Sunday, January 20, 2008

Super Sunday: Thank you, Bob

On Sundays I write about one of the joys of full-timing

This week I am so grateful that we had the opportunity to take the Copper Canyon Piggyback RV train. Back in October of 2006, we had an amazing adventure loading Odyssey onto the train and taking four days to slowly wind through the canyon while loaded on a flatcar.

I found out several days ago that the Mexican government has prohibited all further RV flatcar trains through Copper Canyon, due to safety concerns. According to Family Motor Coaching Magazine,
"New restrictions from the Mexican government have led caravan companies to rearrange their excursions through Mexico's Copper Canyon, as piggyback train trips through the canyon are no longer available."
The Piggyback train was only available through professional RV caravan tour companies. An independent RV could not just drive up to the train and board. The trains only ran from approximately October through March, and each train held a maximum of 24 rigs.

At the time we booked our caravan in 2005, the waiting list was a year long, and some people had to wait two seasons.

When our departure date approached, my 65-year old stepfather, Bob Tousey, was very, very ill. He was in the final stages of Multiple Myeloma, a terrible blood and bone cancer. We knew in the fall of 2006 that he did not have much time left. Sean and I struggled with whether leaving the country was a wise decision, given Bob's failing health.

In September, 2006, I visited Bob and told him how conflicted we were about the trip. He urged me to go. One of our most faithful blog readers, he wanted to read about the trip. I pressed him again, was he sure it was okay for us to go?

"It's the trip of a lifetime," he said.

"Bob, I'm only 43! I have a lot of lifetime left," I told him.

"That's what I thought, too," Bob said, sadly. "You should go."

So we went. And when Bob entered hospice care while we were gone, we felt awful. But we kept blogging and videoing our adventure so that he could share it. My mother printed out the blog posts and took them to hospice. She read them to Bob, and I hope he really did vicariously enjoy the trip.

The day we re-entered the U.S., my Mom called to say that Bob had taken a turn for the worse, and we rushed up to see him one last time. He slipped away about 24 hours after we returned.

Bob was right, it was the trip of a lifetime. It never occurred to me that it wasn't my lifetime that was ending, but the lifetime of the train itself. And while it was so hard to leave Bob behind, it was a blessing that to have his permission to go. I hope that somewhere, somehow, he knows how grateful we are for that permission.

Thank you, Bob.

The RV piggyback train that is no more:

1 comment:

Share your comments on this post! We currently allow anyone to comment without registering. If you choose to use the "anonymous" option, please add your name or nickname to the bottom of your comment, within the main comment box. Getting feedback signed simply "anonymous" is kind of like having strangers shout things at us on the street: a bit disconcerting. Thanks!