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Took a trip across the country last week...

In the past week I found myself on a little trek. Due to some situational factors, my sister decided to move back to Nova Scotia, from British Columbia, along with two of her children and dog. She spent a week with her eldest daughter in Alberta, and I ended up flying across the country to drive the car and dog back to the coast while she flew back with the kids.

My trek started on Saturday, boarding a plane here in Sydney and flying to Calgary, with stops in Halifax, Montreal and Vancouver (yup, flew from one coast to the other to circle back to my destination east of the Rockies… that's efficient Razz ). The trip took about 14 hours of flight and airport time, and, while lengthy, wasn't too bad, and was fairly painless. I met my sister in a hotel near the airport, spent the night and saw them off to the airport in the morning and began my 5,300 km drive back to the coast.

The dog is a border collie maybe 8 months old (and I'd never met it before)… very high energy, bouncy thing. Luckily, it was very well behaved on the drive, and decided early on that I was something of an authority figure… I was the only person in the car dealing with it for four days, so if it didn't want to listen to me, it could have been problematic. For the vast majority of the trip, the very energetic dog just laid down in the back seat and didn't complain or get out of hand. I'd drive for 5 or so hours at a time, stopping to refuel and let the dog out to pee. The time between, the dog was basically quiet. If nothing else, though the dog was very well behaved, the trip cemented my lacking desire to own a dog Wink I'm just not a dog person.

My first day took me across three provinces, from Calgary, Alberta to Kenora, Ontario in about 15 hours. Day two took me from Kenora to North Bay, Ontario in about the same. Day three took me from North Bay to Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec, and day four brought me all the way home in about 10 hours or so. Though I didn't get out of the car much, I was able to get a sense of various regions across the country, and scouted (from a distance) several of the communities I'd applied for jobs in through the past several months, getting a sense of their surrounding ecosystems and topography.

Given that I have an interest in ecosystems, much of the drive provided interesting things to see for me, even in areas where others might say "there's nothing there!" Really, there were only two expanses of road that were tedious due to lack of interest; eastern Saskatchewan through western Manitoba, which was dominantly flat prairie with moderately poor road condition, and northern Ontario, between about Beardmore and Hearst, which was MUCH straighter than I expected for a road through Canadian shield, and bordered by old clearcuts and homogenous boreal forest… it might not have seemed as bad had the speed limit through it all not been 90kmh or less.
I found western Saskatchewan somewhat interesting, driving through the rolling badlands regions. The geology was kinda interesting, resembling a non-treed mountain region out east, in some ways. Through there I also saw a western coyote, a couple hawks (couldn't see markings to ID), and possibly something along the lines of a hawk owl… I wish I'd thought to bring my binoculars. Western Ontario was pretty interesting, before reaching the boring stretch Razz It was all uneven granite, boreal trees and lakes, offering a lot to see, and interesting turns in the highway. It would have been even more interesting in some season that wasn't winter Razz

I made a stop in Ottawa to see a couple friends I met through IRC and had only met once before. I spent about 5 hours there, hence not making it THAT far driving that day. I also stopped in a music shop near my friend's place that is a G&L dealer, looking to get an arm for the tremolo system on my G&L Legacy. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get one, but I was able to test out a couple guitars I'll likely never see for sale in the local shops here, including an American Design series Stratocaster, a Kurt Cobain signature Mustang, American Vintage Reissue Jaguar, and a Pawn Shop Bass VI.
I'd been planning to visit a friend (also from IRC) in Montreal and my brother, but, forgot my brother was in St. Maarten, and my friend was asleep. I tried to wake my friend with text messages, and calling out to him in a Google Hangout, but he didn't stir. Given he has a cat, and I had the dog in hand, and I'd already killed 5 hours of the day, I didn't knock on the door to wake him, and just kept on driving to make the next day's drive easier.

In the end, I got home, having taken 5 days out of my life, and my sister has her dog and a car with which to get to jobs and the like. It was a little tiring, but it was informative as well.

5 blog comments below

I am happy to hear your adventure went so well and you seem to have enjoyed it.. I am surprised that the young dog was not more of pain.
Disappointed at not seeing pictures though.
standready on Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:11 am
Not many pics; I really didn't stop except to sleep and fuel up, so didn't have many opportunities to snap anything. I snapped a couple GPS and mountain shots from the plane, and a morning, into the sun, "heading east" shot in Alberta, but that's pretty much it Razz

Travelling West

The Rockies

Headed East
Ankhanu on Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:31 am
WOW! What an epic journey. Pretty amazing to do all of that in only five days. Must have been very tiring though. As that had to be driving against the time zones on your return journey?
deanhills on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:34 pm
Thanks for the pictures. Isn't driving into the morning sun fun???
standready on Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:10 pm
Dean - Yeah, drove through three time zones, flew through four; driving against the hours.

Stanrready - it is indeed... And no hills or trees to break it up, neither Razz I might drive into the sun around here from time to time, but it eventually gets hidden behind a hill or obscured by forest... But not on the flat, flat prairies Wink
Ankhanu on Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:39 am

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