Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
(EDIT: find the entire route from Lancaster to Vancouver here!)
If my car and I were in a facebook relationship, it would be "complicated."
The thing had no idea what speeds over 70mph were like, so the speedometer decided to metronome erratically the whole drive today. Fine, Eileen. Two can play games, I'm not driving you for a month. And you smell. Some cars, if you're with them long enough, they just stop taking care of themselves. She'll probably find some nice Lexus or BMW in the parking garage to hang out with.
In much cooler news, today I arrived in Vancouver and began setting up shop in my aunt and uncle's apartment. It's a great, classy place right next to the University of British Columbia (and one of the rinks where Olympic hockey was played this year!) with access to anything I will need. I realized today that I don't know a single person within a day's drive, but am resolved to see this as a great opportunity to meet other people.
How come writing a blog makes you feel like that one lady on Sex and the City? Ok fine, I know her name is Carrie, thank you ex-girlfriend for that useless information.
Speaking of girls...Seth Colon, you had better be reading. Jerk.
Go Blackhawks. Moratorium on NHL talk until the offseason.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Apologies for the delay everyone,
I'm writing to you from Kamloops, BC, about four hours from Vancouver. That's right, the long drive ends tomorrow.
But before we look ahead, here's what happened this past weekend:
I received a phone call from my long lost cousin Kristen, inviting me to stay at her and her husband Chad's house when I stopped in Calgary. After catching up as much as possible that night, and meeting their wonderful daughter Manning, I took a tour of one of the restaurants Chad manages Saturday. The Redwater Grille also happened to be where we ate dinner that night (a little more about that in a second.) Thankfully and delightfully my Aunt Sandy, Uncle Grant and cousin Travis drove down from Red Deer for a visit. The presence of family so far from Pittsburgh is the only thing that topped the Alberta steak Chad recommended, and now I fear I can no longer eat steak, knowing I can never have better.
A million thanks to Kristen and Chad for their hospitality. By letting me crash at their house for the weekend they afforded this weary traveler the opportunity to refuel for the home stretch of the trip. I can't wait to drive back through Alberta to see them all again...
…as well as to re-experience the beautiful landscapes in British Columbia and Alberta. To say the least, Mid-west and Western Canada are expansive. I'd never seen clouds so large.
See the hint of elevation in the background of suburban Calgary?
I knew the Rockies dwarfed the Appalachian mountains, but nothing prepared me for the sheer majesty of the tallest mountain range in North America.
Images alone cannot capture the experience of driving through the mountains. Today's seven hours of driving were easily worth the effort. After awhile, taking photos became futile, as there aren't enough megabytes available to properly document the landscape.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Welcome to Brandon, Manitoba…supposedly the place I'm named from. I was going to push through the extra 5 hours to Regina, but hey, it was worth it watching Philadelphia lose. Leighton forgot to trip.
Speaking of trips, today consisted of pushing Eileen to the limits on the most incredibly flat terrain I've ever experienced.
Brandon is home to this year's Memorial Cup tournament. Go Wheat Kings!
They don't know it yet, but I'm hoping to see my relatives in Red Deer. Maybe I'll have to push work off till next Tuesday?
Thanks to all of you who read this boring thing, it's nice to have people along for the ride! No, seriously…around 2:30 every day I need a nap, catch a flight already.
I met some really nice bartenders at "Huggy's" next to the Days Inn. Always nice to have people to chat with.
The next two pictures are only relevant to one person, in fact the coolest person on Earth. Yea, suck it Bill Murray, you're a distant second.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
…that's a title from one of my favorite Starflyer 59 songs by the way.
Hello followers! All five of you! If all goes according to plan, this update will include lots of photos and interesting tidbits, not to be confused with Timbits, the delicious donut holes found at every Tim Hortons!
Catching up a little bit,
Yesterday I drove past the exit to the family cottage, hopefully on the way back I can stop in.
Ben, Seth, and the Sauders know what I'm talking about.
As an indication of how cold Muskoka winters can be, here is a picture of the amount of wood it will take to heat my aunt and uncle's beautiful home in Utterson. Pictured is my cousin Conner, who is probably smarter than I am and is "beast" on a trampoline (you're welcome Nicholas).
