Alberta, Dawson Creek to Edmonton on Highway 43, June 3&4, 2008

25 06 2008

Has Anybody Seen My Wild Alberta Rose?

Help! A Giant Canadian Beaver!

Some highways have fancy names but this highway was just called “43”. Our first stop in Alberta was a giant beaver at Beaverlodge. (Alberta has a lot of giant things like perogies and pysanka.) From the front the giant beaver actually looks quite imposing and sinister. We noticed there was a farmers’ market open right now, so of course we went, because we are obsessed with “local” food. It was late in the day so it was somewhat picked over, but we did get 1L of honey for our friends in Edmonton and a big bunch of picked-that-day asparagus, which, when we steamed it later for dinner, turned out to be the Best Asparagus in the History of Civilisation.

Our second stop was the Husky at the edge of Grand Prairie. Points of wonderment were propane cost only 65 cents a litre. 65 cents! And in the bathroom was the “XLerator”; the most powerful hand dryer ever made. The XLerator can dry your hands with air in the same time it takes to wipe them with a paper towel. Its air comes out with so much force it makes a circular indentation on whatever body part is under it, and the thin layer of fat on your arm ripples. If you want to install an air dryer in your bathroom, I recommend the XLerator. (Click here to witness the XLerator in action).

It Turns Out Bears are Everywhere

 After Grande Prairie the Highway 43 was pretty busy with quite a bit of farm residences on both sides. I was doing a buck five down a straight-away when a bear dashed across the highway right in front of the Boogie Bus! I decelerated as fast as I safely could and prayed to something somewhere, the way us agnostics do in panic situations, that we wouldn’t hit the bear, or get hit by the giant pick up truck behind us. The bear wasn’t really that close, I guess, because it made it across okay, and so did we. But for me it was a heart racing Bear Scare. You just don’t expect a bear to dash across the highway in such a populated area.

For some reason we had decided the stretch of road between Grande Prairie and Edmonton was a part to blaze through without any rose smelling, but you have to eat, right?, so we stopped to make lunch at a picturesque boat launch on the Little Smoky River that was awash with pastoral beauty. We thought where we were was off the beaten track but several boating expeditions came through and we enjoyed the friendly boatniks  and watching the 4X4’s drive right into the river.

Pastoral Beauty at Little Smokey

Our plan was to get to Edmonton, or as near as we could, that night. If BC only has outhouses at the highway rest-stops (which it does) it still beats out Alberta which has nothing but a lit place to stop on the side of the road. Sorry, Alberta, but we peed on your ground. We got really close to Edmonton but we didn’t want to roll in at 4am so we went off the highway a bit and found a spot near a gas station (so we could use the bathroom in the morning) where there was a row of trucks, campers and mo-hoes for sale, and we cleverly parked within the row and put up our curtains and slept. Because The Boogie Bus was caked with dust and bugs, and our bikes were strapped to the back, perhaps we couldn’t have fooled anybody, but in my experience most people aren’t really that observant.

The Miracle of Probiotics

It had been hot and we had slept without amenities for 3 nights in a row, so we were stinked up by the time we got to Sue and David’s. I took a shower and Sue and the 3 months young baby, Nathan, took me shopping to Planet Organic where after much quering and search I found a jar of unpasteurised sauerkraut, a staple in my life and Boogie Bus. Later, we taught Sue and David Settlers of Catan. Sue won! But I’m not sure if it was a regulation victory because I called dibs on winning at the beginning of the game.

Resting at Little Smokey River

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One response

13 07 2008
rixgal

I loved this! You’re a great travel-journaler. We have been on Hwy. 43 numerous times and relished each “Point of Interest” as you did. The beaver is the bomb, baby. And Settlers of Catan… is there a better game? No. Happy travels.
Linda in Phx. AZ

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