Well, here we go. Hopefully this doesn't get too long. The "not-so-epic" road trip began at 4 AM on Friday, June 2nd. I was staying at my mother-in-law's place, which is about 15 minutes from the Calgary airport. A taxi was wanting outside, and the grumpy driver felt it necessary to share his opinion on just about every topic with me. Luckily it was short drive. After an hour and a half of BS checking in and clearing customs, I boarded the plane. Once in the air, I figured I'd try to get some sleep. It was not meant to be. A group of giggly girls a few rows up kept me awake, and they were far too cute to yell at. I think I managed to sleep for about 20 minutes. The 3 hours passed rather quickly, and before I knew it, the plane touched down in lovely San Francisco. Some of you may have read that Matt(mofugly13) was hoping to meet up with me there. Matt just happens to work as an electrician at SFA. So, as I entered the terminal, I was on the lookout for him. I'd seen pictures of him, so I kinda knew who I was looking for. Well, Matt wasn't there. I hung out for a few minutes, and all of a sudden I noticed this dude strolling through the terminal, and he bore an uncanny resemblance to Matt, except he was about a foot taller than I pictured, and was sporting a bad azz biker goatee deal. I asked if he was Matt, he said "Paul?", and after a quick handshake, we went for a coffee. I had almost an hour to kill before I left for Redding, after all. Well, we sat down and chatted about lots of things, when I suddenly realized that 45 minutes had passed. We started heading back to the terminal, and was told that I had 90 seconds to get on the plane before they locked the gate. We still hadn't got a pic of our meeting yet, so I quickly grabbed my camera, passed it to a United agent, and we posed. Matt will remember that the flash didn't go off on the camera- that's because I had the dumb thing set on video........ So here's a still taken from a short vid of me and mofugly13. Sorry for the poor quality- So off I went to Redding, in a scary little 40 seater. The sucker was so loud that I needed earplugs!!! It was short 55 minute flight. We landed and I walked out of the terminal to be greeted by Cam and his fancy little yellow SUV. After a quick cigar(and a lecture from Cam about the evils of smoking), we headed into Redding so I could grab a cell phone and a couple of subs. We proceeded to his lovely acreage, where I finally saw the lovely V3500 for the first time. After almost two hours of inspecting it and learning about the rig, I was on my way. I think I should mention at this point that Cam went above and beyond the call of duty every step of the way during this transaction. He spent hours with me on the phone, and made sure that any paperwork I needed was sent my way. To top it all off, Cam set me up with the most outstanding road trip package I've ever seen- not only did it include the usual belts, fluids, bulbs, and fuses, but the crazy bastard had also provided me with the basic tools I would need to attempt a minor roadside repair. On top of all that, he went out and bought me a dozen bottles of water, a half dozen bottles of OJ, a couple packs of crackers and trail mix, an entire bag of personal hygiene items, and, believe it or not, a sleeping bag. I'm not even going to go into detail about the value of the parts he loaded into the back for me. Thanks again, Cam. Guys like you are one in a million. Anyhow, enough rambling. Here's a pic of me just about ready to head north of the I5 outside of Redding- And so the journey began. As I drove into the mountains of Northern California, I soon realized that the ol' 454 Cam had installed in the truck was up to the task at hand. I kept the speed at about 58 MPH, and before I knew it, I was crossing into Oregon. I had to stop for gas in Cottage Grove, Oregon, where a drunk old gas station attendant felt the need to tell me the entire story why every gas station is full serve. Once I was back on the I5, the road got really flat, really straight, and really boring. I was just about asleep behind the wheel when I hit Portland, and then I was WIDE AWAKE. For those who don't know, the I5 going north through Portland is a crazy combination of roads, bridges, overpasses, and tunnels. I was REALLY glad to see the turnoff to chevyfume's house. I pulled into his driveway a few seconds later, and it was kind of funny. We've never met, but have been members here since the very beginning, and it was like "Hey, brother!!", "Hey, dood", without any hint of awkwardness. It probably helped that I was tired and he was already pissed!!! What's he like? Let's just say he's everything you've thought, and more. The crazy SOB had even gone out and bought the ingredients to make White Russians!!! So after I was settled in, we sat down, had a bonfire in his backyard, and shot the ****. It was great to just chill out and chat after a long day of driving. Before I hit the sack, we had one last drink and took a few pics. Here's my favorite- The next morning, Rob's rooster decided I should wake up early. The little focker wouldn't shut up, and just as I fell asleep again, fumes' son ran in to wake me up, a few minutes earlier than promised. But all was good, because I had another long day ahead of me. After a quick round of goodbyes and a couple more pics(which most of you have seen), I hit the road and headed east on the I84 along the mighty Columbia river. I headed north at Hermiston, through the Tri-Cities and took the second most boring highway in the world to Spokane. Just outside of Spokane, I entered Idaho, and kept on heading north towards the border. A couple of hours later, I was finally there. Now, it's a well-kept secret that a CK5er just happens to work at the border crossing I was using to enter back into Canada. In fact, FarmerTed went so far as to change his shift to make sure he was there when I left the US. Talk about going out of your way to help one of the Brotherhood. As soon as I pulled up, he was out the door and once again, it was like I was meeting a guy I'd know for years. We looked over truck, and talked about life in general, when all of a sudden things turned ugly. I even have the pictures to prove that the boys in Customs don't fock around!!!! It's not obvious at first glance, but yes, those are REAL handcuffs........ Thanks for your help, Ted. It sure was nice knowing that at least the US side of the border corssing would go smoothly. My offer stands, brother. I expect you to take me up on it someday...... After breezing through the Canadian side, and signing my life away, I was finally back in Canuckistan. I made it to my property that night. After a long sleep, and a few strong cups of coffee, I got back in the truck for the last time. Almost exactly 60 hours after I flew out of the Calgary airport, I pulled into Canmore, with "Paradise City" blaring away in the background. That's is all. Sorry about the long post, lads. I hope at least a few of you get to actually read the whole thing.