Saturday, July 03, 2010

2000 miles from sea to prairie.

Phew.  I feel like I completed a personal marathon in the past week.  And, just in case I didn't have enough anx at the thought of the enormous drive without my husband (but with the kids) the car stared playing up 2 hours into the journey home.  2 hours into a 7 day drive!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Nightmare. 
Despite 3 different garages checking it out, no one has figured out the problem yet.  Thankfully the coughing and shuddering stopped in the middle for couple of days.  Naturally the rumbles resumed on the last day with the finish-line in sight.  The only good thing about the dodgy car was the decision to buy a cell phone which my daughter is thrilled about because she now thinks we've made it into the 21st Century as a family :)

On the plus side I caught up with my friend Loreth Anne White in Whistler and met her family (including the 4 legged members). Next day we drove to Vancouver Aquarium which was just so fantastic.
They also have dolphins and sea otters and do a tremendous amount of research and rescue work.
Monday morning it was time to say goodbye to hubby and pick up my retired schoolteacher friend who'd very kindly offered to drive back with me after visiting her relos.  I couldn't have done it without her.  While I was nauseous at the thought of traveling so far with a car that was being  temperamental (but no one could find out what was wrong) she was totally at ease and relaxed about the whole adventure.  I think the difference between English and Canadian came out big time and she is so much cooler than I am.  When I grow up I want to be Deanna!! Despite 3 hours of stops at garages and the ubiquitous McDonald's we got all the way to Golden through some amazingly beautiful mountain passes.  It even snowed despite the 16C air temps.  And the traffic was so light and carefree throughout the whole journey--like we were in a bubble of good road trip vibes.  The kids were incredible and we rewarded them (and us) with a detour to the badlands and a stop at the world famous Royal Tyrell Museum.
We stayed overnight in Drumheller which was a cute place for kids with giant models of dinosaurs everywhere and hoodoos just down the road...
Next day we went to the childhood farm of Deanna's husband who grew up on an old Mennonite farm where his parents spoke German.
 ('49 Dodge)

The town was in the middle of nowhere Saskatchewan. The rain and sun have created a surprising and welcome surplus of grass...
 unfortunately there's also a plague of mosquitoes (rivals Winnipeg) so we walked fast to go see old tippee rings on the hills and rare petroglyphs.
Strange to think that First Nation people walked those hills so many years ago, following the bison herds in the summer.  The hospitality was amazing and it was interesting to see this rural side of the prairies. My daughter found kittens and we were lucky to escape catless. 

On the last day we did a 10 hour drive via Regina and the car started playing up about 300 km from home. We ignored it and got back by 8 pm.  *insert massive smile*

So I've had 2 nights in my own bed--yippee!!  The house was in pretty good shape, but a couple of issues that need to be dealt with after the renter--like muddy dog paw prints on the furniture, and the storm door keeps sticking, and the guttering isn't draining properly and the lawn wasn't mowed so it was about 3 foot tall when we got back complete with Peter Rabbit.  There are weeds everywhere and I'm going to cheat and buy weedkiller b/c I don't have time to pull it all by hand.  I did go buy some flowers today.  Finally. I've been itching to plant things since spring sprung.

Not a bad return really.  Despite the awful humidex of 40C and huge thunder storms, oh, and tornado watch as of now. Kids were amazing on the trip.  Not so great at unpacking because they are constantly distracted by old toys :)

DH is back tomorrow!!!!

I'm proud to have completed the drive but I'm in no rush to go anywhere else for the summer.  Got to knuckle down to edits :)

What's the biggest trip you've ever made?


  1. WOw - what a great trip! Thanks for the pixs!

  2. Toni, your journey sounds amazing! But you're very brave to do that without the hubbie :)

    Welcome back

  3. You're welcome Kelly.
    Thank you, Claire :) It's good to be home.

  4. What wonderful pictures - and you were certainly heroic yourself driving all that way with a "sick" car and two children! The farthest we've gone is Ont. to SK to MB to Ont. And we didn't get to head up to Churchill MB when we lived there, which is one of my biggest regrets. I'd go back to Wpg in a heartbeat! So glad you got home safely and can now relax and enjoy your flowers. :)