I BEAT MY PREVIOUS “# OF HOURS DRIVING IN ONE DAY” RECORD!
On Wednesday, March 8th I drove for 15 hours straight. I drove from Jackson (Hole), Wyoming to Edmonton, Alberta — in one go. I only stopped for gas, to pee, and to go through drive-thrus for food.
The first part of the drive was the best, the drive over the Teton Pass between Jackson and the Idaho border. It was much shorter than I expected, but was beautiful. It was completely snow covered and the amount of snow at the side of the road was above the height of the car. It was slow going, maybe a max of 50 km/h. But there were no trucks allowed, so it was only other passenger cars with lots of space between them. Apparently you can ski directly from spots along the pass, as there were several parking areas along the way with cars and people with skis and snowboards walking around.
Once I got to Idaho (my first time in the state, and my second new state on this trip) it was pretty clear sailing. The roads were snowy and icy, but the wind wasn’t bad and after about 2 hours the roads got clear. The roads remained clear until northern Montana, when they got bad again.
Near the Canadian border, the highway takes you through a Blackfeet Indian Reserve. One route – via highway 89 – goes over a ‘mountain’ pass, and that pass was closed because they had yet to clear it after the snowfall. It was less than 30 miles to the border from where they closed the road! I had to detour around it on highway 464, which took an hour or more because the roads were not very nice. Ironically, when I got back on highway 89, they had started to clear the pass and I probably could have just waited on the other side and not driven the detour and it would have taken the same amount of time!
I crossed the border near Cardston, AB, which seems to be in the middle of nowhere! There’s nothing major near the crossing on the US side, and there’s nothing major near the crossing on the Canadian side. The only thing in that area is Waterton Lakes National Park, which is on both sides of the border. I suspect they must get a lot of summer, camping traffic, but the winter traffic is almost non-existent.
I crossed the border around 7pm and there was no one in front of me and no one behind me. In fact, it was so dead at the crossing that the border agent wasn’t even in the booth when I pulled up! He asked a bunch of standard questions, but it was way easier than going into the US. AND, when he asked how much stuff I was bringing back, I took out a sheet of paper and read off my tallies. Even though I said I was bringing back more than the personal exemption, he didn’t ask me to pay any tax! This is one of the nice things about a really slow border crossing, I’m sure the agents don’t want to bother having me pull over to pay what would end up being about $15 in GST when they could just go back to their coffee and whatever else they were doing!
The drive in Alberta was completely in the dark, which made it more interesting because I didn’t have to look at the boring scenery. It flurried most of the way through Alberta, but the roads were fine. And the entire route was highway 2, so there was no worries about needing to turn anywhere.
I reached Calgary around 9pm, and then got home at midnight. In the end, it took about 1.5 hours longer than Google maps predicted, which is pretty good considering the big detour I had to take.
Of course, when I did get home, I was so wired I could have written a major exam without a problem. I ended up unpacking the car right away, although I just put everything in the front hall. And, of course, the best part was being able to see my fur babies! Everyone got hugs and kisses and they were all purring up a storm! I missed them so much!
Thursday, March 9th:
I don’t know what time I fell asleep, but I do know I didn’t wake up until around noon on Thursday! The only productive thing I did all day is a Skype call for one of my research assistantships. And a nap — naps are productive!
Friday, March 10th:
Now I’m caught up. My travel adventures are over for now. I think I’ll be transitioning this blog from a travel blog to a climate change blog, as per the training program I attended.
I have two climate change articles to write — one for the Edmonton Horticultural Society’s Gardener’s Gate magazine, and the other for the City of Edmonton’s Master Composter Recycler blog. I’ll post them here as well.
I sent six press releases to Edmonton-based newspapers and never heard back from any of them, so I guess those were a bust. I guess I could try to write a letter to the editor, or an op-ed for them instead.