Posted by: James Shannon | October 25, 2010

Herein, A Woman Is Crushed By Her Own Backpack OR Day 1 Of The Great Canadian Adventure!

This post will be the first in a series documenting my trip across a country, amazingly enough, I had never seen from end to end … until a week ago.  I came out to Alberta 5 years ago via the United States, as Hurricane Katrina had just blown through, and gas prices were sky high.  Wanting to not get raped at the gas pump, I traversed the continent via I-90, and bypassed most of Canada.

This time however, I was determined to experience the people and places of my home nation, in order to better appreciate the differences between here and Southeast Asia.  And so it started, dark and early on a Saturday morning in October (the 9th, to be exact), 3 intrepid explorers got ready to explore the vast reaches of ou … WHA?!   There’s a 4th person coming with us!?

Originally, it was going to be a party of 4 striking Eastward across the Canadian Prairie and beyond, but then Amy bowed out on us.  And then, that morning, she came with us after all, needing a ride to her uncle’s place in Edmonton.  Now, the car was already packed to the gunnels with bags and boxes, so fitting Amy and her 3 bags was going to be a bit of a challenging puzzle to say the least.  This is what we came up with:

backpack, funny, road tripAmy is seated behind her pack in the backseat … say hello Amy (mmpht!)


Just a bit more comfortable (but down for the count after staying out late the night before) was Abed in his self-constructed cocoon in the right back seat:

road tripAbed totally out after waking long enough to stow his bags and build his bed


After juggling the bags around for about 30 minutes to make it all function properly, we got going on a 5,000 + kilometre journey across most of what our country has to offer … I shot a video to kick things of properly, as seen below …

And shortly after, we were treated to an unreal sunrise as we left the friendly confines of Jasper National Park …

sunrise, road trip, Jasper National ParkNo caption required for this sight…


After grabbing breakfast in Hinton, we got into Edmonton, dropped Amy off, then forged our way across Alberta to our first new province of the trip, The People’s Republic of Saskatchewan.  2 1/2 hours into this new region, we spotted our first cliche road trip moment: scaling a hay bale and standing atop.  I failed miserably at this task, but Abed was alot more adept than I, as shown below:

Saskatchewan, hay, hay bales, road trip, CanadaAbed contemplating the nature of infinite horizons … and hay bales


We stopped in Saskatoon for dinner at a place called Athena’s, a restaurant known for their pizzas.  After eating, we shot some pool … it was the usual for me, start strong, miss easy shots later on, other player gets hot, I lose.

Athena's Pizza, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, pool, billiards, road tripShooting pool @ Athena’s in Saskatoon


Once we stepped out of the eatery, we had to snap back to reality and make miles.  Yorkton was 3 1/2 hours away, and it was getting dark.  Steve lead the Blue Rocket towards his families’ summer cottage at Good Spirit Lake north of town by about 11:45pm CST (yes, that’s Standard Time, Saskatchewan doesn’t believe in that Daylight Savings nonsense!), and we dragged our road-weary bodies inside to watch some opening weekend NHL hockey, before collapsing into sleep…

cabin, cottage, Good Spirit Lake, pizza, drinking, watching hockey, road tripEatin’ pizza, drinkin’ vodka, watchin’ sports … it’s how we roll.

That’s it for today … next up, Thanksgiving Day in the breadbasket of Canada!


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