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First’s Keep Coming as we Learn the RV Life

Last Sunday we began the drive from Toronto and drove to Whitby to pick up friend and fellow Parkie, Mike #3. Darlene and I purchased this 2016 Winnebago Minnie Winne for the purpose of this trip. We had just survived a very stressful week, and we all know how Parkies love stress. We are learning about RV life as we drive to Victoria. How to operate it, how to set it up for the night and pack up in when we leave. There is even RV etiquette that we are learning.

Now that we are a few days in, we are getting better at operating the RV. The stress is also dissipating. Whether it was stress from packing, or making sure we had everything, or just the pausing of our usual lives and undertaking this journey. Well maybe there is still a little stress from the setup of the electronics.

We are underway and if we are missing anything, we will have to buy it, miss it or maybe have Jim or Steve bring it when they fly out for the ride.

Our first night was spent at the Parry Sound KOA. The mosquitoes greeted us and we enjoyed a quiet night listening to the croaking frogs and the trains rumble by on the nearby rails.

Our second day of travel led us to Sault Ste Marie. On this night we experienced our first night of Boondocking or the actual term was Wallydocking as we spent the night in a Sault Ste Marie Walmart Parking Lot. Many Walmarts support the RV community and allow this. As luck would have it, our friend Helen was in town for work. Helen has been very helpful in coaching Darlene about driving a bigger vehicle as well as maintenance and upkeep suggestions. Helen treated us to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant called, Giovani’s. Mel, our server, was very friendly and was very encouraging when she found out why we were travelling.

Having taken advantage of all that Walmart parking lot had to offer we pushed on to Thunder Bay. This was our longest driving day to date. We were fortunate to have my cousin (well my dad’s cousin) Tom and his wife Marg put us up in their spacious driveway. It was nice to catch up.

We had a bit of a later start yesterday and only traveled as far as Dryden and a little RV campsite called Nature’s Inn RV Park and Marina. We got a close up look at two bald eagles that came to eat fish scraps at a spot where fishermen toss the waste of the fish they clean.

Thursday found us leaving Ontario and on to Manitoba. The terrain is quickly becoming less hilly. We found a nice little place called Keeshkeemaquah Campground & RV Park. We did not have a reservation and the office was closed. A maintenance guy came by, pointed on a map to go take a spot in that area and come pay in the morning. This morning as we left, the office was still closed but the same friendly gentleman was able to open the office and take payment.  

Today we are heading for Saskatchewan, one of only 2 provinces I have never been to. It won’t be a long drive today. Darlene has some office business to attend to and we are planning to do laundry and some grocery shopping.

I want to take a moment and recall what Marjorie, of our friends Marjorie and Don originally from Saskatchewan and keepers of our club house, said, “It’s windy on the prairies.” Now that I am here and watched with admiration the skill of both Darlene and Mike #3 as they drove/sailed along the Trans Canada, I understand that it be windy. The RV was a rockin’. In fact it still is and we are parked in a nice campsite at Peanut Hills Campground at Moosejaw. Might be some seasickness tonight 😊

We are being well received by the people that we meet And we look forward to meeting many more.

Stay tuned to up coming blogs: Parkinson’s and the RV Life and Mosquitoes, why do they get under my skin?

3 Responses

  1. Thanks for the update! Sounds like an amazing trip already… Even before the riding starts.
    We’ll be following the journey from way over here in the UK and spreading the word.
    Safe travels and enjoy every day of the adventure!

    Mike#3’s cousins in Bath

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Why We Are Doing it

You have probably heard of Parkinson’s Disease. You may even know people who suffer from it.  Get used to it, as Parkinson’s Disease is the world’s fastest growing neurological condition, set to double in number by 2040.

Parkinson’s Disease occurs when the brain’s dopamine-producing cells die prematurely. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter necessary for many functions of the brain and body, including muscular control, and its loss affects all forms of movement and balance, as well as non-motor functions such as memory, concentration and motivation.  Think of dopamine as the electricity in an electric car: without it, the lights dim and the wheels stop spinning.

There is currently no cure, no bio-markers to aid detection, and little is known about how it is triggered, except that Canadians are disproportionately afflicted

Most people living with Parkinson’s reduce or even discontinue regular intensive physical activity after their Parkinson’s diagnosis.  Why?  Their actual skills and abilities do not suddenly evaporate on the date of their diagnosis, though their mental fortitude often does.  As a result, many abandon the very restorative health practices, such as regular exercise, when they are needed the most.  For people with Parkinson’s, intensive exercise can boost energy, sharpen the mind, elevate spirits and keep the body mobile.  Studies indicate that intense exercise can help train the Parkinson’s afflicted brain to use dopamine more efficiently and be able to do more with less.

Let’s use the dopamine we have to build the lives we want.

What are We Doing

Canada is a big country.  It is home to over 100,000 people living with Parkinson’s disease, 9 in 10 of which suffer in silence, isolation, or without the support of a knowledgeable organization or community.  Starting in June 2022, we aim to cross our big country by bicycle to meet as many of these people as possible to personally deliver this message: get moving to stay moving.  

We start In Victoria, British Columbia and ride east through every Canadian province, and hundreds of cities and towns along the way.  Our route is approximately 8,000 km, and we expect to average 125 km a day, six days a week for approximately three months.  Our Spinning Wheels Tour team will include two riders with Parkinson’s Disease, as well as two ride-along supporters to keep things moving.  Along the way, we will be meeting with people whose lives are touched by Parkinson’s, and encourage them to get moving with us, get engaged in support communities, and to set up their own group athletics.

We are not athletes, just people with the resolve to do what it takes to live well with this disease, and to encourage others..  

Along the way, we hope to hear these words, “If they can do it, I can too.”