… As long as a Canadian Highway

Hey sorry!! Sorry for the impromptu hiatus – I’ve been so busy working on Weregeek: Book 2 that I had to let Moosehead Stew drop for few days. But the book’s off to the printer, and we’re back up and running now!!

Oh, road trips… I’ve often joked that to anyone from the prairies, the thought of a 6 hour car journey isn’t at all daunting, since you’ve got to drive that long just to get ANYWHERE in Saskatchwan!! I’ve done the 5 hour drive from Edmonton to Saskatoon in a weekend so often that I know the night-shift workers at my favorite bathroom stop in Lloydminster* by name.

Winter road trips can be a little more daunting, since prairie roads are notoriously pot-holed and bumpy at the best of times, and in the winter that patch of black on the road could be either dry road or glare ice. But that never really stops anyone… (Or, well, sometimes stops people**, but not by choice…)

Anyway. If you’re ever through the prairies, there’s one last thing to note: There’s no “Last chance to get gas” signs, but if you’re driving at night, there probably should be. All those little towns along the way that make great refilling spots during the day close at night, and nothing sucks worse than getting stuck in Bladworth*** with an empty tank!!

* A note: The bathroom in Lloyd that says it’s the “Cleanest Bathroom in Lloyd!” isn’t lying. They even have fresh flowers in there sometimes. And hand lotion.
** Taken this past November, just outside Airdrie, Alberta
*** Say it with me. “Blaaaaaaaad-wuuuuuuurth.” Sorry. Funniest town name, can’t resist making fun of it every time I drive past.

News: Posted February 9th, 2010 by Alina

^ 15 Comments to “… As long as a Canadian Highway”

  1. Soranic Says:

    There is a town in New Jersey called Tuckahoe. The town has (or had) an inn, which was named for the town.

    Posted February 9th, 2010 at 1:52 am
  2. LoneHowler Says:

    Oh yes southren albertains are the same way we often use hours for dravel distance, because if you travel through the mountains kicks mean nothing because there are parts where you have to slow right down for steep inclines, declines or sharp turns.
    Usaly on a road trip I insist on everyone in the car to use the retrooms when we stop for gas, even if they don’t have to go right then because some of the next rest stops are hours away
    and for funny town names there’s plenty but the first one that comes to mind is just north of Calgary is Balzac, just say it a few times XD

    Posted February 9th, 2010 at 2:35 am
  3. groovekittie Says:

    Sadly, the bathroom in Lloyd you speak of is no more. I leave near Lloyd (my rez is an hour away), and the gas station shut down. I suggest the Fas Gas on the way out of town. I don’t know about the bathroom (since I’m only an hour away it isn’t really a concern for me lol), but the guys who run the place crack me up. The one who pumps is super friendly and the one who runs the till is the exact opposite, just a blank slate. lol But they pump your gas! 😀

    Posted February 9th, 2010 at 8:20 am
  4. Damien Sim Says:

    I guess traveling in the tropics isn’t the same as in temperate countries. Went overland from Bangkok to Siem Reap with my sister by bus and car. Unique experience. From Bangkok to the border very good roads. From the border to Siem Reap, dirt/mud road… made even more interesting that is was raining most of the way. I guess it would be the about the same hitting black ice… start sliding across the road while going straight.

    On a totally different topic… just wanted to share some hedgehog pictures that my sister took in NZ



    Posted February 9th, 2010 at 9:40 am
  5. Chakat Firepaw Says:

    You missed the seemingly random jogs in the road that make sure that you’re still awake.

    I may be from Toronto, but my mother is from Armit. We used to drive out west every summer.

    Posted February 9th, 2010 at 10:56 am
  6. Ren Says:

    *sigh* I was somewhere just east of that picture outside of Airdrie. In the company truck. Thankfully, I wasn’t driving, and we didn’t get very far before the boss called and told us to just go home rather than try to get back to the office.

    Posted February 9th, 2010 at 5:43 pm
  7. thisfox Says:

    Sounds like “you know you’re rural when” for Aussies. There’s a small town in western NSW I’ve driven through called Bergen Op Zoom. We all think that’s the sound your car makes when you go over their bridge….

    Admittedly I’m only on the outskirts of rural. Five hours down the road is Town, so, really, only honourary rural compared to the folk who measure the trip to town in days….

    Posted February 9th, 2010 at 6:32 pm
  8. BookWyrm Says:

    I grew up in Queens (part of New York City, for those who live far away), and when my parents took us on trips outside the city, the trips were measured by time rather than miles. And many other people in NYC do the same thing.
    Several years ago, I took a trip with 2 friends, going from New Jersey to Michigan. It took 8 hours to get across Pennsylvania. The rest stops were spare: clean restrooms, drinking fountain, 2 vending machines, and a map showing where you were on the highway. And no heating. It’s cold at night in May. Outside: picnic area and trees. No other amenities. When we crossed into Ohio, WOW! Their rest stops were covered with huge domes. Inside, very spacious floor area, good-sized clean restrooms, and a selection of better than average food options. Outside, a nearby gas station. I know which place I’d rather be stranded in!

