Driving through our memories

August 19, 2011

Day two of our road trip from Edmonton, Alberta to Victoria, B.C. involved the long drive through the mountains. I like highway driving. Long distance driving does not bother me at all. The scenery through the Rocky Mountains is breath-takingly beautiful. It was a shame that we didn’t have time to stop on this trip. Usually, I allow at least a couple of days to give myself time to take a hike or two. But not on this trip. We had to be in Victoria, B.C. by Saturday evening. And there is the ferry, with its summer tourist traffic, to contend with.

We left the hostel about 9:00a.m. And we stopped only for necessities: gas, food and washroom breaks. Saw one buck, with an impressive set of antlers, standing on the side of the highway. This was the only wildlife we saw.

As we passed the rest areas, look out points, hikes, and towns we had visited in the past, I reminded my teens about what we had seen and done in those places.

The David Thompson Resort, Alberta, on Hwy 11: where we had spent one fun-filled night playing on the giant slide and swimming in the pool. Talking about the adventures we had in the area brought back memories of a humorous puppet play about the explorer, David Thompson, which we had watched at the Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site of Canada.

The Rogers Pass Centre, in Glacier National Park, B.C.: where we had seen a stuffed toy of a large bear, holding a sign that read: “Do not feed the bears. I am not a bear.” This reminded us of the coffee cup we had purchased in Golden, B.C. that read: “Send more tourist to Golden. The last ones were delicious.” Souvenirs that still bring a chuckle years later.

The Giant Cedars Boardwalk Trail in Mount Revelstoke National Park: where all five of us had stood with arms outstretched, hugging a tree, and we still couldn’t reach all the way around.

The Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk Trail, also in Mount Revelstoke National Park: where we had strolled through the fragile wetlands, amongst huge skunk cabbage marsh plants.

The Meadows in the Sky Parkway, Mount Revelstoke National Park: where a cocky Whisky Jack swooped down and took a bite out of the sandwich I was holding in my hand. And where, one of the few times it has ever happened, we all ran out of water to drink as we hiked the beautiful trails amongst the wildflowers.

The Enchanted Forest, between Sicamous and Revelstoke: where, while strolling along a peaceful path, we had seen quaint figures tucked amongst the trees. This memory reminded us of the Alberta Fairytale Grounds, located northwest of Stony Plain, where we had walked through a magical forest and had watched fairytale figures brought to life.

The Glass House, located in Boswell, B.C., north of Creston, on the shores of Kootenay Lake: although this attraction was not on the highway we were traveling on, whenever we pass through the mountains, we always talk about the Glass House. A house, built entirely out of glass bottles. We have seen the Glass House only once, and still its memory resonates.

Craigellachie, B.C., in Eagle Pass between Sicamous and Revelstoke: where we had learned about what’s claimed to be “the greatest symbolic act of Canada’s first century.”

Merritt, B.C., in the Nicola Valley: where we had eaten the most delicious Japanese dinner we have ever tasted.

It is a fortunate that we have these memories to keep us entertained on these long drives. Made difficult because of the time restraints. 12 hours from when we left Nordegg, Alberta, we reached Vancouver, B.C. The most pressing part of this road trip over.


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