25 September 2016

Epic Western Canada Adventure

Luna, you're tired. You're busy. You're overwhelmed. Why not put the kids in the van and drive 2000km? Don't forget, you'll need to pack pretty much all of their food, since they're too allergic to everything to even consider a restaurant. Then, when you get there, you can stay in an RV in your in-laws' yard for a few nights (with no data or wifi) before going to visit your Mom, who lives with the brother you loathe. Then, you can drive back. And I do mean you can drive back, because your husband is phobic of the mountains that you have no way to avoid. What do you say?

Great plan! Let's do that!

And we did. And it didn't totally suck! This is my favourite picture of the whole trip. That's not a smudge on my lens. It's low lying cloud. Somewhere near Cranbrook? I forget.

Wednesday, we drove to Osoyoos. That couldn't be a more beautiful place if it tried. The hotel sure could though! OMG. Dead fruit flies in the bed (got sucked through the air conditioner), dirty everything, just gross. Crackle cried when we got there. He wanted to keep driving. We'd been driving (or on the ferry) for about 8 hours. Thanked God and all things holy that I'd brought a bottle of brandy with me.

Osoyoos, from the east

Thursday - Osoyoos to Lethbridge, 750km. What a beautiful day and drive. I kept getting overwhelmed by how beautiful everything was. This may or may not have been related to the fact that I apparently cannot schedule things around my cycle.

Near Mt Broadwood

Friday - Lethbridge to Grandma's House in southeastern Saskatchewan. 805km. Can't give the exact location, because the population is literally 25ish. 25. People. I don't think it's ever had more than 50. Lots of wind turbines on the way through. 

Wind turbines near Medicine Hat
We stayed at Grandma's for 3 nights. They bought a fancy RV and put it in their yard as a guest house. It worked well enough! There was heat, water, a fridge, toilet (of sorts) and the bed didn't hurt my back. Win!

Comrades, it was good. My inlaws were nice. They were kind. They were friendly. They only tried to pick fights a tiny bit, and I didn't take the bait. It was magical. Some seriously unhappy people in the family though. :( I think the downturn in oil is really hard on them.

Harvest moon from the road in front of Grandma and Grandpa's house
On Monday, we headed back into Regina for 3 more nights. This time in a nice hotel - YAY! Comfort Inn and Suites on the northwest end of town. Can't beat that place! I didn't get any nice pictures of Regina. That doesn't say anything about Regina, just my photography skills. Got lots of nice ones of my Mom and the kids there, but I can't share them here. Sorry. Here's some beautiful prairie for you though.

My brother was a complete shithead. I had hopes things would go better. He knows about the kids allergies; it was a huge fight last time. This time? He brought home pizza. I flipped my shit. I mean, I totally fucking lost it. Pizza. This could quite literally kill Crackle. Did he give a shit? Nope.

It was really wet in some places!
On Thursday, we started back. We went through Kindersley where the Sask Energy truck in front of us ran two consecutive red lights. Hilarious. The rain was bad when we got there. Scary driving, that. Fortunately, Tony does most of the prairie driving. Hehe.

Friday was my favourite day. We drove from Kindersley's bizarre hotel (seriously weird place) to Revelstoke, via Drumheller. I love Drumheller. The geography, the history, the geology... beautiful place. 
Mother Earth has some great cleavage!
But even better than the natural beauty? The museum. The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. Ho. Lee. Shit. I could have spent a week there. Easily. Alas, we wanted to get to Revelstoke before dark (which did not happen) so we left after an hour and a half.
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Erhmagherd. Ferrsils!
Tony carrying Crackle in. Crackle can handle most things if he gets to ride on Daddy's back.

You know how something has to really get seriously fucked on any trip? Well, that happened near Canmore. We hit some really strong wind, and it tore the lid off the cargo carrier while I was driving about 100km/hr. Fortunately, I was in the left lane, and it smashed behind me onto the highway and then into the ditch between the lanes. I slammed on the brakes, pulled into the middle shoulder of the #1 highway, jumped out, ran half a click back, and got our shit and the lid, which was smashed beyond repair (the lock was still engaged, and the hinges were fine too!), so we filled the van completely full, left the lid there (sorry!) Then I got moving again. It took at least an hour for my heart to return to normal. Icing on this shitcake? Tony had borrowed the carrier. From his boss.

At the stop 1/2 hour before the carrier incident.

HOME! Revelstoke to Home. This has to be uneventful, right? Oh no. 1 hour or so out of Revelstoke, Crackle started vomiting. Pureed pumpkin puke. My favourite! Tony got in the back with him, relocating some crap up to the front seat, and I drove. All the way to the ferry. I have no pictures of that part of the drive, because Tony is phobic. Stop where there's a view? Oh hell no. Poor man. He's a wee bit embarrassed of it too, which I think is ridiculous, considering I'm too chicken to get my teeth cleaned. 

So we're done. We're home. We're safe. Tired.

Asked each of the boys: What was the best part of the trip? What was the worst?
Pop: The best was building Iron Man! (Nanna bought him an Iron Man Lego set). The worst was leaving Grandma's. 
Crackle: (the best) DRIVE (the worst) NO DRIVE.