A Winter "Escape" From Brandon to the U.S.A. (1997)

I left Brandon on January 25th 1997 in an effort to avoid what was evidently going to prove a very harsh winter. It was already cold with low temperatures, but I expected it to become a lot colder during the next two to three months.

My older son Gordon, who lived in California, urged me to come over so off I started, checking in at the International Inn in Winnipeg, so as to catch the early morning flight at 6.45 a.m. After checking in and settling comfortably aboard, the authorities decided to have the wings of the plane de-iced. This took two hours and, as a result, I lost my connection for Reno, which was the airport nearest to my son's house in Susanville, California.

Quite a lot of time was spent trying to make alternative contacts to get me on my way, but it was finally decided to put me up in Minneapolis, at the Thunderbird Hotel and proceed the following day on to Reno. The airline was quite decent about it, paying all my expenses, hotel room, meals, telephone calls, taxi etc., so as not to inconvenience anyone.

The hotel was rather an elegant place, and displayed a wonderful arrangement of Indian artefacts. I caught the next morning's plane to Reno, and arrived safely there, where I was collected and driven to Gordon's home about seventy-five miles away. There was quite a bit of snow in his driveway, and the general approach to his house was a bit mushy. But I was certainly impressed with the house, and it certainly has a lot of possibilities.

This new house of Gordon's is located, as I said, about 75 miles from the Reno airport, and here is a rough idea of the area.  Standish is the name of the area, which is on the fringe of Susanville, a small town in north-eastern California. Its location is really a plateau or tableland, surrounded by mountains, many of which are 7.5 thousand feet high. This home is at an elevation of 4.5 thousand feet, and the area of the plateau which the mountains enclose, has a diameter of approximately 20 miles. As a result, whichever way you look, mountains are all around you. There is a lot of land which goes with the home, and this is all part of the property.

The nearest home is roughly one mile away, and the community is mainly a farming one. However, most of the action here revolves around the prison where Gordon works as one of a team of five doctors who take care of the prisoners here. 

As explained before, his home is a very pleasant one with excellent appointments and very well laid out. Its isolation, however, is the only drawback so far as I am concerned. But of course, I am a city oriented person, and both Gordon and Arna enjoy the country atmosphere.

After about one month of this lifestyle, however, I really got bored, and decided to return to Canada. I had travelled on a "Senior Coupon" ticket and that was somewhat cheaper than the usual fare.

On my return trip, as usual, we changed planes at Minneapolis, and again at this point I met with some disappointment. The weather was lousy and there was a lot of ice on the plane's wings, so it had to be "de-iced". Since there were about 20 planes ahead of us which needed the same treatment, we just had to wait our turn and as a result, I arrived several hours late in Winnipeg.

Fortunately, Marsha and Aubrey were there to welcome me back, and we got home in Brandon around midnight. This was sometime around the middle of March 1997.

No comments:

Post a Comment