Tag Archives: Trans-Canada Highway

Happy Trails, Part 169: ‘Half-bucket list’ journey completed

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — We’re settled overnight in a place that looks nothing like the scene pictured with this blog post.

What you see in this photo is a glimpse of Canada’s Rocky Mountain range. My wife and I saw it the other day while driving east from Banff National Park in Alberta. It rained for three days while we were parked in an RV park in Golden, British Columbia.

Still, this view presented itself as we trekked toward Medicine Hat, Alberta. So I snapped a few pictures of the mountains we would leave behind.

We completed what I have called our “half-bucket list” journey across Canada. The Trans-Canada Highway traverses the country across the southern regions of its provinces. We had intended to see the entire length of the highway, but decided to cut it short by roughly half; we plan to see the eastern half of the highway at another time.

Our retirement journey has enabled us to visit much of the United States already. We’ve hauled our fifth wheel to both coasts, to the Great Lakes, over much of Texas. We’ve seen national parks, national landmarks, scenic splendor … just name it, we’ve likely seen it.

Canada presented another trekking opportunity for us.

The Canadian Cascades are as gorgeous as I had known them to be. As for the Rockies, well, the picture I’ve provided with this blog post tell you that they, too, are breathtaking.

The rolling plains on the eastern slope opened up under a huge sky. We journeyed through range and farm land.

My wife spotted a grizzly looking down from a hillside in Alberta as we zipped past at 60 mph.

This has been a wonderful journey, one that we pledged long ago to take. So what if we didn’t do the whole thing in one sojourn? We’ll get to the rest of it in due course.

The journey will continue. For now, though, we’re content to head for the house.

Happy Trails, Part 136: Planning our destinations

I have decided that perhaps the coolest aspect of retirement is thinking of places to see and then just deciding when we’ll get there.

We have so many places we still want to see on this continent of ours. We are planning an April excursion that will end up in New Orleans. We’ll hitch up our RV in Amarillo and then haul it to the Hill Country, to the Golden Triangle and then through the Atchafalaya Swamp en route to the Big Easy.

But then the thought came to me tonight: I want to see Monument Valley, Ariz. I told my wife and she agreed, just as I agree with her travel-destination ideas.

I don’t know when we’ll get over there. I am betting it will be soon after we return from New Orleans.

But my point is that retirement has given us the freedom to just think of these places we want to see. All that is left for us to do is decide when to shove off.

Do we have a “bucket list” trip we want to take? You bet we do.

The Big Journey will take place across Canada. Our plans call for us to haul our fifth wheel to Vancouver, British Columbia, from where we will trek east. We intend to haul our RV across Canada, perhaps as far as Nova Scotia. Then we’ll come south along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, visiting friends and family in Virginia and in Washington, D.C.

Yes, retirement for us has opened up so many opportunities. In a strange way all the travel destinations we have laid out before us remind me of how busy my work as an editorial page editor had become, especially after 9/11.

That was the date when all hell broke loose. There was so much on which to comment, my task each morning was to decide which issue we would tackle for the next day’s newspaper edition — and which issues we could set aside for another day.

The United States and Canada comprise between them more than 7.5 million square miles. Surely that means we have enough destinations awaiting us to last for the rest of our lives.