Pagoda’s Journal

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  • Day One:This is the story of “Pagoda” and the “Dream”. It all began with a chance meeting of two uniquely different people on a transit bus in Tacoma Washington. They both were going to a festival in “Point Defiance Park” , where there was a celebration called the “Pagoda Festival”. She questions the man on how to get to the festivities from the last bus stop. He responded that he had “No idea, lets get lost together.” She smiled and off they went. They spent the day touring this beautiful park, she taking pictures of everything, including him. He enjoying the company and conversation. He invited her for dinner , she declined, he was disappointed. The transit bus arrives and they are on their way to their homes. He says the dumbest thing as he is getting off, “Call Me”.  Thus is the origin of the  Pagoda journey.
  • Of course he thinks that’s that. No chance she will call, he waits hoping against hope, days pass. A sudden ring from the phone startles him. It’s her she wants to meet again, perhaps take a walk in the park. Without  hesitation he agrees. They meet, he feels like a teenager on his first date. Kind of strange for a guy that’s nearing 70. A walk it was.Several miles through the woods surrounding Lake Wapato . Much talk about their individual futures mostly hers. Travel, photograph and  veterinary  medicine. His somewhat unclear, little talk or thought was given to his bucket list of sorts. Parting ways she bounding up the hill to her home, him gasping for breath and exhausted( “oh dear I need to get in shape if we are to do this again”) .
  • More walks and talks with the conversation mostly about travel. Her desire to see the beauty of this wide country , his tales of his younger days hitchhiking around the country and living in old converted  school buses (schoolies). She was rekindling a long lost part of the old man. He was seeing a chance to recapture the joys of his youth and the freedom of the road.
  • They were spending more time together than apart. Talks got turned to marriage. she 34,him 69 as the great Yogi Berra would say “who da thunk it”. It happened on the winter solstice (his idea so as not to forget the Anniversary)
  • Ideas of getting on the road were a regular topic over teas and coffee. Converting another  school bus brought a sparkle to the old mans eye. H e loved working with his hands and creating something special. She seen the possibility of her dream coming true. Search began to find the right bus  and numbers were being crunched to see if it was feasible to do yet another conversion at his age. Maybe was the best answer to that question. The search switched to looking for an older class “A” motor home in the 30 to 35 foot range. Weeks passed with them scouring the want ads and the web, and suddenly there it was, a 1994 National Dolphin. Research showed that this was a top of the line coach in its day. If it was clean and not to banged up this was going to be their new home on the road. Arrangement was made to view it and she was much nicer than they could have hoped for.A hand shake and paper work started. The Dolphin was named “Pagoda” after the first meeting of this unlikely couple. It became their home a few days later and they became part of the band of full time RVers.