Uncle Jeff made sure I got some cool photos of Eillen behind the fire.
The camera makes the shot look better than it probably was, BUT… I learned how to hit a golf ball this past Monday, and went out in the field to find one of them. That house in the background is where I hit it from. Ben Weaver just shit himself in disbelief.
Here is a shot from yesterday's drive, a small view of Lake Superior taken while I took a leak.
…and the room at the Northern Lights Motel where I stayed. Highly recommended!
I was told to get a picture of the goose in Wawa.
Ontario driving survival question: Which animal is the most feared on the Ontario section of the Trans-Canada Highway? (Canadians can't answer!)
…the Terry Fox memorial. Please take the time to learn more about him here.
Click on this picture if you dare to get a close-up of the thousands of bug's Eileen has slaughtered. The car literally reeks. Gross right?
I'm currently in Dryden, Ontario, home of Captain Elbows Mr. Chris Pronger.
The updated route is here.
Manitoba tomorrow! Should I stop in Brandon?
Comments more than welcome!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
So I skipped past Sault Ste. Marie and stopped in Wawa (no, not the gas station).
My current route is taking me around Lake Superior, which is pretty neat.
Eileen passed the 88,888.8 mile mark today, and like a stooge, I forgot to take a picture of the odometer. Today officially marked the 1,000th mile of the trip.
I couldn't get a picture of the bridge going forward, so that's the best you'll get. Good shot of how much stuff I'm hauling though…
Michael Leighton is on acid. Have fun losing to the Western Conference, Philly. You aren't that good. That's what bitter looks like.
Anyway, hockey frustrations aside it's been a good trip…if I can put together a few 10hour drives, I should be in Vancouver this Sunday.
Supposedly there is a giant goose here in Wawa, I'll try and get a shot of it tomorrow.
Gas is extremely expensive in Canada, it costs about 50% more to fill up the tank.
Finally stopped at a Tim Horton's today, I forgot how good their Iced Cap's are. Not my photo btw: Iced Cap
I saw road signs indicating there were Amish about, yet couldn't be a tourist and find one to photograph. Yet the world still turns…
I'm hoping to make it to Dryden, ONT tomorrow. Here is a rough sketch of the route so far...
Saturday, May 15, 2010
This is why you drive 10 straight hours!
I'm thinking today will be a good opportunity for pictures.
My biggest concern about my trip so far, besides getting stuck behind a Buick, is maintaining amusement during the 8 + hours I'll be driving each day. Does anyone recommend any good audiobooks?
At least I don't have to worry about missing Penguins games. And though I despise the Flyers, I'll have to agree with the NHL promo videos and say that history had been made. (www.thepensblog.com)
Eileen has already racked up 550+ miles so far, and I've enjoyed keeping up with crazy Toronto drivers. It's amazing how quickly you can cover long distances without stops at Cracker Barrel.
I've yet to stop by Tim Horton's. Then again, I'm not a tourist. Tourists in Huntsville, ONT are called "terrorists" by the locals. Speaking of, the G8 Summit will be held in Huntsville (home of Les Stroud!) in June.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Arrived today at the Sinclair residence, aka my former home away from home. It's amazing how quiet the country is, something I certainly miss.
Internet connectivity prevents some cool photos from being uploaded, but stay tuned.
Certainly looking forward to a weekend in Muskoka!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
At 6:30 AM EST, Friday, May 14 2010 I will begin my cross-continent journey from Lancaster, PA to Vancouver, BC. I invite all of you to join me vicariously as I take Eileen the 3,134 miles across Canada. Expect frequent pictures, videos and other updates between now and Sunday, May 23 (and beyond!)
I would like to thank in advance my employer, REMOS Aircraft, for giving me the week off. But more importantly I'd like to extend my infinite gratitude toward my wonderful parents and extended family who have and will continue to support me throughout this experience.
I'm sure it will be Vancouveriffic. No.....Canadamazing? Needless to say, the title is a work in progress.