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Revised: Nov 8, 2017

9,000 Mile Trip

Cousins Tour 2014


Cousins Tour 2014 was such a big trip, it deserves it's own web page.
The goal was to research all the locations Roy has discovered over the course of this past ten years, regarding his family, meet as many cousins, and visit as many graves, as possible, and meet a deadline arrival at Toronto airport.

My daily Travel Blog here at, done in 2014, has day by day entries of the journey, along with photos (sorry, during moving of site, photo enlarge feature messed up). Slideshows will be added here.

Below is a condensed version of the trip, and new maps.

MAY 17 The Journey Begins - Roy sold his townhouse in a week (listing), escrow 10 days, bought GMC 4x4 and Lance Camper (22 ft long rig), and left California for good!
Map Route 01

MAY 21 San Jose Base Camp - Jack-ass seller did not supply smog. 50 to 30 amp plug melded together, stuck in Redwood City. Day delay replacing plug from camper to bed. Detained and handcuffed by police at Park by Marsh Road. Was just resting.
Mt. Shasta

MAY 22
- Catification done to back of cab. Headed south to Camping World (Morgan Hill). Waste of time. Boondocking at Walmart. Looks like an RV Park.

May 25 Portland – visited graves of Great aunt Elizabeth TAYLOR Carpenter, Carrie and George B. Pratt, and Smith G. Lapham on floor 3. Been boondocking north and stayed at a Motel6.

May 26 Seattle or Bust - Stayed at the Woodland RV Park (New Window) last night 25th. Onwards to Seattle. Had to by-pass PT. Roberts.

May 27 Missed the Boat - departed for Port Angeles. Took last ferrie out to Vancouver Island
.Map Route 02
View Slideshow Album May 17 - May 27

May 28 Victoria, BC
- Made it on to the ferrie to Victoria. Again the police (Customs) did all but strip search me! Lake Shawnigan, visited upper place Sidney, then lake, on to Naonami (sp) to take ferrie to Vancouver

May 29 1AM Vancouver
- Using RV stealth in the rain, drove though Vancouver during middle of the night, pulled over behind a tire store, 3 semi trucks and 2 RV'S slept, so I caught 2-4 hrs sleep. Pay respect to Christopherson Road. Abbotsford, visited cousin Brian and Sandra. Lost in Calgary.

May 30 Kelowna, BC
- Visit cousin Miriam and Ken Westereng. Copied Veiga Dawes album, and copied scans to Miriam's laptop. Took hrs, yet they now have hi res copies.
Map Route 03

May 31 Calgary or Bust
- Had breakfast with Miriam and Ken. Charlie rested in a rm, rather than bounce all day in the truck. He sleeps the whole way, and not a single cry. Drove through Banff this evening, just as my GM, Lorne, my dad, and Caroline once did. Camped there below mountain. Without a doubt, going to Banff was a highlight of this leg of the journey.

June 1 Baldur, MB or Bust - Boondocking with truckers at Moose Jaw (Google Map) as it is midnight June 2nd. No rest stops.

June 2 Manitoba
- Up at 5:30 am, crossed providence line into Manitoba. Passed through Brandon (did not realize cousin Brad was far west), Passed through Glenboro (Pauline/moms town), photo op with Sara the Camel, Glenboro Cemetery - Isabella TAYLOR Badger's grave. Daughter of William Stewart Taylor. Missed Roberta Lee's grave. (walked almost entire cemetery looking for Roberta Lee's grave, with 30 mosquitoes getting me), visited with cousins Pat Deasley, her cats, and Korenna Thorunson in Baldur. Then stopped by the Baldur Store, then visited with Alan and Belinda Skardal, Baldur. Boondocked outside as it was great weather, checked out his new man cave digs. Talked about Roberta Lee Einarson, Belinda knew her.

June 3 Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Visited with Cousins Dorothy, and Erla. 6pm, stayed at RV camp south of Winnipeg. Moving fast!

