Road Trip – Edmonton to Vancouver, Canada

Just before we left the city we stopped in to grab timbits, bagels, and coffee to go. It wasn`t even 5am yet but the sun was already diluting the darkness. Over the years I have driven through the mountains too many times to count but somehow the route we were about to take had always eluded me. If you are from Edmonton, you would most likely go through Jasper to get to Vancouver or perhaps take the via Calgary route. This time we were taking a slight detour in order to see the Icefields Parkway, one of the world`s most spectacular mountain highways.

As the time rolled by, we began into the hilly areas where the first rays of the day lit up the mist in the valleys. Only the very tops of the tallest trees poked through the ghostly carpet blanketing the earth. At one point we had to drive through a fog patch with only about a meter of visibility. The deep red sky behind us radiated to hues of rose and tangerine glowing brighter and brighter by the second. We drove past the lemon yellow fields of canola and the giant bales of wheat in the farmers fields. I pointed out the cows and buffaloes and the horses grazing lazily occasionally glancing up at our car cruising by on the lonely stretch of highway.

When we stopped to gas up, I hopped in the backseat and dozed off for awhile. From dreamland, I overheard Cort and Max making a fuss about a bear crossing the road. I opened my eyes to the snow capped jagged peaks and the forests of tall green pointy trees. There is something so majestic about mountains…no matter how close or far you are, whether you are flying above them or standing at the base of them or climbing all over them….they are always just so humbling. Max and Cortney took the trek to the Columbia Ice Fields while I continued my nap. Max was pretty impressed that he got to walk on a glacier even if it was just along the edge. He broke a little chunk off so he could say he held a glacier in the palm of his hand.

Before I left on my travels, I picked up a bunch of postcards to show people I met along the way what it was like where I was from. One of the pictures that got the most attention was of Peyto Lake, almost everyone disbelieving that any lake could have water that color. Surely, positively it had to have been computer generated or touched up. Well, my skeptical friends, here you are. My camera, me and Peyto Lake in all its natural magnificence. The turquoise lake is fed by the runoff from the Peyto Glacier which lies about 5km to the south of the lake above a rock wall. The brilliant color is due to the rock flour which is a powdery substance that the glaciers grind off the mountain rocks. I made sure to get some shots with cloud shadows so you could be SURE I didn`t touch it up at all.

The 20 minute trail to the lookout point is like a walk into wonderland with flowers and greenery in most interesting shapes and textures. Its a truly magical spot and I would recommend that anyone who has the chance should visit. The pictures really do not do it justice altho I suspect it is one of the most photographed places in Canada. Next we hopped back in the car and continued our roadtrip to Vancouver.

After leaving the mountains, we stopped at a McDs for lunch as they have veggie burgers that Max has taken a liking to. I have to admit I have never seen such chaos behind the counter. Two of the younger staff admitted they had no clue what they were doing and one elderly lady started screaming when the ice cream machine began “attacking” her. Altho he normally refuses to frequent McDonalds, this is a novelty for him as back in Argentina the variety for vegetarians is extremely limited, being beefland and all. Infact, Max just about peed his pants in excitement when he discovered entire aisles in the grocery stores dedicated only to veggie people.

We had DQ blizzards (ice cream with various cookie, fruit or candybar toppings blended smooth and eaten with a spoon) for dessert and I was especially impressed when the girl at the drive thru window gave Cortneys Max (the dog) a puppy biscuit. Thats the kind of thoughtfulness that would make me a loyal customer. The rest of the trip went by rather quickly and I have to congratulate Cortney on driving the furthest she ever has in one day. Thanks Cort!

As we pulled into the Vancouver area the sun was just going down so we decided to stop for a bite. When I lived in Vancouver 10 years ago, I used to love this Irish restaurant that had the best sauces…but I couldn`t think of the name. But somehow I remembered where it was and was so pleased to find that NOTHING had changed. Even the menu was the same. So I was able to share fond memories and a pint of Guinness with two of my best friends! It sure is weird when chapters of your life overlap like that…its almost like time warping back into your past…well thats the sensation I got anyway. Next we went to my aunts house and had a nice visit before turning in for a much needed, much deserved rest.

This entry was posted in North America. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply