our road trip

Once again we have found ourselves driving across the country, which as road trip enthusiasts doesn’t make us upset at all. I grew up on road trips and I love the time to chat, read, belt out to music, and sometimes even sleep. A lot of people seem to think that Nigel and I would be sick of each other by the end of it, but rather I find that experiences like these bring us closer together. My dad used to always write Travel Journals of our trips together (you can check some of them out here on his blog) and this will hopefully pay homage to him.

Day 1: April 23

London to Sault Ste. Marie

Distance: 860km

Time: 9 hours

The start of this trip was different to many as we had to first remove everything we have left from the house and make sure we had nothing left behind. We were on the road even before 7 which was our goal so the day was off to a great start. We hit some major traffic as we approached Toronto (surprise, surprise), but with a rousing discussion on colonialism and equity it seemed to pass by quite quickly. Our first stop was at Cobs to get a few snacks for the morning and Costco in Barrie for gas and then we were off again. I both read on my own while Nigel listened to his podcasts and started reading a book out loud to Nigel which we love doing. As we do a lot of the time we pulled off on the side of the road for a stretch and to eat our homemade wraps at lunch time. This was sort of a strange day as it was 17 degrees outside yet we spent most of the day seeing snow and frozen rivers and lakes. It is not quite spring yet everywhere. With another gas and bathroom break just outside Sudbury (and a wave to the giant smoke stack) we finished off the journey to Sault Ste. Marie. As we love doing after a long day in the car we walked the 15 minutes to our dinner stop, Burger Don, which had delicious burgers and back to the hotel where we even got a workout in. All in all, a very successful first day.

Day 2: April 24

Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay

Distance: 695km

Time: 7 hours 30 minutes

With our first hotel continental breakfast under our belts we were on the road quite late for us, 8am. It was a beautiful start to the day as we headed out of town and into the sight of frozen Lake Superior. I didn’t think that a lake that large could be still so frozen at the end of April, but we even caught glimpse of people ice fishing so there are definitely still winter conditions, at least not on the road. It is a very quiet drive through Ontario with the biggest town we passed through being Marathon, a bustling metropolis of 3200 people. This town did provide a beautiful view for our lunch and stretch, but soon we were back on the road. Today’s major conversation focused around cataloguing and classification systems. I love having a husband who asks hard questions about everything and who makes me think about what I believe and know. After checking into our AirBnb for the night we took another walk to dinner and came back to watch Big Hero 6. Two days down and tomorrow we finally get to leave Ontario!

Day 3: April 25

Thunder Bay to Winnipeg

Distance: 703km

Time: 7 hours 45 minutes

Today we finally left the province that took almost 21 hours to get out of (or as Nigel said, “was it really 2 days or 2 years?”) As we left the province and entered the prairies we watched as the hills, rocks, and lakes disappeared and the land became more flat and the road became more straight. Today was also the day of podcasts, specifically Dear Hank and John which we listened to pretty much the entire day. This lead into discussions about Tiny Houses and how much we would love to live in one one day. This also was a tense day where by the end of the day we were very glad to be out of the car. We didn’t even want to get back into the car to find a restaurant so we ended up walking to Superstore and buying a salad, strawberries, and a green smoothie. This was a great decision and the combination of that with some TV at the hotel and a good night sleep made all the difference.

Day 4: April 26

Winnipeg to Medicine Hat

Distance: 1046km

Time: 10 hours 30 minutes

This was by far the longest day of the trip and perhaps the most boring by the scenary out there, but it was a very enjoyable day. This was a very musical day with a lot of time rocking out to various songs and artists at the top of our lungs while driving through the prairies. We made a traditional stop to see Mack the Moose in Moose Jaw and ate our lunch in the wind. As we got closer and closer to Medicine Hat we were getting more and more excited and things finally became more familiar. We made another one of our walks for dinner, but this time Nigel already knew all the trails and the best ways to get there. After dinner we kept walking, checking out the renovations to the mall, and what else had changed in the neighbourhood. We went to bed excited for all the adventures we were going to get to have tomorrow.

Day 5: April 27

MEDICINE HAT!

Distance: 0km

Nigel and I knew that 6 days straight in the car wasn’t going to be great for our sanity so we decided to take a day off in our favourite city. (You can read his thoughts on that here). We started by heading out on a long walk around the coulee’s and trails we love before the day got too hot and then we headed to our favourite bakery for some gouda croissants that we had called to have made special for us. We then headed to the famous Medicine Hat landmark of the giant Teepee and walked around even more. We then headed to the library to check up with a bunch of my old coworkers and the to a favourite lunch spot. The only disappointing part of the day came when Nigel wanted to finish the only part of the trail he wasn’t able to last year and it was still under construction. We were glad it was a hot day since the next stop was our favourite ice cream stand which was a perfect refreshing treat. Last summer we never once went to a movie at the theatre, yet we found ourselves sitting in the dark watching the new Avengers movie which was a good rest moment. Our last spot was dinner which had a small kink in the plan when we found out it had moved, and not just moved expanded greatly. We stuffed ourselves full of BBQ and had a great time.

Day 6: April 28

Medicine Hat to Rossland

Distance: 709 km

Time: 8 hours 15 minutes

Today’s drive started out quite boring, but soon we saw the things that we have missed for the past two years, mountains! We loved that we were headed towards them and even taking a route that both of us had less experience with, the Crowsnest Highway. Fortunately the road was not closed at all during the day we were driving through as it was the day before for avalance control, but we did see the most snow and had a few minutes of very foggy driving high in the mountains before we got into Rossland. We got to visit with cousins and an aunt here and had a great time walking around town and playing board games in the evening.

Day 7: April 29

Rossland to Coquitlam

Distance: 632 km

Time: 7 hours 35 minutes

We finally reached the last day of our journey which would take us home. This was a day of Podcasts again with hour after hour spent listening to other people talk. We had lots more beautiful mountain driving and even decided to take a small detour. This detour took us into Oliver where I spent a lot of my childhood and to Tickleberries for ice cream which we both decided was the best decision of the whole trip. Though we hadn’t gotten to the point of hating each other yet we both were very much ready to come home and we safely arrived home in time for dinner.

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