June 4 Gimli (New Iceland)
- Tried to visit cousin Lilja Kernested but no PH, nor WiFi at coffee Shop. Went to beach and library.
Have a 26 hr drive to Toronto, will hit MN on way back. Driving through Selkirk, had New York steak at Smittys, Mike and my haunt in 2013. Midnight stopped at rest stop. Entered Camper, light on...hundreds of flying bugs. Lights & alarm went off blinding car parked in front trying to sleep. So embarassed, drove and slept between long haulers. Killed half bugs, slept in cab with mosquitoes. 3:30AM left, drove with windows open, in hard rain, to suck out blood-suckers.

June 5 Out of Bug Hell
- Made it to Ontario about 5 am. Feist Lake where the last spike laid, as my GGF I am named after worked on Trans-Continental RR.

June 6 Michigan to Guelph, Ont - Had a great nights sleep over looking Alona Bay. Crossed border into Michigan, crossed Flint. Visiting Vern Austman and his wife, Fran in Guelph, as my aunt in London Ontario was away. New PH, scrambling to resurrect my Contacts.

June 7 Ontario, Canada - Breakfast with the Austmans. We share the Oddstad/Stoneson genealogy. Charlie lounged in the sun room. Dropped Charlie off at Cat Cottages for 2 weeks. Best in the east. On to London, Ontario, visit my Aunt Em and uncle Hank, cousin Mark and his wife Linda, Florence and her family.
Map Route 04

June 8 Iceland or Bust
- Parked truck camper at Toronto Park and fly, met cousin Mike Christopherson at Iceland Air terminal. Had rough Itinerary leading up to this 23rd day in the trip. Had I been delayed, would have missed flight. Luck was my lady tonight!

June 9 Iceland -The Eagles have landed - Took bus into Reykjavik. Found Susie Briems house. Dau. Of William Stewart Taylor. Visited Briems graves.

June 10 Golden Circle Tour - Mike's agent secured a 4 or 5 stop bus tour.

June 11 Sky's the Limit - 5 mile walk thru Reykjavik (Smokey Bay). Visit a statue of our 29th paternal great grand pappy Ingólfr Arnarson. Paternal only lineage! No deviation via marriages. Male to male! Iceland museum, observation deck of the church behind Leifur Eiríksson statue, best Fish n Chips.
Map Route 05

June 12 Akureyri or Bust
- Saga Museum. Puddle jumper to Akureyri after 1:30. Guest house at Myvatn.

June 13 Húsavík,Iceland - Took mini bus to Húsavík. Hit the Icelandic pastry. Husavik Museum and Library, pondered next move, walked the Husavik cemetery, clamored over the breakers to view the open seas.

June 14 Whales, Sails and Puffins, oh my - Sailed on schooner ship to whale watch, Niles the guide yelping Mickie whales (running joke), visit cemetery at midnight, lunch at Gamla Bakur, hiked few miles in from Húsavík (House Bay) pronounced Hoosavik. Cousin Kristin in England.

June 15 Taxi to Ytri-Neslönd - Off to Mývatn to visit our Great Great Grandparent and GGF's homestead at Ytri-Neslönd, past Mt. Askja, volcano, dinner at Hotel Reynihlíð. Learned how bad fly season was.

June 16 Deal with the Devil - Roy makes crazy suggestion to mountain bike around Lake Myvatn (pronounced Me-Vah). My bargain was for cousin Mike Christopherson to ride a horse (Mike had bad experience once), and I'll sail on the ship looking for whales (Dad got me very seasick under GG Bridge once). Ironically, it was smooth as glass in the harbor that day. On arriving at Lake Mvatn, we hop on Icelandic horses. Blk flies tear at Mikes legs. Lunch at Hotel Gígur. OMG its 45-46 km, about 26 miles around the lake. We only stopped twice on left side. Recommend using stables in Husavik.

June 17 Personal Tour Sigurgiers Bird Museum & Husavik - In Reynihlíð. Arctic Explorer tour around Lake Mvatn. Kristófer, Kristveig and Sigurdur's father were born north in the parish E….. Owner of Sigurgiers Bird Museum, Stefanna's gggf bought the farm.

