There and back again: A Canadian road trip story

Photo by Linda Martin. Used with permission.

Photo by Linda Martin. Used with permission.

“We could take the road up to Jasper and cross the border into BC,” Linda said when we finally arrived in Edmonton. “That would truly make it a cross-Canada trip.”

I rolled the idea around in my head. It would add at least half a day of driving to our (already very long) trip from Toronto back home to Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. At this point, I had been away from home for almost eight weeks. I shook my head.

“No. I’m sick of being in a car. I just want to get home.” For a second, though, the idea was tempting.

The BC side trek was nixed almost as soon as it was suggested. But it’s okay. From late May to mid-July, I drove from Fort Smith to Edmonton, had my windshield replaced (I’m still mad at you, Alberta), met up with my father at the airport, drove for four days across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and all of Ontario while it pissed rain and fogged us in all the way to Pickering.

I stayed in Pickering for three weeks before my parents, my brother (Sean/Waterboy), Linda and I piled into a Ford F350 with a camper attachment and drove to Niagara Falls (for the weekend … mostly so I could attend the most awesome Shared Harvest Harmonica Retreat), then on to New York, Massachussets (where Linda taught us the word “Massholes”), briefly into New Hampshire, through Maine (I opted out of the side trek to stalk Stephen King), back into Canada by way of Nova Scotia (which was the point of the trip), and then back through New Brunswick, Quebec and Eastern Ontario. A few days later, Linda and I were back on the road heading west.

I’m a road trip kind of guy, but even this tested my patience. I estimate that in eight weeks I spent about 150 hours in a car. The majority of that time was spent driving six, eight or 10 hours between stopping points, but part of it was spent running all over Toronto, Edmonton and almost the entirety of Nova Scotia.

I dubbed it the Great Canadian Road Trip (with the Great American Detour). More on all of this in future posts. I think I have a few stories to tell.

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