Saturday, August 27, 2016

Most Memorable Holiday

We had never been across Canada, but in 2000 with our daughter living in Calgary, we headed out on quite a road trip. Canada is a vast country; we started around the middle and only went as far as Alberta, leaving out BC. And of course there lay Quebec and the Maritimes on the other side — to be visited in the next summer.

We weren't in a rush and with one extra day for car troubles, it took us 8 days to get to Calgary. (We later got home in 3 days across the northern States, but we were moving pretty constantly.) We camped half of the time, spent two nights in a motel in Winnipeg, one night at a B&B in Saskatchewan, and one in a motel in Medicine Hat waiting for our car to be repaired.

It was great. With our little Corolla packed to the hilt, we felt like adventurers.

Our province, Ontario is the second largest in Canada and stretches a long way from east to west. It took us three days before we hit the Prairies. Travelling north of Lake Superior along the Canadian Shield was quite wonderful.


Then, there was the big sky of the supposedly boring Prairies, which were not boring to me. We detoured down to the Cypress Hills in southwestern Saskatchewan where I took a photo of this Coulee (old stream bed).


Once landed in Calgary, Allyson took us to the badlands. This was one of the hoodoos, left standing tall after surrounding rock had been eroded away.


As nice as the badlands were, the next day we headed to the Rockies. The majesty overwhelmed me.


After that, we headed back to the mountains every chance we got over the next few weeks. Of course, we visited beautiful Lake Louise.


One day we drove the Icefields Parkway to the Columbia Icefields. What a drive! We stopped for a view of Peyto Lake.


Back and forth we went but eventually ended up in Jasper National Park where I met up with a boyhood chum. We took the trolley to the top and looked down on the world.


I loved the Rockies; they had a tremendous impact on me. Each and every night for a whole month after our return, I dreamt of the mountains. No other place, mountains or otherwise has left me feeling like that.

After that trip, I actually made a web page going into the trip almost day-by-day in detail using the journal that I kept along the way and many many photos; it was still the days of film, and memory informs me that I took 36 rolls. It seemed like a lot at the time but not so very much from the perspective of the digital age.

As I said above, the trip home was a quick 3 days of constant travel and not a memorable part of the trip. In thirty days, we put more than 12000km/7500miles on the car, but then it was time to get back into a normal existence.

20 comments:

KGMom said...

I understand completely what you mean about the mountains. I have seen only a few "up close" (no climbing, please). But each time, I come away stunned at the otherworldly sense they leave me with. Jungfrau, as I blogged about, was such an experience. Last year, with our Alaska trip, the Denali mountain range as well as Denali itself was quite moving.
In South Africa, the Drakensberg mountains are stark and majestic.
As for your drive across half of Canada--yes, it is a vast country. Have not ever made the drive you did, but I have been in some of the western prairie provinces--Manitoba (where my brother lives), Saskatchewan where my grandfather tried home-steading for a brief time, British Columbia where some of my father's relatives are.
Thanks for reprising your trip.

Kailani said...

I love the mountains, but I feel more 'that way' about the ocean. But the Rockies are MAGICAL. There is no denying that. Thanks for sharing your memories and your photos.

TexWisGirl said...

marvelous and diverse terrain. i love the prairies, too. :)

altar ego said...

I have not seen any of the country you visited or describe, but the pictures are glorious. There is so much to see in this world, in terms of physical beauty and culture. Glad to have this glimpse of what you enjoyed so well.

Tabor said...

We visited that area, almost all the places you went, years ago and loved it. Wish there was time and money to go back!!

Ginger said...

Wow, that sounds marvelous! I would love to get an opportunity to drive across Canada, from one coast to the other.

Mara said...

I've only been to Alberta and thought it massive! I absolutely loved the Badlands and for me it was the feeling you had when you saw the Rockies. Absolutely loved it! As for mountains: they seem to spoil the view somewhat...

Marie Smith said...

We visited Alberta years ago and did the same things. Spectacular place, incredible views! Thank you for the reminder.

Marie Smith said...

AC, I wonder where Adrian is. He's been quiet for a few weeks!

The Geezers said...

We too did this trip with our kids some 20 years ago now. Nothing like the Canadian Rockies. Alas, I did not take photos nearly as good as yours.

troutbirder said...

In the heat of the summer we always headed north before, during and after our two sons. Always Canada plus one drive to Alaska. Always camping. Three times to Vancouver Island, three times to the Maritimes and everything in between. June, July and August were our favorite months (yes I was a teacher). We loved Canada and its friendly people....:)

Jim Flack said...

I love the phrase you used, "back to normal existence." I visited the rolling prairies and big skies of Montana a few years ago. We also visited the Missouri Breaks, formed over many years by the Missouri River. When it was time to go home, I hated to leave those wide open spaces, and get back to "normal existence." The country out West spoke to me. So vast and still unsettled. Maybe it stirred some pioneer spirit within me. I would go back in a heartbeat, but alas, my daughter is no longer there, giving up her teaching position to move home to be nearer to me after her mom passed.
My one very lasting memory of Montana was the night my daughter took me out of town(pop. 365), far enough that the town lights didn't interrupt the sky. We got out along the road and actually laid on the hood of her car and stared at the millions, no billions, of stars. Thus, why it is called "Big Sky" country. :)

Vicki Lane said...

I'm envious. I'd love to take a cross country trip in the USA and in Canada.

Jayne said...

So many mountain ranges I've not seen, but stand in awe of each time I see photos like yours. Spectacular!

Ruth said...

There is still so much of Canada I want to see. I felt somewhat claustrophobic in the Rockies and prefer the open views that prairie and coastal areas provide. I am glad to have visited the mountains though.

Weekend-Windup said...

Beautiful mountains. Each one looks different.

Kay said...

We've always loved traveling to Canada, not just for the scenery, but for the people. That is an amazing hoodoo! Wow!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

What a wonderful trip and photos!!!!

Mary Gilmour said...

I have done that trip four or maybe even five times and here you post with fresh and amazing photos of even over-photographed Lake Louise. You are some good.
And I think N shore Superior is the most splendid drive. Love it. We took five days to do it on one trip and could have spent longer. Oh Canada!

Donna said...

I don't think there's anything more beautiful than the mountains...
hughugs