June 18th Visit with Cousin Kristin and Julius - cousin Dorothy Tygart connected us up. At guest house in Reynihlíð, Iceland. Julius kindly drove us to Húsavík. Met her brother Porgrimur who owns Heidabaer. Met their familes. They are Sigurdur's sister's lineage. Stayed at our cousins house.

June 19 – Off to Akureyri - Stop by lakes at Húsavík. Breakfast with Kristin, Julius, Mike and myself, visited church, Godafoss falls, rented car at Aukureyri airport, unannounced visit with Kristjan Sveinsson on the Christopherson side, and his wife Gigja ((Einarson side). Ticketed, Mike drove to Hofsos for the Emmigration center. Dinner: Solvik restaurant.

June 20th Visit with Cousin Jóhanna Skúladóttir & family - Slow pace at Guest House, Sunnuberg in Hofsos. Pannukakur breakfast. Mike gets GM Vala née Pordarsson lineage, while Roy visits Silent Flashes exhibit. Off to Hólar, Iceland, Borgarnes, and Reykjavik. Cousin Johanna and family (GM Ingjborg née Einarsdottir Stoneson (Thorsteinsson) invited us for dinner. Made it to Holiday Inn in Reykjavik.

June 21 Day Before - Walked main shopping street, wharf, and planned a Tattoo gag. Harbor, soccer game at the hotel bar. Funniest thing (not really, yeah really) was Mike catching his Hofsos lineage papers on fire. Roy watches some Twilight vampire movie (sucked), as Mike got some needed rest due to legs swelling (Damn Black Flies).
Map Route 06

June 22 Toronto or Bust
- Lazy day, breakfast at the Holiday Inn, bags packed. [Posted Aukureyri, yet we were in Reykjavik. Long drive to Keflak airport. Fine dinner at the Hilton Inn hotel.

June 23 Layover in Toronto - Up 22 hours due to time change from Reykjavik to Toronto. Great dinner and needed sleep.

Tue June 24 Parting Ways - Mike passes on Ontario trip. For Roy, slow trip back west in the truck camper, with Charlie, Persian-Maine Coon known as The Norwegian trekking Cat. Had to by-pass cousins in Calif, Vancouver, Pt. Roberts, WA, west Ontario, and Nonni at Swan River in order to make the Toronto flight out. Muddy KOA Toronto West campsite.
Map Route 07

June 25 Breaking Charlie out of Jail
- Mike flies back home. Roy broke Charlie out of Cat Cottages in Guelph (E of Toronto), Beautiful Golden eagle on prey by lake. Shopped at Mustang (WII Spitfire type) store. Camped at Country Gardens (near London ONT).

June 26 London, Ontario - Checked out the Koi at Country Gardens RV Park. 2:15pm met Aunt Em and Uncle Hank in London. Listened to cousin Mark conduct the New Horizons Band in Stratford (town on my list of places to live, Too flat and I never attend plays.

June 27 London - Serviced truck at GMC dealer, Scanned about 500-1,000 photos/pages compiled by my aunt Em on the Einarson, Sigvaldson, and Arason family, and local market downtown to hear the New Horizon Band.

June 28 - Scanning photos and much needed rest.

June 29 - Catch up on computer emails. Visited cousin Florence and most of her family.

June 30 – Rest, Truck wash truck/Camper - NEVER pwr spray a camper!, Dinner with cousin Mark, Linda, and Cage the amazing wonder dog.

July 1 Ontario - Rolling rocks gather no moss. Off Roy goes again! Off NW to met our Hearn cousins (Jane TAYLOR's family). Great parade, saw Lake Huron, Scanned old photos, Piano ricital, and a good boondocking warm night at the curb.

July 2 Kinmount - Said good bye to my new cousins. On to Kinmount train station, where GGF Sigurdur and many Icelanders worked the rails here until work dried up, up to Minden, Ontario camped at Jays Camping (KOA - Recommend).

