warned me about upcoming curves, told me where to exit roundabouts so I wouldn't get dizzy, and even when I should make a U-turn because I hadn't been listening.  And never once did she lose her temper although I gave her every reason to.  Never!  Karen should be so lucky when she drives and I'm the copilot.

She was fast becoming a real part of my driving team -- the steering wheel, brake, accelerator, cassette player and now, Miz Garmin II.  We were all together, solid, unshakable.   Life on the road was good.  That is, until we crossed the US -- Canadian border on our way back to Alaska.  All I can figure is Miz Garmin II. had reverted to her second childhood -- like a loose toddler in a shopping mall.  Suddenly she had me driving out in fields, up mountainsides and along the bottoms of rivers -- often out of sight of the road.  I was pretty sure I was on an asphalt surface that would lead me home, but she wanted me elsewhere.  Without another road in sight and with the highway bending to the right, she'd suddenly blurt out "turn left."  If I didn't follow her commands, she'd repeatedly insist I turn left.  I began to think she wanted to do away with me, perhaps to find a better listener for a driver.

Miz Garmin II wanted to send me back and forth across this field and up the distant mountainsides along southern British Columbia's Crowsnest Highway

Had I followed her instructions, I would have driven through barbed wire fences, crashed into trees and drowned myself in the Fraser River.  She would show me driving on the far side of a lake on the left side of the road, then suddenly dart across the highway without even looking for oncoming traffic to send me up a cliff on the right side of the highway.  Our mutual trust was shattered.

Miz Garmin II must have thought our Mazda Tribute was equipped with water wings to run through this pond along British Columbia's Cariboo Highway.

She didn't even make an attempt to avoid these trees before routing us into this lake along central British Columbia's Yellowhead Highway.

In desperation, I pushed her button of last resort, "Restore Factory Settings."  Oh boy, was that a bad idea.  Then she wouldn't even tell me how far it was to my next destination and when I'd ask her to show me the nearest motel -- while I was parked in front of a Super 8 deep in the "wilds" of Canada, she'd suggest someplace in Washington state, over 200 miles away.

Finally, I had to do what Karen insists I always do.  I stopped listening -- just tuned her out or sometimes, when our relationship had reached that tipping point, shut her off.

Oh, Miz Garmin II, can we ever go back to how we used to relate?

              To play it "safe" I turned Miz Garmin II off so I could enjoy these aspens near Smithers, British Columbia.

Meanwhile Karen was spending her waning days at Four Mile Lake in northern Wisconsin -- getting ready for her long trip home.  Was this a final farewell?  Hopefully not!

Four Mile Lake neighbors are friendly and love Karen so she can wander through their manicured "yards" during daily walks.

            Wetlands such as this swampy area near Four Mile Lake are a little less inviting for casual morning strolls.

Perhaps the condition of this white birch leaf best reflected the wistful feelings in Karen's heart as she bid farewell to Four Mile Lake for the season.. It was time to begin her long trip home to Alaska. 


Susan Christensen said...

Beautiful post, Don and Karen! I am missing you both, but enjoying the heck out of my new surroundings.
Have a new church family at Gethsemane Lutheran, our Sarah's congregation.
much love, sus

Don and Karen Cornelius Artwork said...

Thanks, Sus: We're glad to hear you're enjoying the big city, getting to see "The Sailor" and have found a church -- especially with Sarah. We miss you. Don and Karen

Terri Mappin (Seasons 365 Project) said...

Hahahaha ... such great story telling!!! The antics of Miz Garmin II make one smile! :)

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