Captain Bob's Mis-Guided Tours....The Final Chapter

Today, my sister Denise and I will depart on a journey affectionately known as, "Captain Bob's Mis-Guided Tour, The Final Chapter".  This is a trip like no other, for it's not a business trip, it's not a vacation, it's an adventure where Denise and I will distribute my father's ashes in his final resting place on an island on Lake Granby in the Colorado Rockies where my grandparents are buried and on a flat in the Florida Keys where my dad fished on a regular basis.  These were his requests, his special places and this is what we will do.

My father, Bob Quier, also know as Captain Bob, passed away suddenly last October of a massive heart attack at the age of 70.  He died in the fashion in which he lived; with a smile on his face, surrounded by friends and doing something he loved.  He was at a Giants / Eagles game in Philadelphia with his best friends Jim and Jane Joyce and their son Christopher, which he attended every year with them.  It was a game of taunting and fun and although he passed away before the game began, his beloved Giants won the game as he watched from heaven.  I can still hear him now cheering Giants, Giants, Giants for Jim's enjoyment. :-P It was a fitting passing for my father, as he never wanted to be sick or be cared for or "have his diaper by his daughters" when he got old, which he often told us.  We were devastated by the loss, but felt fortunate that he lived 70 healthy years and was fishing on his boat just the day before.  We felt lucky he made it to 70, for at age 56, he had become the longest living male in recorded history in our family due to a history of heart disease.  It's taken almost a year for my sister and I to arrange this trip and coordinate our schedules, but today we depart on what is sure to be one of Captain Bob's BEST Mis-Guided Tours.

Now you may be wondering how the name "Mis-Guided Tours" came about.  Well, growing up with Captain Bob was never dull.  It was a well deserved name for the adventures he planned and journeys we took as a family.  You see, we were a family of adventurers, but not to destinations like the plains of Africa or the tundra of the Arctic.  We were adventurers of Americana and the world of the "tourist trap".  The Chevy Chase movie "Vacation" had nothing on our family and a trip to see the World's Largest Ball of Twine was no stranger to us.  We often piled into our car to take last minute trips to Wildwood in New Jersey, Lake George in the Adirondacks and Mount Washington in Vermont to ride the Cog Railroad.  Distance and the length of the car ride were never a problem, as long as you went pee before entering the car because two rules always existed....... you NEVER asked for directions, no matter how lost you are, and you NEVER EVER stopped to use the bathroom.  We often referred to longer journeys to Florida and Colorado as "The Death March", since my dad insisted on driving through the night and only stopping once we begged for hours, unless of course a billboard told us of the largest snake in the world or a sea lion show was being offered.

There was always a mishap and a story to be told of , a hotel that should have been condemned by the health department twenty years prior and a diner for gourmet grub to be savored.  Every journey included two things;  the adventure of an unplanned stop and lots and lots of laughs.  Whether it was a llama eating my sisters brand new coat at the game preserve or my mom flipping a boat trailer in the middle of the interstate, we had the time of our lives from the inside of our car.

So today, my sister and I will depart on our journey of two.  We will reminisce of a simpler time and I will write down the memories for my kids to enjoy.  We will visit with relatives and boat out to the island where my grandparents lay and say goodbye to half of my fathers remains.  We will sleep in bunk beds because the five star hotel was sold out and only a lodge was available and we will remember the simpler days of our childhood.  I hope you join us on our adventure, as we travel across America to take the last Captain Bob's Mis-Guided Tour.

by Amanda Klimak

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