July 3 Haliburton/Kinmount - Watched Star Trek into Darkness movie in camper, hassled with Wacom company, Drove to Haliburton, Ontario (where John Taylor's lake house once stood) & Museum. Drove past Minden to Kinmount. Patrick - Bed and Breakfast Inn at Kinmount served us tea/strawberries. 6:12pm parted company for Kingston ONT (Yes insane, should have hung back). Missed Bull Moose in pitch black of night.
View Album Slideshow of stop in Kinmount

July 4th Kingston - After harrowing drive, boondocked at midnight in Kingston, Cataraqui Cemetery to visit 4th GGPs, GGM Isabelle SLEMANS Taylor, babies Richard and Martha. Asked price of Headston for GGM (Family that want to chip in, let Roy know), Kingston Public Library, campsite N of Kingston.

July 5 Kingston Day 2 - Kingston Public Library, Holy Grail of this trip, which paid off. Accessed old books room. New camp-Rideau Acres campground.
July 6 Kingston Day 3 - Slept in, awoke to nobody around. Lost key - Dead Battery - One Charlie on hunt for a Robin.

July 7 Kingston Day 4 - Much needed shower. Pouring rain. Passed on going to the Fort.

July 8 Kingston Day 5 - New grey water hose, Krueger coffee maker. Bugging out. Kingston Pub Lib - Scoured an Aug 15, 1851 Whig newspaper on microfilm. GGM is Isabelle, not Isabella, according to census. Joanne, the Genealogist librarian finds map in Portland, Ont. and census. Found 3 of Wm's babies died. Gas pumped failed to click off - like 10 gals on ground.

July 9 Kingston Day 7 - Kinston Pub Lib - Isabelle is shown being born in Ireland, not NY. Odessa. Discovered the OnRoute rest stop, 20 mins west of Kinston. No earlier records than 1851, so could not obtain Wm's marriage record. Taylors arrived 1848.
Map Route 08

July 10 Ernestown
- Ernestown (Ernestown, Ont /Lennox and Addington, east of Bath) to locate John Taylor's stone house. Hartington, ONT (north of Odessa, part of Kingston) stood on GG-GPs Wm & Isabelle farmstead halfway down Jamison Rd, N side. met 1 of 2 town family. On to Toronto Ref. Library - 30 mins before closing. Receptionist (who was from Barbados) said go to dwntown Lib. Drove fast down there, and 5 mins late...closed. Boondocked couple blocks away on the street. Wish I stayed and talked to that Librarian about the Island. Forgot about Prospect Cemetery (Jane Taylor).

July 11–19 London, Ontario - Boondocked at aunt Em and uncle Hank's driveway in London, Ontario, Made travel plans through upper USA, did church aniv. logo, and MUCH needed R&R from driving

July 20 Lansing, Michigan - Home of our Anna TAYLOR Ballard who married Benjamin Everett. Found her grave and Ballards graves. Camped couple miles from Hope Cemetery.

July 21 Lansing/Grand Ledge - A scheduled stop, Wi-Fi into Michigan Archives, almost took out footbridge at the Zoo, Anna L. Ballard grave while office was open. Drove out to Grand Ledge W of Lansing. Located the Pratt family Museum - Closed! Local library was a fountain of intel. Rest Stop east of Beloit, Wisconsin, Dinner-Dennys East Chicago, drove to Harbor enabling me to see all of The Great Lakes; Lakes Superior (drove N shore), Michigan (E. Chicago), Michigan–Huron (Sault Ste. Marie, ON to Michigan), Erie (Detroit), and Ontario (Kingston). Snuck through Chicago and maze of construction 12 - 2AM.
MILES - 6,000

July 22 Madison/Oshkosh, Wis - Beloit rest area for Madison WI 1:50 am. University of Wisconsin Historical Museum. 2nd floor- library. Helpful librarian - Arni Sigvaldson records. Eliminated 2 locations (Icelandic Library and Scandinavian Archives), as Charlie was in camper with all fans going and no gen., went to State Capitol. Missed Oshkosh Museum where Ballard boys have heirlooms, and Zoo as they were closed. Camped at Autumn RV park south of Rochester, Minnesota.

July 23-24 Rochester MN - Rest and personal business. Charlie salivating over chipmunk in the stump.

