We left the Belltown Inn in Seattle at about 7:30am and at the recommendation of the front desk staff went down the street to a little cafe for some coffee and a breakfast to hit the road with.
The map below explains everything. The weather had gotten significantly worse in the 2 days we had been in Seattle. Before there was dry ground, clear roads and bright sunshine. Now this had all be replaced with the desolate snow that we had thought we had left behind (although to be fair we haven’t seen much this year). Snoqualmie Pass was worse than before and we saw numerous vehicles (small cars in fact) putting on chains. Again we drove it line normal sane people and had no problems.
The Canada boarder crossing at Eastport / Kingsgate (just north of Boners Ferry or south of Fernie) is under construction dn we went single file thought the maze of ATCO trailers.
The rest of the drive from about 1 hour before Fernie until highway 2 was mostly a whiteout blizzard that involved us following snowplows at about 65 KM/h.
All together it took us 13 hours to get home and see our cats who were very excited to see us and got showered with petting and love.
What other passenger vehicle has sold to more than six million people and elicits these sorts of descriptions from owners? Heaven on wheels. A Swiss Army knife. Freedom. Human qualities. Cultural icon. Imprint on cortex of brain. Open road. Adventure. Romantic. A song. Big movie screen.
These are but a few nouns and adjectives used to describe the iconic Volkswagen bus. This documentary film premieres Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wilma 1 Theatre.
We debated bringing Ziggy, but with the distance, (we are planning on going all the way to Seattle and back) the short time-frame and the fact that Ziggy has been parked since November, we decided the car was the better vehicle for this trip. It will make us sad to see all the other VW busses converging on Missoula. Apparently, there will be a caravan of VWs heading over from the Seattle area on Weds the 22nd!.
For our trip, we managed to leave work a bit earlier than normal, around 4; washed the car, got some food for the road (Coco Brooks pizza), and hit the road heading for Fernie. We have updated our map page to have our real-time satellite tracker map. (It uploads our position every 10 minutes and has an emergency SOS assist button if we run into trouble. We got it as a safety net for our Ziggy travels where we are out of cell range.)
The roads were good, clear and dry until we hit highway 3 (Crowsnest highway) and found out where all the snow has been hiding. A few active snow plows, sanders and a slower 20–30 km below the posted limit. We got through the storm and arrived into Fernie looking for a place to sleep for the night.
We tried the Best Western Plus which looked nice, but was totally full! On a Wednesday night! (Yes, we know — ski town, ski season). We wound up at the Travelodge. The Aussie girl at the front counter was sweet, but other than that, I’m afraid we will avoid this stop in the future. Our room was dirty (like stained face cloths, a small pile of garbage in one corner and grimy bathroom floors — we did our best not to look too closely at our bed, short of the bedbug check) and there was NOHOTWATER this morning! We even tried a couple of times, but no luck.
We are now heading off to find some breakfast, and then on to Missoula!
So, some of you may recall that we donated some money to help a documentary film get made. This film (The Bus) is now complete, and we have been invited to the premiere screening, and pre-screening party in Missoula Montana. Now, when we originally did this, we were thinking the screening would happen in spring or summer, and would be a fun random little road trip, whenever it happened to be.
About a month ago, we got the e-mail announcing the film was complete, and premiere screening would take place on February 23rd (insert needle-scratch here). Admittedly, of all the Februarys in which to have a road trip, this is probably the best one, weather-wise, in at least 30 years.
Also, it just so happens that my birthday (30!) is on Saturday. When brainstorming about some fun things to do for my birthday, Seattle came up – and stuck. And so it is: Calgary to Missoula to Seattle and back again. We love our random little adventures. Even the really random ones.
So the past few days have been a whirlwind of trying to get stuff tied up at work, getting passports sorted out, and laundry done and packed. I have been sick for the past couple of weeks (an annoying cold, off and on, just to keep me on my toes), which just adds an extra layer of fogginess to everything.
