Tagged with " Calgary"
Oct 27, 2010 -

Leaving on a Small Plane

I can’t believe that I’m flying east a week from tomorrow! I got an awesome deal on my tickets to Montreal from Penticton, but it’s going to be a bit of a circuitous route. To get there, I’ll be doing Penticton–>Vancouver–>Calgary–>Montreal. To get back, I’m doing Montreal–>Toronto–>Vancouver–>Penticton.

Flying directly from Vancouver to Montreal was several hundred dollars more and would have required very early morning flights. Funny how the longer route is cheaper and more convenient! I’m happy that I fly out of Penticton at 10AM (meaning I leave Osoyoos at a reasonable 8:30) and out of Montreal at 4:30PM. I’ll arrive at 11:30PM local time both ways. Long days, and jet lag’s a bitch, but this is the best flight itinerary I’ve ever put together.

Thankfully, I’ve been through all those airports except Penticton (which is tiny), so the trip should be easy. My layovers are all only just long enough to ensure that I’ll make my connection barring a huge delay, so I won’t have too much time to kill. I’ll have the iPod on me for entertainment.

I’m getting pretty excited about this trip and it will be very nice to see my family again after more than two years away!

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Alberta, British Columbia, Canada, Ontario, Personal, Quebec, Social, Travel    6 Comments
Jun 30, 2010 -

Kluane Country

Kluane National Park is one of those regions that, like Kananaskis Country in Alberta, has inflamed my imagination for years. While I would love to explore the region in depth and camp there, just a brief day trip into those fabled peaks was enough to satisfy the itch.

After the car repairs, I headed west on the Alaska highway and, for the first time, pushed past the turnoff to the North Klondike Highway. The landscape became arid, with soft round peaks rippling through, grey and weathered, reminding me of elephant skin. The road imitated the mountains, with one frost heave after another threatening my suspension. I would not have enjoyed this ride with Miranda!

And then, just like that, they were before me, the Kluane Ice Ranges, just as I had always envisioned them. Pointy, slate grey, and snow covered. Beautiful.

I only went as far as Haines Junction, heart of Kluane Country, and turned back. And it was enough for this current incarnation of my traveling life. I would love to come back that way again, in another version of this life where I have more time to explore the territory, but it was enough.

Haines Junction, by the way, is tiny, little more than a swell on the highway, and should not be confused with Haines, Alaska. Alaska Highway travelers headed for Fairbanks should note that they should turn right at Haines Junction for Fairbanks rather than going straight to Haines. I think that someone was trying to confuse the tourists. 😀

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Alberta, Campgrounds, Canada, Travel, Yukon    No Comments
Jan 2, 2009 -

Paralysed

In my (albeited limited) world view, Vancouver is the Los Angeles of Canada, the dark, nasty, don’t get off at the wrong exit or risk a violent death, city, the Gotham of Tim Burton or Chris Nolan. I’m not that timid. I’ve survived Chicago’s South Side, New York’s Washington Park at midnight, Ottawa’s Market after dark, riding the Montreal métro with skinheads, playing chicken with Hells Angels in Gatineau, getting lost in downtown Baltimore, even wandering around the bad parts of Calgary (Calgary has bad parts?). Hell, I’ve even survived a trip to Los Angeles… and that’s what’s not helping the Vancouver situation!

Surprised? 😀

Like with Los Angeles, I know there is a lot to see and do in Vancouver, but, like with Los Angeles, getting around is the issue. In LA, I was advised to not walk around, drive unless I knew where I was going, or take public transportation. I think this left taxis? I wound up driving straight to my hotel on Sunset Boulevard and walking between it and the famous Hollywood sites like the Kodak theatre (even though I’d been advised to not even walk those twenty or so blocks). After less than a day there, I was so exhausted from being on my guard all the time that I just left without going beyond Hollywood (nasty place) when I would have enjoyed doing a studio tour or even just visiting the Griffith Observatory. Looking back, I realise that I would have needed a native guide.

Same thing with Vancouver, it seems, and especially Surrey! Surrey gets a very bad rap; you wouldn’t believe the number of people who told me not to go to Surrey and to especially not be out in Surrey after dark! Last night, I did go out, taking two main streets to go to Walmart and back. Tonight, I’d like to go to a movie, but I have no idea which theatre is in an okay part of town. I’ll need to speak with the very friendly camphost here and ask her what her recommendations are.

Also like in Los Angeles, traffic is absolutely terrible here, maybe even worse than Toronto, but, of course, not nearly as bad as Montreal (because no place in the US or Canada has traffic worse than Montreal).

So, I’m here and really excited and happy to be here but shocked to discover that here is just as scary as I expected it to be!

At least, the RV park is a lovely, non-threatening, bubble. 😀

My first order of the day for tomorrow, then, is to have a chat with the camphost, descarify myself, and come up with one activity for each of  Saturday and Sunday that will get me comfortable with this city!

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Alberta, British Columbia, California, Campgrounds, Canada, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Ontario, Personal, Quebec, Scary Stuff, Travel, USA    8 Comments
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