July 25 Lake Benton or Bust - Experienced thunder storm 3FT over my head (in camper counting off 1 sec.). PU my Wacom Companion tablet. drive 4 hrs NW to Lake Benton. Home of our Great grandfather, Ernest 'Arni' Sigval(a)son. Camp at RV park in Adrain (Camp Granada). Research area.

Why Wacom Corporation Sucks - My rant on orders dropped or delayed!

July 26 – GGF Arni Sigvaldson - Was blogging LIVE from my GGF's cemetery. Stood where Arni's farmstead once was. Scanned whole album in London, ONT of GM Mary and her whole family that lived 1/8th mile from Icelandic Cemetery.

July 27 Day off - Hole In the Wall campground. One Jack Rabbit for Charlie as ride in cab notta so good.

July 28 Ivanhoe, MN - Court House in Ivanhoe which did not exist when he was Clerk, Justice of the Peace (Marriage lic.), obtained probation of Arni's farm NE. Also GGM Gudrun's signature. Library said Nothing There For Me To See! Missed seeing Einarson cousins at Hendricks, Minneota, Minneapolis.
July 29 Last Post (Famous last words) - Stayed at the Microtel Inn. The Scottish Viking (Roy) and his Norwegian trekking Cat (Charlie aka 'Bear') have traveled about 7 to 9,000 miles by truck camper. Pulled into many a tight parking spots. Reflection on this journey.
Map Route 09

Aug 1st Minneapolis
- And here you thought I was done. Had a great lunch with Laurel and her mom (Asmundson marriage to the Sigvaldsons). Left Minneapolis Fri about 2:30 pm.Headed west, Overnight rest stop west of Jamestown.

Aug 2nd Big Sky Montana - On the road by 5:30 am. Using a lot of gas! Filled up last at Butte, Montana.Drove till 10PM. Low on gas, slept at station in middle of forrest overnight. Stayed at 2 rest stops.

Aug 3rd Seattle or Bust (I busted) - Forgot sister's God-parents were in Spokane. Terrain east of there was "barren". Arrived in WA at 3. Passed on stopping at Dakota Zoo, and Dinosaur museum. Drove through Rosley, WA to find 'The Last Resort'. Pines reminded me of Bar 49 in St. Helena, Calif. Entire trip looked at thousands of homes for sale in Iceland, Gimli, BC south to Oregon and Pacific ocean to Idaho.
Map Route 10

Aug 4th Snoqualmie River RV and Campground
- Mixed bag. Bathrooms were terrible which even offended me... a guy! Power to whole campground cut off at 10pm. Viewed beautiful lake Easton, yet no time to hike around it. Boondocked at Snoqualmie River RV Park that night.

Aug 5-8 North of Seattle - Reconnected with cousin Mike who camped aside the camper. HUGE tree limb fell other side of camp. Guy had just moved his truck. Visited the Falls, great lunch at 50's dinner.

Aug 9 Gold Bar - Cousin Beverly Bolick's son, Rob & Anna invited Mike and myself for a BBQ. So the Cousins Tour 2014 continues. Rob & Anna's Crayfish Vickning at the Llama Lodge (their home). We helped set up, and I camped in their back 40.

Aug 10 Hangover camping - 3 AM cousin Diane (Sigurdur > John > Donald > Carol) , cousin Mike, and myself are last ones still partying. More like sitting and chatting. Anna (Rob) just turned in. Charlie wakes Roy up at 5AM. Last to leave and heading to Oceans Shore, WA, per Rob's suggestion. Dinner at iHop just E of New Tacoma, WA. Made it to coast - 10:30 pm.

Aug 11 Ocean Shores, WA - Decided to stay at Ocean Mist a RV park adjoining the Pacific ocean. Strolled miles along the beach. Found beach house except no jobs here at all. As with Pacifica, socked in with fog and one day a yr of sunshine.

Aug 12 Olympic Forest - Drove north of Shelton, WA to look at 101 W River Bend, through Olympic Forest, cross Bear river, and backed into last whole available. Pouring rain and thought I would be flooded. Rain pounding - no sleep.

