Canada is vast.
Actually Canada is really, really, really, vast.
If you take one really small car, one really huge country, one very amenable cat, and one somewhat crazy girl and drive them all from sea to sea all the way across Canada and you have one heck of a road trip. Oh yeah!
I do think that you only really get an understanding of just what a remarkably huge place Canada is when you drive all the way across. If you are the sort of person that has any affinity at all for road trips you really ought to give it a try.
The journey is really and truly awesome!
But maybe don’t try it in a very nearly vintage tiny convertible car with a pretty questionable automatic transmission and a remarkably drafty soft-top. Yeah, don’t do that.
This momentous trip was planned to relocate our little world to a nifty little Island in Nova Scotia. You see we had discovered this little house on the MLS realty site and we had whimsically decided to buy it (Over the interwebs… yup). Great idea! Right?
Determined, we purchased a nifty fabric car-top pack to complement the tidy little green dome tent that would be a home for me and for the lovely little Kitteh-navigator (ever taken a cat camping? …Short answer – they don’t enjoy it).
We packed up the house and filled the tiny car with everything that would fit. We got the really good maps from BCAA and bought the super-duper roadside assistance package. Our very amenable and long suffering kitteh got possession of the passenger seat and the job of slightly yowl-ish copilot. Okay, Let’s go!
The very first leg of the trip lands you in the town of Golden for the night (unless you are a tireless and cheery night driver that is – me not so much).
The first wrench in the works? – a semi-truck had careened off a wild section of highway that includes – the very long and very steep – “Rogers’s Pass” and so the road was closed for the night which was not discovered until we sat at a complete traffic standstill for three hours. Then it got really quite dark. Hmmm.
Dark, in a strange town, somewhat sad about the poor truckers’s accident and also nowhere near the first campground we had so carefully marked off on the “Super-Duper-Drive-Across-Canada-All-By-Yourself” map. Great.
Really… so… very… great.
This might have been somewhat less unpleasant had we not already managed to miss the turn off to the Coquihalla highway forcing us to take the “scenic” route, without this error we would have saved a couple of hours and maybe landed at camp in daylight. Also – the alternate “scenic” route is freaking scary as it is a single lane, insanely steep and curvy “road-like” thing with crumbling ledge-like shoulders that encouraged you to compete for road space with about ten million really massive and loaded logging trucks. Good Gaaaahhhhh!… and then some!
Me and the Kitteh finally managed to find the very weird centre-of-town campground and we gratefully set up our tent for the night (Kitteh seemed pretty grateful to be able to stop crossing her legs). Okay one day down (phew) – only nine more fourteen hour driving days to go… Eep! Pretty sure by now that it would be a better idea to turn around and go back home.
Only – have no more townhouse lease, no more job and have lawyer and realtor waiting out here for me to sign on the dotted lines. Okey-dokey.
Me and our most lovely Kitteh, did actually, make it all the way without incedent. We stayed in some really lovely campgrounds and saw the gorgeousness that is Canada. Pure and serious pretty. The Rocky Mountains are just a picture postcard for sure, end of story they win for hands down and most massive loveliness.
I am a huge fan of the prairies but that might be because you can clear two provinces off your list per day and they have something like FOUR lanes on each side of the highway so you never have to feel like you are in the way. Nice
Ontario we are not so sure about. One lane highways and a much lowered speed limit combine with some seriously agro-drivers that make the three day trip across that province somewhat less than serene. Oh, and there is just about an entire tank of gas between filling stations… so pretty much white knuckles all through there. Yup. Pretty lakes though.
Quebec is plain old “loverly” all the way. Rolling farms and neat swoop-roofed farmhouses and the very nicest (and cheapest) campgrounds by far! Montreal driving could pretty much stop your heart though. No such thing as safe driving distance there. AT ALL. Nope.
Then you get to New Brunswick and pretty much the best highway in Canada. Seriously how do they afford to keep the pavement so perfect? So much of the wow!
The endless “Watch For Moose” signs that pepper New Brunswick highways do tend to get a little alarming, though, if you stop to think that the Moose (Meese?) most likely outweigh your little car. (By an enormous amount…Eep).
This is when you know that you are getting close. To Home!
Cape Breton is an easy drive from New Brunswick but we did stop at one more campground for the night to try and arrive at the little house reasonably rested.
Good job kitty… we made it!