Last night as we were leaving work, aiming home to get all the last minute bits packed and dealt-with, we got a flat tire. Brian started to change it himself, and he got the lug nuts off, but the tire would.not.come.off. We pried and pulled and kicked to no avail. And then called CAA. They arrived perhaps 45 minutes later, and used a rubber mallet to knock the flat off the car. Got our donut put on, and headed south towards home – crossing our fingers all the way, that Canadian Tire would still be open and willing and able to patch our good tire. Can’t drive highways for days on a donut! Luckily, we walked right in, and they were able to deal with it all right away. 30 minutes and $26 later, we were FINALLY on our way home for real. Didn’t get home until 8:30, starving, tired, and thinking “really? We’re leaving town tomorrow??” But we managed to get everything done, we’re all packed and ready to go.
Really, we’re taking the flat tire last night as a good thing – Got it out of the way BEFORE the road trip. Much better to deal with a flat in Calgary than on some random highway!
Our first trip of 2012 was a fun family weekend at my Aunt’s & Uncle’s cabin near Coleman.
We (Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, Two Sisters and a bro-in-law-to-be) spent a cozy relaxing weekend pretty-much playing board games and hanging out in the hot tub. Can’t think of a better way to spend a January weekend!
This was the second year in a row that we’ve had this get-together, just after Christmas. If you’ll recall, last year resulted in a plaid-shirted group shot. This year, we only have partial group shots:
This was our attempt at going for a walk on Saturday. We only made it about 10 minutes down the path when we decided it was just TOO cold, and we were going to have to head back. It was the kind of wind that hurts like a fillintheblank. So instead, we went to a garage sale in the basement of the local post office. Aaaaaand then, back to the hot tub.
There’s a loft space which normally serves as my aunt’s painting space, which magically transforms into a puzzle space for us. She has a loooong skinny table which lives along one wall, but swings out easily so everyone can get around it to work on the puzzle — which also, amazingly enough, was long and skinny itself.
Admittedly, in the past 6 months or so since our wedding, the frequency of our adventures has ebbed to a relative low. We have temporarily shifted our gazes inward, to our home, and each other. Not a bad thing, unless you have your hearts set on lots of new blog posts…
On the September long weekend, we headed out west. We spent the first night in Yoho National Park, at a provincial campground. To our great surprise, we ran into some friends of ours at the same campground in the morning. It was great to have breakfast with them around their awesome morning campfire, and they invited us to go hiking with them that day. It was a beautiful hike, up to a perfect blue-green lake, where we had a picnic lunch, and found lots of frogs (or toads, I’m not really sure which). After the hike, our friends had to head back home, and we aimed south, towards the Purcell Mountain Range. We found the beautiful, peaceful campground by Mitten Lake (thanks to our Camp Free in BC book) for Saturday night. It was postcard perfect, complete with calling loons. We will certainly seek it out again sometime. On Sunday morning we got up and headed further south, then back east a little — down to the Crowsnest Pass, to visit my Aunt & Uncle at their cabin in Coleman. We chit-chatted around the fire, then had a dip in the hot tub. On Monday we had a lazy day — Worked on crossword puzzles together, and Cora took us each on a quick Rzr (basically an all-terain golf cart) ride. In the early afternoon, we wandered back home.
In early November, we flew out to White Rock BC to visit Brian’s mom and aunt for their birthdays. Technically we were there on his mom’s birthday, but his aunt’s being only a week prior, we took them both out for birthday dinner celebrations. We went to Seasons in the Park, at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park (the highest land point in Vancouver), then back to Auntie Lee’s place for Wacky Chocolate Birthday Cake. As usual on our trips to the GVA, we did lots of walking around, breathing in the wonderful sea air. We even got to visit our buddy Chris who lives in North Van. We were just out for the weekend, which felt far too short — but it was all the time Brian could afford with work at the moment.
We’ve stayed in Calgary this Christmas season, working around the house, and relaxing a bit — which has been nice. In a couple weeks, we’ll be heading back down to The Crowsnest to Cora’s & Tom’s cabin again, with my sisters as well. We will have good food, good company, good times.
Beyond that, we are planning to go on a Mediterranean Cruise in the spring — Sort-of a Honeymoon part 2, and a trip to Hawaii in January 2013 with sisters, bro-in-law, aunt, uncle and cousin! Lots to look forward to, the next year promises to be an exciting one!