Aug 13 Camping at Olympic Forest & Potlatch - Left Olympic Forest to obtain agent to look at farm at Sheldon. Said it needed septic (10K, paint and floors, and floods - Pass!). Camped at Waterfront at Potlatch, which sucked cause it is literally off hwy like 10 ft.

Aug 14 Hood Canal - Bugged out, relocated to new RV camp.
Fri Aug 15 -Hoodsport - Just chilled out at Glen Ayr RV & motel at Hoodsport on Hood Canal, Puget Sound Bay, and searching A-Frames, and mobiles for sale in 3 states and 1 providence.

Aug 18 Parts Unknown - Camped at South Camp, Lake Cushman, met realtor who showed me dump of a mobile home. Realized to remote unless retired. Took a two hour hike around the lake while Charlie enjoyed the wildlife. No plans. Might go north above Olympic Forrest, or back around south to east of Seattle. Perhaps go back to Alleyn or Port Orchard, where I found a few houses.

Tue Aug 19 Maple Falls, WA - Little did I know the outcome of this day. 1 AM I spot this perfect Chalet (semi A-Frame) just south of Sumas, Washington. Left at 6AM to avoid traffic making it there at noon to meet the realtor. He thought I would come by following day. I took lots of photos and trailed him back to his office, signed bid right then and there 3 hrs later. On one hand, best place I have seen anywhere, even to this day, except I would have done deal differently. 4 people were looking at it, doubt any were Cash. Maybe could have put 20K down, yet I paid the full asking price of 100K. Not like anyone responds to my emails if I had a question. One gets used to making their own decision, having done it my whole life. Mistake was not doing minimal shower repair until settled with job, and know good tile contractors. Hey, hindsight 50/50. Would of had floors varnished while south, and exterminator nail the termites. Soon as shower was stripped, they fled.

Aug 20 – Lynden - Camped like a week at Hidden Valley RV Park on Meridian just S of BC.

Aug 21 to 26 Pending Sale - Officially No. 1 bid. I used the selling realtor. Not like I knew any within 2,00 miles.

Aug 29 Chalet is Mine - Obtained key to Chalet

Sept 5 Internet - Had to drive like 20 mins SW to Demming just to get Internet/Phone.

Sept 6 Bath Demo - Roy ripped down to studs, bought all the material, and hauled all garbage away. Still came to 5K.

Sept 20 Last Crevice - Skógur Bath Remodeled, cleaned last of cobwebs and pathways.

Sept 28 Back to the Rat Race - One 2nd pick up of final items in storage, stopped in at cousin Bruce Costello's cabin at Lassen National Park, and boondocked from about 2 am to 5 am. Left at first light.

Sept 28 - Visited my sister Carol and family, sister-in-law, Juanita, her son Matt, and his new bride, Melissa in SF bay area. Missed my nephew Adam who was working shift on Treasure Island. And my brother Bob. Boondocked in driveway.
9am met cousin Mike Christopherson at 9AM, to clear out Hayward storage. He was of tremendous help in getting storage onto trailer.
4pm made it to Santa Rosa to visit cousin Keith Christopherson (Sig's son), and Brenda. The trailer was packed to the gills, the cab, and 3/4 of the camper. Planned to boondock outside, but stayed in their downstairs guest room. Charlie was fine in the cab, and checked in on him.
5:30 am - Made it back to the Chalet. Lots of 10/20 min power naps.

Dec 24 - Flew to bay area to celebrate Christmas with family.
For day to day details, visit the ScottishViking Travel Blog!
This concludes the Great Cousins Tour 2014

This will be moved if any further visits happen this year.
Jan 12, 2015 Cousins Tour Continues - Cousin Bev, who lives 40 mins west of me had me over for lunch few weeks ago, and 2 days ago. After lunch, crossed border to visit with cousin Carol, and her husband Robert. A great dinner and revisting family photos.

Love cats, Slideshow of the Norwegian Trekking cat over course of 3 months, and 9,000 miles, 240 pics. And Charlie's Blog