Friends and family who have inspired us

And special people we have met while travelling

As jubilados (Spanish for retirees) we value relationships, old and new

Watching the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races last week reminded me of Roger Jarvis, past president of “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.”

I was thirty-one years old, had never made a travel reservation and been outside the country by air only once when Roger hired me to work for him at Jarvis Travel. Besides being a great boss, always positive, full of fun and open to new ideas, he is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met.


A day after watching those thoroughbreds, Mike sent us a note: “This was in the Herald last week. I thought you probably knew but decided to send it just in case.

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“Everybody digs Bill Frisell,” writes Philip Watson in the first biography of one of today’s most innovative and influential musicians, Beautiful Dreamer: The Guitarist Who Changed The Sound of American Music. Since 1982 when Bill made his first recording, people from all over the world have been listening to his music (more than 500,000 a month—just on Spotify) and attending his concerts. Coincidentally, also since 1982 when the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival first began, people from all over the world have been coming to Washington state to see this flower show. The instant I read that Bill would be playing at Domitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle I booked us a table. Our first holiday crossing a border in two years. The day of the event was glorious, the warmest and sunniest this year. At Magellan’s suggestion, we stopped at RoozenGaarde, the largest display of tulips, daffodils and irises in the country—attracting more than 500,000 people during the month-long festival.

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Unique and mysterious, Canyon de Chelly National Monument stands out from any other site we visited in the southwestern US. Largely spread out in broad fertile valleys below thousand-foot canyon walls, it’s been inhabited continuously for 3,500 years, longer than anywhere on the Colorado Plateau, today by the Diné of the Navajo Nation. It was surveyed by one of the world’s most famous couples—can you guess who? Its treasures were discovered by another power couple, their success credited almost entirely to him—but his wife’s incredible contributions (and places visitors aren’t allowed to see in Canyon de Chelly) will be brought to light in the film Canyon del Muerto to be released this year.

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Both sets of my maternal great-grandparents came from Ukraine. Curious to find out which region they’d lived in, Magellan began searching “Danchuk Wakaw Saskatchewan”. The result: a surprising chain of intertwined stories and fresh discoveries.

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“In our family there is a story that repeats itself again and again,” Norway’s Prince Haakon said in a speech at the palace garden. “Let me use myself as an example. I arrive at a mountain cabin, let’s say one of the public DNT cabins, in the middle of nowhere, quite proud of myself for managing such a big trek, and I am greeted by cheerful hosts who say, ‘It’s so lovely to see you! Your mother was here a month ago.’”

His mother, HM Queen Sonja, is so renowned for her love of hiking that the Norwegian Trekking Association, (the DNT) made her an honourary member. Her son gave the above speech at the unveiling of a statue of Queen Sonja on her 80th birthday.

After hiking HM Queen Sonja’s Panoramatur Trail (The Queen’s Panoramic Hiking Trail, also called Dronningstien—in Norwegian Dronning means Queen), we can see why it is one of her favourite hikes and  bears her royal name.

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“When did I start calling Kerry Magellan?”

Well, on the original story this morning I (falsely) remembered that perhaps the moniker had sprung soon after I read this blurb and noted it in my diary.

You can take it with you

Ferdinand Magellan. 1519. Destination: Spice Islands. 5 ships, 277 sailors, 213,800 pounds of biscuits, 72,000 pounds of salted beef, 10,080 pounds of chickpeas, 500 pounds of gunpowder, lead shot, cannon balls of iron and stone, 100 corselets with breastplates and helmets, 4,300 arrows, 60 crossbows, 120 skeins of wire for bows, 50 arquebuses, 1 set of astrological predictions of a successful voyage. Lapham’s Quarterly, Volume II Number 3, Summer 2009.

It turns out that was wrong—and the true story, which Lynn reminded us of, began sooner and is much better. Like the story of Magellan the discoverer, history is in constant revision!

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