Original Facebook post July 31 at 1:23 PM
When I decided to postpone the western half of my coast to coast trip across Canada last year because of the fires, I meant it when promised, "Ah'll Be Back". (That post with other Eastern Canada trip links here https://tinyurl.com/y8jg7pjl). So this year I crossed over from Upper Michigan (AKA "The U.P.") into Sault Ste Marie (pronounced "Soo Saint Marie") Ontario, CA to begin my journey across westward. Since I am now writing this with Western Canada in my rear view mirror, I want to focus on a few revelations here.
First, the 700 kilometer/435 mile drive from Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay, ON is drop dead gorgeous! It looks like someone placed the stunning rolling, rocky hills of Tennessee right next to the breathtaking blue waters of Lake Superior. And it is surprisingly free of people, so there is never a crowd to get in the way of pure enjoyment.
Secondly, the marathon drive from Thunder Bay, ON to Calgary,, Alberta is lonnnnngggg and uneventful. Think driving through Kansas or Nebraska, but with almost no gas stations (something that almost left me stranded by the roadside). And there may be some very cool places along that route, but I didn't know about them.
Thirdly, since decided to power drive the 2700 km/1675 miles from the Soo through to Banff, AB in just 2 1/2 days, and simply pull over and car camp when I was tired, I learned that I am no longer 21. Those monster drives seem longer. My body seems to complain more. And there isn't enough coffee in the world to keep me hyped.
Fourthly, while the middle of Canada may be sparsely populated, Banff, AB was so packed during the tourism high season that my camping buddy, John Taylor and I had a hard time finding camping spots. And Lake Louise, AB was so crammed that there were literally no parking spots, so we never even got close enough to see it. So all this is to say, plan the timing of your visits to these two places accordingly and make reservations in advance.
Finally, for me the true beauty of road tripping is the freedom to see amazing faces and amazing places that I would never experience any other way. And as you will see in some of my previous posts and the ones to follow, my Mother's homeland has them in amazing abundance.
They are in the friendly small towns that dot the country side.
They are in the majestic landscapes that rise up to greet you.
And they are all there waiting for you to visit them so you too can say...
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