    Posted February 9th, 2010 at 8:32 pm
  9. tommtkl Says:

    Ahh the nostalgia of road trips. When I was a Peace corps volunteer in the bush of Kenya, read electricity stopped 8km up road, my weekly supply run to the nearest town was a long road trip. According to the signs it should have been 13 km of off-roading and 12 km snake-back uphill climb on a paved road. 25km total a good day it took 1.5 hours. That is assuming it was during the dry season. Rainy season and the dry riverbeds are flooded and I have to help push out the vehicle. As for bathrooms once you found a public bathroom you spread the word to other volunteers about their locations, since most place in Kenya it was for paying customers. I knew of a dozen or so in town running from my village in Rift Valley to Kisumu.

    Driving in the states I always time my bathroom breaks every two hours or if traveling by interstate every other public rest stop. Mainly to top off my drink or look for something interesting to look at.

    Posted February 10th, 2010 at 10:27 am
  10. monkey_weaz Says:

    I have to agree with LoneHowler. Growing up in mountainous BC, whenever we took long road trips we never measured the distance in kilometers or miles, it was always in time. At least that’s what it boiled down to.
    Me: Mom, how much further?
    Mom: About 60 miles.
    Me: How long is that?
    Mom: About an hour and a half. (Dad was an overly-cautious driver)
    Me: Oh, okay. (goes back to napping)

    Posted February 10th, 2010 at 4:34 pm
  11. Roland Says:

    Oh my – how spoiled we are in good old Germany… never think about tank stops – there`s always one a handful of miles ahead. Never think about bad roads – worrry about traffic jams. This winter is the first “real” one in northern Germany for (felt) millenia, wich means, regular snowfall for more than two weeks, and in the beginning they talked about “snow catastrophy” – meaning 20 centimeters of snow! Everyone is complaining now because THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SALT ANYMORE TO KEEP EVERY SINGLE ROAD AND SIDEWALK ICE-FREE! Can you imagine the horror, the utter chaos, the end of the world as we know it?
    Well, for funny names. I won`t bother you with german puns. But when after WWII american soldiers came to the small bavarian town of F***cking, no-one really understood why the GI’s were shaking with laughter.

    Posted February 11th, 2010 at 7:11 am
  12. PedroSteckecilo Says:

    Highway driving in Canada can be hazardous, I try to always adhere to the following rule…

    If your tanks is below half and you aren’t sure where the next gas station is FILL UP. It’s not a good thing to find out that there are NO gas stations along the Kokahola Highway in BC, or that it’s 3 freaking hours until the next gas-station once you pass Coleman, AB going through Crowsnest Pass when you’re basically running on fumes.

    Posted February 11th, 2010 at 11:18 am
  13. Caradin Says:

    hehe. In Texas it’s pretty much the same way. I mean, without the snow and shovels. Distance is in hours.. not.. in… you know… distance. If you ask us how many miles it is from Austin to Dallas we’ll be like “Um… four hours?”

    Posted February 11th, 2010 at 5:47 pm
  14. Benski Says:

    Oh man, Road trips with the family. Now, I’m from a small town in Florida (Or…what USED to be a small town that ‘boasted’ being what was refered to a ‘community’…seriously, it’s still on the welcome sign.), and to get to anywhere that was considered ‘fun’ for the whole family, it was an hour trip. Now, compared to your 5-6 hour trips to…anywhere, it’s not that bad. Compare it to torrential downpours of rain that lasted from 5 minutes to 5 hours, and then we’re talkin’. Sometimes, it was just plain weird how the rain fell. We’d pass under a bridge. one side was raining so hard you couldn’t see 10 feet in front of the car, the next it’s clear as day, not a drop of rain! But I’m straying from my point (Do I have one?) an hour long trip with 6 people in the same vehicle was torture enough for an hour or so, imagine when we DID take those 3 hour or 6 hour (or sometimes 8-12 hour) car trips….I’m talkin about Dad, Mom, my sister, and two brothers and me, the youngest brother….It was tolerable in the family van we got, but before that….oh god, impossible to do in a 6 passenger car. So glad we’re all grown up now, and have our own vehicles, our own lives, and our own long-hours road trips…..still prefer to sleep on the way, but kind of impossible to do that AND drive. i think that’s against the law or something.

    Posted February 12th, 2010 at 12:44 pm
  15. Edm_Caboose Says:

    Ah roadtrips! I remember those w/my parents and siblings. The funnest one was when we drove from London Ontario to Kamloops BC and back. Took a long time ’cause we made all kinds of stops along the way, but was crazy fun none the less!

    Posted February 17th, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Project Wonderful - Your ad here, right now, for as low as $0.00