Saturday, February 23, 2013

My MOM would have been 90 years old today.

Happy Birthday Mom
She passed away when she was only 57, never getting to meet or know my three grandchildren, or see me get healthy again, so much she has missed.  It's a sad thing.  But she also never wanted to get old... and most certainly would not have reached 90 years of age gracefully.  RIP Mom.
On to happier things.  This is the tour bus I'm training on.  Today I drove it four miles, learning basic turning, backing, etc.

I'll get one of these little buses when I successfully complete my training.  It will, of course, go to Will and Zoey.
Is this a cool idea or what, the windows are the White Board for the training sessions.

There are two of the buses here in Phoenix for the training.

Meet Sandy, my trainer.  Very interesting lady.

White board on the driver's side of the bus. 

Sandy, setting up my next obstacle course. 
I had to zig and zag a 40' bus between those cones which were set for 41'. 
Only killed a couple of cones.

Over across the fence under the tree are a couple of those big jackrabbits. 
We also saw a hawk circling overhead hoping for a bit of lunch I guess.
And there is ol' SwankieWheels behind another set of swankie wheels.
Today (2/23/2013) I drove it 4 miles.

North to Alaska... (sing along with me..)

Way up north, (North To Alaska.)
Way up north, (North To Alaska.)
North to Alaska,
They're goin' North, the rush is on.
North to Alaska,
They're goin' North, the rush is on.

And I'm taking my husband's ashes with me, so he can kayak my 49th state with me, and then I will scatter them around the town where he was born, on a waterway near the town.  The circle will be complete.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Will I ever get my CDL Permit???

A neat place in Quartzsite, AZ
Cecilia's Garden

There are three parts to the CDL test that I have to pass:  1) General Knowledge 2) Passenger Endorsement and 3) Air Brake Endorsement.  

Darn it. Now I have passed the Passenger Endorsement and the Air Brakes Endorsement, but still got less than 80% (I got 76%) on the 3rd try of General Knowledge Test.  I only improve by 2% each time I test.  What's up with that???

I now have to pay another $35 on 2/20... and retake the General Knowledge Test. If I don't pass this time, I'm a gonna shoot myself.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Commercial Driver's License in progress...

Getting the Storage Unit emptied and Trailer Loaded Again.

I have made it to Phoenix and have begun the process of getting my Commercial Driver's License for the job in Alaska.  I have passed my background check, physical, drug screen, and had my first try at passing the CDL test at DMV.  Scored only 72% after one day of studying.  Need an 80% to pass.  Had the first day of classes/orientation with staff from Alaska, got to ride on the bus (40' long) and meet others in the training class.  Needless to say, I am getting excited about the prospect of spending the summer in Alaska.


New Ladder Rack on Outside of Trailer (bef and aft)
(note the patch in front of the top of ladder... where I rammed a branch through the side of the trailer)

I have just $40 left in the bank (cost $25 for the CDL, $10 for the Passenger endorsement, and $10 to get SD drivers license replaced with AZ drivers license and nearly $100 in gas from Quartzsite and learning my way around Phoenix).  Nine more days until I have more money - good to have food and water on board.


Whoops!!!  That nose of the kayak was suppose to fit in that shelf.  I had to cut a notch out of the lower shelf, in order to get the kayak into the trailer. Then I had to prop up the back end.  (but wait, I think I put it in backwards... turned around, I think it will fit????  When I catch up with the trailer again (left it in Quartzsite), I'll try that!)  (Yes, sometimes I'm slow!)

Finally, everything I own is once again sitting on wheels.
I'm going to study hard and hope to retest on Tuesday and then begin working on the sketching commissions that I've received.  I sure could use some more art commissions.  See samples of my work at .

I have been asked to do a sketch of my rig with me in the sketch.  I will be creating that after I catch up on earlier commissions received.  Then I will be having numbered reproductions made, limited number of 100.  Number 3 has already been sold.  These will be sent to anyone donating a minimum of $20 to the Alaska Ferry Fund.

Thank you all for your continued encouragement and support.

Who is Swankie?

My photo
Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.