[posting without photos until I get a better connection]
Sunday, June 5, 2005
We decided not to have breakfast at Lacombe Sunday
morning so headed north on Highway 2. I spent the
hour-long drive working on the content for
Travelgirl until we arrived at the outskirts of Edmonton.
We chose the Saratoga Family Restaurant
for our breakfast fare and everything seemed
fresher and tastier than the American restaurants
from the previous days of our drive.
Better coffee, fluffier pancakes, bigger eggs,
fruitier strawberry jam. Maybe it was our imagination,
but we really enjoyed our first Canadian breakfast!
Our drive through Edmonton was a confusion of
twists and turns that led us across a bridge onto
a side street but we maneuvered our way through
the center of the city, seeing the residential side
of Edmonton that most people who pass through
probably don't get a chance to see.
Once away from the city, we realized we had to
fill up on gas so stopped at the next town we
came upon - Glenevis. We followed the signs
for gasoline and almost passed it because the
gas station was next to the General Store and
consisted of a single, above-ground gas tank
with a single pump. We proceeded to do the tourist
thing and took multiple photos of the tiny station.
The drive was fairly easy and straight ahead without
too many laboring hills. I'm a very alert driver but
a near-miss with a doe made me realize that
alert in town is totally different from alert on
highways teeming with unpredictable wildlife.
Before we knew it, it was time for lunch. We stopped
at Ernie O's, a small regional chain. I had another
Canadian cuisine experience when the waitress
asked if I would like gravy with my home-made
french fries. Of course I said yes. When in Rome...
While the gravy was a very pleasant flavor on
fries, I quickly discovered that the Heinz ketchup
in Canada is much sweeter than in the States
so proceeded to utilize my fries as an excuse
to eat a lot of ketchup. Delicious!
The rest of the afternoon took us through
increasingly more forested areas with deciduous
trees - aspen, cottonwood, willow, birch -
and as the day went on, we started to enter the
boreal forest of black spruce and fir. (Nature
details provided by wildlife biologist husband).
Our first obligatory tourist stop was in Beaver Lodge,
Alberta, home of the extra large beaver, a
year-old attraction meant to draw more
tourists to the town. Greg, our Walking, Talking
National Geographic Magazine, explained that beavers
have indeterminate growth which means they
grow throughout their lives and can get to be
over 100 pounds.
When we arrived at the beaver, there was a crowd of
people which at first led me to believe that that
was one popular beaver. Turns out there was an
older couple who were preparing to ride
from Alberta to Spokane, Washington on
horseback posing for photographs before
riding down the road. We were too busy snapping
shots of the beaver to document their departure.
Our second obligatory tourist stop was the sign
entering British Columbia. We had missed the
sign entering Alberta so Greg and Mom crossed
the highway to the sign entering Alberta to get
After a debate about where to stop for the night -
either Dawson Creek or Ft. St. John - we finally
settled on the former which turned out to be a
good idea once we realized how exhausted
we were. I, of course, thought it was a sign we
should stay in Dawson Creek when the rain
clouds parted and sun rays streamed down
from the sky as we approached the town.
Greg called them "Moses Clouds."
We checked into the Northwinds Motel, a clean,
nice-smelling establishment and had dinner at
the Orion - pronounced OR-ree-on instead of
Oh-RYE-uhn, a Chinese restaurant that was one
of two Chinese restaurants in town featuring
a SMORG on Sunday night. Yes, a smorgasbord
or buffet, all you can eat.
Then it was off to the laundromat to do two loads
of laundry before heading back to the hotel to
catch up on this blog and catch up on some sleep.