Banff Log, Days 1 & 2


Note: I have been keeping a running journal for our trip to Canada. I will be posting over the next few days to get and keep you all up to date on our goings on. It's hard to keep track of us because we're moving fast!

Day 1 - Baker to Spokane

Autumn and I scramble to get out of Baker as soon as we can after work. I obviously am a little freer to leave than she, but we still get home about the same time because I had to stop and pick up her bike from the shop. Nevertheless we hit the road at a respectable 4 o’clock, the diesel humming a steady tune as we head west on I-84. The pickup will run better mileage if we keep the rpm level down, so we cruise at a steady 62 mph. It seems slow but soon becomes simply the speed at which we travel. Honestly I wouldn't be as comfortable driving the beast much faster given that we have the loaded camper on the back.


Waiting for their ride to Canada!


It takes a village!

We stop for fuel about 90 miles in and we grab something to drink and a snack. We try to be quick but end up taking about 25 minutes once all is said and done. No big deal though, since it’s just the two of us. There’s really no hurry since there are no kids to get to bed. On we go, but then realize that we can’t listen to podcasts very well because (gasp!) the radio in the pickup doesn't pair with Autumn’s phone. So we stop again for a cable to hook it up and (10 minutes later) we’re on the road for good. At least until the next stop.
That next stop happens to be for groceries and dinner, so it is really a planned delay. We head to buy produce and a few other things ($$$) and grab some fast food for the road. Junk food, it’s not just for breakfast anymore! That eats up another hour (at least) and then we’re on the road again. We get in contact with our friends in Spokane and they put out an extension cord so that we can plug in when we get there. We don’t plan on seeing them since we won’t be in until late, but plan to catch up in the morning. We pull in and plug in and hit the sack. Day 1 is complete.

Day 2 - Spokane to Sullivan Lake

We wake up several times during the night because we’re parked on the street. It’s the cars or the wind, hard to say which. But overall not a bad way to spend the night since we both are up before the alarm. It’s always much nicer to do it that way. I use our friends’ spare key to let myself in the house. Michele is up and introduces me to the dogs. The chocolate lab is a little jumpy but warms up to dog treats. Also, her sister the yellow lab comes right up for pets, so jealousy gets the best of the chocolate lab and we’re soon old pals. Autumn and Michele spend time catching up while I pet the dogs and sip coffee. Rough life? Hardly.
Once again though, time gets away and we leave a little later than planned. My friend Kyle sleeps through our departure and I am reminded how much I miss spending time with them. After another stop for more coffee and a light breakfast we set off again. Except, we need fuel again. Okay, we don’t really need it, but we’re down to half a tank and are headed for parts unknown. It’s best to have a full tank! This time we’re on the road for good and we make good time on the 2-lane highway. The diesel hums its steady tune and steadily chews up the miles. We head up through a beautiful valley on a road that winds its way past cold blue lakes. The truck sways on the uneven pavement like a boat on light swells. Autumn feels a little queasy so I slow it down a little. Then we’re on Sullivan Lake, almost to our destination. We take two more detours (yes, wrong turns) before we find our new spot. Ah, there it is! As we putter around the loop to our camp site, I see our friends’ rig and trailer. There are bikes and camp chairs all set up, but no one is there. They must be at the lake with their kids and ours. Then we see it. I can’t really process it for a second but then blurt out to Autumn, “that’s mom and Harry!” It’s a pickup in the same burnt orange with kayak racks on the canopy, towing a tent trailer. “It might be them,” says an unconvinced Autumn. But it’s them, I just know it is. How strange that we run into them out in the middle of nowhere. But mom had just emailed how they were going to pull their tent trailer instead of their hardside so that they could keep up with their friends, who had a small A-frame trailer. Yep, there was the A-frame trailer too!


Teagan and the rest of the gang!

We park the truck and I have a weird sort of excitement because I know that it would simply make mom’s day to see the kids. Yes, we’d all enjoy seeing each other for sure, but I know where we rate in relation to the kids. Grand kids are special that way! We walk down to the lake and head down towards some noise. Of all things, there’s an active airstrip! That will make Kal happy since he’s a pilot. On we go and sure enough, Harry is playing with the kids! How weird is that? They have been traveling for over a week neither of us knowing where the other one was. It simply blows my mind!


The next couple of hours are spent playing in the lake and having lunch. Autumn and I trade off watching over the nappers and running. We each get a little jog in on the local trails (sweet single track for those who wonder) and relax a little. And now you’re up to speed. The kids are up so I have to go. Talk soon!

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