Wednesday morning, Sept 4th! We come to the end of a most memorable 60-day tour with 24 other couples. Our wagon masters, Ben & Nancy (above at breakfast they prepared) provided each of us all the TLC & attention and more that one could possibly imagine. They were our leaders and friends and members of our tour. They stated more than once, that this was "your tour". But I think I speak for most of the other "paying" members when I say that they were along for the tour as one of us. They were just fantastic. And because we were the first tour they led to Alaska, we felt a little special. They both were compassionate and caring and always willing to jump in & help anyone who needed it. I sincerely hope that their future holds many more tours and wish them safe travels.
At the Caramel Inn the evening before we had another wagon master-provided dinner of baked chicken & steak. Yummy! With a cash bar available, a lot of us imbibed to get our attitudes focused for the last evening together as a tour group. Above, Don & Becky and Steve & Gloria. Below, Jay & Joan and Cliff.
Above, Cliff & Gloria, admittedly one of our favorite couples during our time on the tour. Below, Dennis & Carol, who had numerous problems with their Phaeton. They were absent from the group while awaiting repairs on more than one occasion. :-( But they did manage to be there for the finish.
Above, Don & Terri, John & Monica (also one of our favorites). They too had coach problems in Whitehorse I believe, and were with another tour group at the time, but because repairs to their coach took so long, they joined us at Tok and were with us till the end. Evie has her back to the camera. Below, Harold & Sue and Harry I think...sorry, just can't remember everyone, and two unaccompanied glasses of red...:-)
Jay & Joan, again some of our favorite friends and they had a very cute dog, Lacy. And below, an emotional Ben & Nancy. Ben is reading off the stats of miles, meals, modes of transport etc during the tour.
And Sammy! Our poet-laureate delivering her final gem. Her poem included quips about each couple on the tour. Great job Sammy. I'm sure she got good coaching from Chuckles, her husband of 49+ years. They live in the villages, and we will be seeing them a lot next spring while we winter nearby. Ben, struggling thru the stats & thank you message to the group.
Steve, Nancy, Joan, Jay, Gloria & Del, before breakfast. Below, a board in front of the rec hall depicting much of the routes we traveled.
Above, folks enjoying the last moments of our tour at breakfast. Below, George, Lorraine, Susan.
Above, Steve, Pat & Jim Below, Joan, Jay, Cliff, Nick, Gloria (back) & Nancy...
Above, Gloria (drinking coffee, her seventh cup :-)), Evie, Cliff..below, Cora & Ray...
Happy faces, sad faces...both were there at breakfast.
Hugs & good-byes were the order of the morning, as we all were thinking: Where too from here? All points south of course, as most of us have over 500 miles to the lower 48.
Happy, the Lab, Evie & Del, Cliff and Dennis.
After breakfast, some last minute hugs & handshakes and then attention to the coaches, as last minute dumps & water from & to the tanks. And now we reach the end...RVing Beach Bums have enjoyed the ride of our lifetimes. A ride we'll never forget of course, but more importantly the friendships and people we met as shared a part of our lives with them. I hope our blogs have captured some of those memories and friendships we all seemed to share with one another. We wish each of you safe travels and happy explorations on the roads of life.
RVing Beach Bums will continue our journey from here thru the Canadian Rockies via the Jasper & Banff National Parks, and hope to stop along the "backtracks" to Coeur d' Allene and share a few more pics in our blogs back home to Virginia some time in October. So, hang on, as we ride on down the road. From Missoula, MT, Tuesday, Sept 10.