Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Halfway Home

Warning: picture heavy post ahead. If you are on dial-up, you may want to go for coffee, finish that masterpiece of Shetland lace you've got languishing in the stash, or simply take my word for it that the prairies are flat.

We made it safely to my parents' place in Creston, albeit a day late. Practicality triumphed over pride and we spent Saturday finishing up the packing and getting the house properly ready for the painters and cleaners. (And yes, I felt more than a little sheepish about delaying our departure after doing the grand public countdown for the last two months. Just a tad anti-climactic.)

Since we have made this two day trans-prairie migration every summer for the last six years, I thought it would be fun on our very last trip to document the highlights for posterity. (For full effect, we would have had to backtrack to Winnipeg - Not.)

The first leg of the trip takes about 12 hours, and covers approximately 1000 km (620 miles) between Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and Creston, BC. (For Dipsy, that would be like, say, driving from Vienna to Genoa. Only different.)

Early Sunday morning, the wolfhound and the cat, sharing the back of the Forerunner with the (carefully covered) yarn stash and, um... one or two other things:

The kids, also sharing space with... stuff:

First stop - the golden arches for breakfast (road trips being pretty much the only time we patronize this establishment):

Next, that fine Canadian institution, Tim Horton's for coffee and bits:

Clearly, we are skipping town in the nick of time:

One last visit with the World's Biggest Moose:

Did I mention that the prairies are flat?

Tim's in Swift Current (good coffee and clean washrooms - very important with a freshly toilet trained kid who has just learned how exciting it is to use foreign potties):

More flatland:

Slightly less-flat land (Cypress Hills):

Next province (note the change in photo formatting where Blogger stopped letting me upload and I was forced to switch to Flickr. Gritting teeth now, forcing self not to go back and reload all the previous photos to match. Perfectionism sucks.):
11 welcome to alberta

Alberta, FYI, is also flat:
12 flatland

Are we having fun yet?

14 bored kids

Timbits to the rescue:

15 tims medicine hat

The world's largest teepee, on the western edge of Medicine Hat:
17 teepee sign

16 worlds largest teepee
At the risk of sounding sacriligeous, I couldn't help noticing the lovely sharp points on the ends of those straights.

More flatland:
19 flatland

Ah, but wait - a terrain feature looms, at last, on the hazy horizon:
21 glimpse of mountains

Part of the windfarms near Pincher Creek:
22 windmills

The Frank Slide:
26 frank slide

I always find this spot eerie - for the reminder of tragic loss of life, and also for the way nothing grows here - it looks like it could have happened yesterday.

Our new home province:
27 bc boundary

We had intended to get out and kiss the ground, but there was the small matter of the shoulder being approximately 1/2 inch wide, hence the slightly blurry high speed window shot.

And, with the roads becoming curvy, progress on string bag number 2 came to an immediate halt:
24 knitting bag
As did the camera battery.

Not to worry, this blog will be chock full of spectacular mountain scenes for the foreseeable future.

Tomorrow, we squeeze into the truck once more for the last leg of the journey to Whistler. (And pray the brakes hold over the mountain passes.)