with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Hello From Los Picos de Europa in Spain

From: Brent VanFossen
To: Kent and Lynda Kay VanFossen
March 16, 2003

Hey there!

Tried to send this a few days ago, but at the moment I hit send, the Internet connection went down in the shop and stayed down.

We are now in Bilbao and just came out of the Guggenheim, the museum of modern art. WONDERFUL building. The artwork… yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwn. Was worth the price of admission just to wander the building.

We’ve decided to extend the trip for a couple of reasons. First, we haven’t finished. Haven’t even made it to the Pyrrenees yet, or Barcelona, and we’re due back in 3 days. So we’re extending, but don’t know yet for how long. At least a week. Will let you know as soon as we know.

I don’t have Kristin’s email with me. You might send that to me in a note so I can reach you while you’re in Dallas. Also, if you decide to reach us from the rally, you can open a hotmail account for free and access it from any Internet connection. We’re paying 1 to 2 Euro (dollars) an hour for our Internet access here in Spain.

Second reason, obviously, is that nothing has happened yet, and I don’t have a clear feeling for when things are going to begin. We’re checking the news daily.

The message that I tried to send you a few days ago:

The motor home in front of the Covadunga Cathedral in Los Picos de EuropaWe’re in Parque Nacional del Picos de Europa, Europe’s largest national park in central northern Spain. The mountain scenery is spectacular, and we’re following the gorges along VERY winding and narrow roads. Very slow going, but worth it. Have to occasionally slow down for passing trucks, pulling in mirrors and all that. We were delayed today for 5 minutes while the goatherders tried to get about 15 of the animals off the road.

The little towns up here sometimes only have 2 or 3 buildings, but they have a name and a 50 km speed limit. Very friendly people. Always someone to patiently listen to my passable Spanish and to slowly give good directions. Many campgrounds are closed, but we’ve managed. They say it’s too cold. 40 to 60 degrees F is NOT my idea of too cold, but it’s nice to be the only ones in the campgrounds. No noise, and no competition for the showers.

Spent yesterday morning photographing the black tar on the beach rocks from the oils spill last December. 175 miles away from the tanker, plus or minus, but it sure made a mess. It’s not pretty, but it’s one of the few things we can do as photographers to make sure people know the cost of mistakes. Laws are in place for double-hulled tanker ships, but they’re not standard yet.

Dahni stands on the armrest to watch the world he cannot seeDahni has discovered the wind. He stands on the armrest and reaches out the gap in the window. At 70 km and up, he tries to grab the wind. Fails. Uses his other paw, and repeats. Tries both hands. Can’t see there’s nothing there. Feels like something. This goes on for 5 or 10 minutes until he loses interest or loses his balance and crashes to the floor. Lorelle usually catches him first. He tries to sneak onto my shoulders from behind. I’ve gotten really good at putting the elbow in strategic places to keep him back.

Having a great time, and wish you were here. Really.

Love you all,

Brent
Los Picos de Europa, Spain

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