Bert & Shari Frenz, 2002 All rights reserved.

(Shari) The caravan is over and usually I am the one that has a difficult time with the separation, because it is so hard to say goodbye to such good friends and happy times. This time Bert mopes too. At our Farewell Dinner, we shed some tears during the reading of David's hilarious poem. I had some poetic words to say also, but could not complete the last stanza because I started to cry. In the morning all the rigs were gone by 10:30 and Bert and I were left alone to finish up. Sadly we looked at the empty campground and wished we could still see our friends in their respective places. To cheer us up, we decide to take the ferry to the Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia. Because all the ferries until Friday were full, we take our chances on standby and arrive at 9 for the 11 AM sailing. Making it through the first cut, I get a little blue pass that allows me to buy a ticket for the car and motor home. We are number 5 and 6 in line and are told this does not assure us of a spot on the boat. As I watch the minutes tick slowly by, I pace the floor wondering if we will make it. Everybody just looks at us like they have never seen such a big rig before in all their lives. Ticketed passengers in the seven lanes next to us board the ship. Big freight trucks board the ship. Seemingly taking forever, they finally take numbers 1 through 4 on the wait list. When they also take the four numbers after us, I know they will fit us on, but because our side mirrors stick out so far, we are saved for last. I go next and squeeze in a side lane, leaving just enough room for Bert to drive R-TENT into the very back of the ship. The lower deck is packed so tight I can barely squeeze between the parked cars to reach the elevator. I have no idea how Bert will get out. He meets me on the top deck, ready for his marathon bird watching outside. The people I chat with tell me emphatically that he will not see anything on this run. I hold my tongue knowing that they do not know my Bert. He will see lots of things, which to us mortals look all like little black specks. He will be able to discern varying shades of gray in certain places on a flying body and come back reporting he saw twenty different species of birds. Different strokes for different folks! Upon arriving at Skidegate, we take the advice of some fellow campers and drive the 70 or so miles to the tip of the island to find our campground. If they had not talked to us, we would have not come this far and would have wondered if we were getting ourselves into trouble when the paved road ends, turning to gravel, and the road deteriorates and narrows until it seems the forest will overtake us. Many times I wonder if the road is just going to end and I work myself into a lather, worried of having to back out the five miles. Tall trees on either side of us, only a few feet from one another, own this stretch of land and any intruder may become part of the moss growing everywhere. But we make it and find a little piece of paradise. Our campsite sits right on shore overlooking the ocean. From our chair, we can even see Alaska 40 miles distant. Towards dusk, 11 PM here, we watch a young couple walk a half-mile to the crabbing spot. They carry a fish net and just scoop the Dungeness Crabs out of the water. I fall asleep listening to the sound of the surf and dream of catching my own crabs tomorrow. We just may stay all month parked here.

Appendix A  Table of Contents