Europe on a Shoestring with a Friend's Car
In early summer of '85, Gail took a quick
trip to the states. During her absence, each Denvy and Gail wrote a letter
to the other. The letters crossed in the mail but somehow offered up the
suggestion of traveling to Europe. The plans were laid and in late March
1986, Gail and Denvy flew over the North Pole into London. After a couple
days exploring the traditional tourist sites, they rented a car in London
and on the "wrong side" of the car and street toured southern
A week later they ferried to France, took
the train to Frankfurt and were greeted by military friends whom they
had known while living in Anchorage. Another couple, also friends from
Anchorage, lived in a small village near
another military base where she worked. They borrowed the couple's car
and house while the couple visited Poland through a pre-arranged tour.
They saw the typical southern Germany sites, with a brush through Austria
and Switzerland. They watched for new ideas for wooden toys and also bought
some German made Teddy bears for the shop back home.
Back in Trapper Creek, the kids were at
home with a young teacher who had just had a baby and appreciated living
in the house with running water. However, from the kids' point of view,
this was one of the worse things that Gail and Denvy could have done;
leaving them a home with someone else while dad and mom toured Europe.
It's something they have never forgotten. Gail and Denvy on the other
hand thought it was the trip of a lifetime, just the two of them eating
cheese, sausage and fresh bread in a park in Germany.
It seemed like the only appropriate thing
to do was to consider another trip to Hawaii. After all, Denvy had put
a stack in the snowbank by the house so they could record the depth of
the snow as it melted. Unfortunately the weather was subzero at times
and the snow never did any melting.