Banff 2012… the road trip.
One of the great thing about road trippin’ are the people we become along the way. North Dakota’s slogan of “Legendary” has proved true for us. Allow me to offer a few examples:

Bald Eagle: Dr Phil Chase, once small-town family doctor and hobby farmer, found his calling as the leader of the pack. Blazing the trail in a fancy white Cadillac, this spandex-clad eagle leads with confidence and grace. Even U-Turns are expertly executed by this fearless leader. We all have learned to love and respect our lovable fuzzball. As he puts it “C-A-WWW!”

Paula Cherry Pit: She is internationally known for planting cherry trees along west-bound 52 and 94.  While feeding her body, she provides for millions by excellent pit expectoration via driver side window. No cherry pit is too tricky to be speedily removed and ejected from the car providing fruit bearing trees for all. The world should applaud.

Guitar Soloist RN: This heroic night-shift MSIC nurse has revealed to us a (up to this point) hidden talent: air guitar. Here in La Vista (aka the mini van), when our theme song (I Want You to Want Me, by Cheap Trick) lacks lyrics for us all to sing, Marta jams out the guitar solos the passenger seat.  Her power chords and lickity-split hammers are, in a word, inspirational.  Other skills of this nice nurse is flirting with cute boarder guards, aye? (In Marta’s words: “I could TOTALLY marry a boarder guard! He is SOO attractive!”

Nancy Drew Crew: Lyndie, Charity, Bethany and Sadie have become real sleuths along this beaten trail.  Protecting the innocent, discovering the guilty, soldering circuits, and exploring haunted castles are a breeze for these beauties. We are grateful for their service to mankind, and they are grateful for Michelle’s hints along the way. They will all be asking for magnifying glasses for Christmas (thankfully, you can purchase them at Shipshewana in the $1 bin)

The Honeymooners: A blue honda civic is the home for four people we know and love. While the title of “honeymooners” may not be entirely accurate (one of the couples have been married for nearly a year, and the other for over 4) the two Cha-Rueg hounds and their lovely ladies are loved and adored by all. We are happy to have our two new(ish) out-laws along for the ride and are thrilled with the new things they will learn about us… and the things they will teach us in our week of adventures.

Mr Tail Feathers: A blue Escape provides the perfect sanctuary for Brian Tail Feathers. With his unforgettable “gooooooooood morning” and his winning smile, Mr Tail Feathers leads the way by following. He counts the precious little chicks in a row and assures that they make it to their destination with safety and style. We love our beautiful blue tail feathers and all secretly wish we could join him in his luxurious leather-seated charger.

Gamer Guys: With a combined height of 139 inches, this duo goes beyond this world into galaxies beyond to wage war with previously unknown enemies. While the majority of the caravan has little knowledge or appreciation of their skill, these two are fantastic fighters. Somehow, Carter folds his massively long legs and Colson squeezes his broad shoulders into the back seat of the Cadillac.  With laser blasters and super-charged-rockets (can you tell I have no idea what I’m talking about?) the hours fly and the enemies die. Well done, chaps!

The Moms: These three ladies are already legends in our lives. Joy, Laura, and Beth are the matriarchs of our masses. Without their tender loving care, we would be sleeping on slabs of rock and eating grass for the entire trip. Their hard work and dedication, though often overlooked, is vital to the success of our journeys. While the job of the fathers is to keep our lives interesting, these three ladies have adopted the roll of keeping us all alive. For this, and for all of the other things that they do (of which we are unaware) we could not thank them enough. We love you ladies 🙂

Super Sleepers: I’ll be honest, I am unaware of how the last two of our crew (namely, Maria and Faye) have been spending their trip. Honestly, I think they’ve slept most of the way. Their summers have been full of serving the Lord and others (both here and abroad).  With words and actions, these lovelies have shared Christ with kids and made a lot of new friends. Now their eyes and bodies are tired and ready for rest. I’m glad we can provide 32 uninterrupted hours of slumber for this pair. Sweet dreams, my dears! We’ll let you know what happened along the road when you wake up.  (Carter also fits well into this group, though instead of the adjective “lovely”, I’m sure he would prefer “ruggedly handsome”. His summer at camp was well spent and I’m quite confident his semi-introverted self is much in need of sleep and solitude… and video games) We’re proud of you guys… you deserve a few hours of sleep!

For those of you who were worried, we have finally arrived. Our bedraggled lot pulled in at 10:30 (local time)… but I know my brain is still operating on Indiana time. I should have been asleep 2 hours ago…

Hours on the road today: 17
License plates spotted: No new ones today. The count remains: 26 US States, 7 Canadian provinces
Socks knitted: 2! I finished an entire pair!