Driving Canada: bumps, ahead.
The general thinking of most Torontonians is that Alberta = mountains.
Cowboys, thick steaks, blonde women, roads I couldn't see to the end of, I wanted it all. If all that failed, a field of wild roses with a serenading, rugged local would do.
But then it looked like this.
It turns out Alberta is a prairie province. I've been deceived!
This was not okay. Furthermore, we had not seen any wildlife despite being promised by multiple (precious) road signs: moose, deer and bears - that we could, according to graphic gas station pamphlets, pay many thousands of dollars to hunt and/or skin. Road life was getting bad.
Happily, a Toronto friend recommended Dinosaur Provincial Park. If there is anything I like more than hats, it is dinosaurs, so this was a thing I decided we had to do before looking up i) what it was, ii) where it was or iii) how long it took to get there. We punched it into the GPS only to have our robotic ally direct us down a never ending gravel road (see above) with no visible signs to any park let alone a world heritage site. We kept driving down this concerning road, seeing no one except a chipmunk (wildlife?) and a single large farm vehicle, which I considered stealing to liven up the moment, as our car inched slowly deeper down a google map black hole.
After many desperate and unhelpful internet searches, I figured out that we had taken the country road the website advised us not to take, but were indeed not far. Within moments of this revelation, our patience was rewarded.
While I felt comfortable missing Wawa's giant goose or Saskatchewan's impressive oil can, a giant dinosaur plus an abandoned country store was a vision I refused to go another day without beholding. There was still no one and nothing about, but now a small sign to the park.
Then with little warning, crevaces snuck up on both sides until everything around us was other-worldly. Of course this was a place where over 50 species of dinosaurs once lived. Alternatively, it looked like the scary bit in Lord of Rings where Frodo really has to commit to everything being evil and the worst and you just know the orcs are right around the bend why-didn't-you-stay-in-the-shire.
If you are in Alberta you should definitely do this because it is random and beautiful and it seems that no one else goes, save us and a sweet old couple in matching khaki who took our photo with their thumb covering 70% of the lens because how do you work this crazy thing?!
Go the way the website tells you and don't need to drive many more hours that day so you can hike the hikes and dig for fossils. Or be like us and leave quickly after a couple of nice photos with a mouth full of chips and jerky and a trusty energy drink at your hip for later or should you just do it now, you should probably do it now. #addiction
This was about the part of the trip I started to feel super sad because it was almost over and #why #what #how. Can't I drive forever through a changing landscape that all kinda belongs to me because Canadian driving through Canada?! The answer is no, I could not. And you cannot keep reading about it because oh my god stop talking about hats I thought this was a wine blog.
There were only two more nights. Luckily they were great and I'll probably tell you about them before the weekend BECAUSE THANKSGIVING TAKE ME TO SWEET HOME TORONTO.