2015 has arrived and for me it brings in some major changes in my life. I have finally moved to Calgary, Alberta to begin my new adventures. I’m super excited, but do have to admit that the final days of 2014 felt like a punch straight to my gut.
To complete this move to Calgary, I had to drive to the other side of the country. Now there are two ways to make this drive from Ottawa to Calgary. The easy way would be to go through the states which would knock off a day. I chose the hard way and decided to drive through three provinces using the trans-Canadian highway. Man was I so naive to think that this drive would be a piece of cake.
I set out on this epic journey with my wife on Dec 26 from Ottawa. The sky was clear and there was no traffic on the road. I felt like I was in a movie, being on the open road with my wife at my side. Like most movies, there has to be conflict and it started when we headed towards the mountains of northern Ontario. I should of knew this was the beginning of the real drive, because a wolf ran across the road in front of us. That is when the sun disappeared and the sky turns into darkness. It was hard to see the road in front of us and to make matters worse, it began to snow. This was making the drive a bit complicated and the signs that said to watch out for moose didn’t help either.
After battling the darkness and the weather, we made it to our first stop. It was in Wawa, Ontario (Fun Fact: It was once the hitchhiker capital in Canada). Once we were in town, my wife and I notice that it was completely dead. It was 9 o’clock at night and the town looked deserted. I swear I thought we were in a horror movie. What didn’t help was the motel that we stay in. The motel looked old as hell from the outside. Inside, the place reeked of stale cigarettes. The decor looked like it was straight from the seventies and they weren’t going to change it for no one. I did find the picture of a beach amusing, since we were up in the mountains and it is winter. To check in, we had to go to the bar. That is right, the bar is where you check into the motel. We had to remind ourselves that this was an adventure and weird things were going to happen. Our room didn’t fair any better. The wallpaper was torn and collecting grime on it. The cigarette smell somehow made its way into our room. The first thing that I did was locked our door and put a chair underneath the doorknob. I’ve watched a lot of horror movies and they always get the black guy first.
The next day, I was more than happy to leave that motel. We wanted to hit the road early to make up some good time on our travel. Unfortunately, Mother nature had other ideas. There was a big snowfall that hit Wawa, the roads were slippery and the visibility was poor. I am a city driver, so driving in northern Ontario I was going to take my time. I swear that pickup trucks and transport truck were passing us all the time. I could imagine that the drivers were shaking their fists at me. All I wanted to do is make it out alive and not end up in a ditch or worse. Eventually we made it out of the snow fall, but a new challenge arises. Winding roads started to appear. Every time I increase my speed, I had to slow down or I would end up hitting the side of the mountain. It was nerve racking, but at the same time I was getting an adrenaline rush. It was becoming a video game to me as I was making the turns. I’m sure my wife didn’t appreciate that, but I had to get some enjoyment out of it. I will say that the view of Lake Superior was amazing. It made the drive to our second stop much more pleasant.
After waking up from an amazing sleep at our second stop, I was sure that it would be smooth sailing since we were heading out of Ontario. What I didn’t realize that the hardest part of the drive would be from Manitoba through Saskatchewan. There were no mountains to drive through or roads with sharp turns. It was a long straight road to drive on. You may think that this is not a problem, but if you drive on this part of the trans-Canadian highway, you would understand. Along the road is fields of nothing for hours. You may see a farm house or gas station every couple hours, but there is mostly nothing. The new battle was with myself as I try not to fall asleep from sheer boredom. One mistake and I could end up in a ditch. Trust me when I say that help would take a long time to come and on top of that it was -36 degree Celsius with the wind chill or -32 degree Fahrenheit. Going off the road or running out of gas was the last thing on my mind. My eye lids did get heavy a couple of times, but I push myself through to cover most of the highway, even my wife had a hard time with the drive. The blowing winds did help because it did shake the car a bit to keep us up.
Eventually we made it to Calgary, but had to drive through another snow fall. I have to admit it was an experience that I felt I had to do once in my life. Now I believe that driving for three days is a young man’s game. It was an interesting experience to end off 2014. Now I I’m looking forward to 2015 and the flying that I’m going to start to do for now on.