Every year. Every year since I’ve met my wife*, I have made the trek north to Smithers, Hazelton, Kispiox, etc., BC to visit her mom, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends.
It’s a very long drive. Interestingly, it’s essentially the same distance from Edmonton as it currently is from Calgary: 1,150 kms. While it would only take light under 0.004 seconds to travel that distance, it takes us 12 hours.
12 hours in our little Toyota Matrix. The kids sleep, eat, read, eat, play on the iPad, ask for snacks, tell me to turn down the music, and eat.
The first 4 hours take us through world class national parks Banff and Jasper. I never tire of driving Highway 93 through the Columbia Ice Fields.
Everytime I’ve driven Highway 93 at this time of year it has been covered in a thick pack of snow. This year it was bone dry allowing us to make good time. And it didn’t muck up our undercarriage.
Amber reserved us rooms at the Hostels International in Jasper, which is just outside of Jasper. The common area is beautiful and peaceful. I played card games with three guys I met after Amber and the kids went to bed. During that time however, there was a group of 8 guys who were very loud and very rude.
We had a private room. My kids were tickled to sleep in a bunk bed. I had a hard time getting to sleep with all the comings and goings and loud conversations and dance music (?!).
The next morning, I drove to McBride, BC where we stop to pee. We pass Mount Robson, the highest mountain in British Columbia, on this leg. Amber drove the next 2 hours to Prince George. She got to drive through the blizzard. The weather can be different every 2 hours as you cross through different mountain ranges.
We stopped to stretch our legs less than an hour from Smithers at the little highwayside park in Houston. They boast the largest fly fishing pole.
Then we enjoy the warm hospitality of our hosts and the cool mountain air and bits and pieces of northern life.
*Almost every year. Every year minus 3, so just 15 times.