A Few Excerpts From The Book "On Our Own"

"We pack differently when we drive than when we fly somewhere - for example, we took five pounds of potatoes with us on this trip. Add to that ski jackets, down vests, windbreakers, rain gear, boots, mosquito netting and sunscreen - after all, it is nearly summer in Canada."

"I am a supporter of animal conservation, like to see them protected and hate to see them hunted for sport so I was extremely pleased we had been able to see these magnificent creatures. It made me feel good to see they were still there. Life is tough enough with their natural prey and predator circle of life; they don't need some yahoo in a boat firing harpoons out of cannons at them."

We drove on through numerous berber villages, saw lots of kids and locals, dozens of cats and one dog. By mid-afternoon we pulled to a stop at a large kasbah. Now I always thought a kasbah was a marketplace. I guess I did not pay close enough attention to Yosemite Sam. A Kasbah is, in fact, a family dwelling. Not just one home but a virtual village growing as families expanded."

"At the next directions stop Karen walked toward a bar to ask. A man stepped out of a car. Karen indicated "No capice Italiano.' A second man in another car chimed in with a British accent, "I speak English.'
'Great! Do you know how to get to Pienza?'
'Oh, no.'"

"We were in a casita away from the main hotel. It was a quaint little European-style cottage from the heyday of the late fifties and it reminded me a lot of the room where we spent our first night in the Cinque Terre area of Italy last year. However, it was a long way from the main hotel area - I think it was in Puerto Rico."

"Harmony really was charming but the local grocery store was one of the few in the United States that did not sell wine. We were directed to Wheeler's Bar and Grill advising that they had a large selection of wine and takeout food, which we had also enquired about. So, the wide selection of wine consisted of six or eight brands set up on a 20 foot shelf behind the counter. I wanted a dry red so Bubba offered the following advice, 'My buddy Orville comes in here all the time. He likes dry wine and he always buys the California Merlot.' There you have it - if it's good enough for Orville, it's good enough for me!"

"The sagebrush, ironwood and numerous species of cactus contrasted against the perfect blue sky of Arizona were the living lyrics of 'Don't Fence Me In.' The trail looped around the mountain to provide the illusion of being miles away from civilization. The smooth surface for the most part allowed us to enjoy the stunning views instead of worrying about our footing even with the continuous ups and downs. There was very little in the way of flat sections, and why is it that on a trail such as this there are always so many more ups than downs?"

"The last photograph in this chapter expresses my feelings about our travel adventures. On our own we had a new world of destinations opened to us. That immersed us in an education obtained no other way - a world of culture, religion, history and geography. When all was said and done the scene that remained was one of two young boys standing near a river by a covered bridge. That was Gavin and Adam 20 years ago - all my life's a circle."

Read the interview with Eric Whitehead in the The Innisfil Examiner

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