Well kids, I'm all done for this travel block. It's now on to farm life for a while. I imagine by now many of you know that when I'm not traveling I'm working on a large-scale grain farm in central East Alberta, Canada. The farm belongs to Alison's parents and I'm a heavy equipment operator there. I work for 2-3 months at a time, save as much as I can then head out on the road. Winter is the best time to travel as we're not growing anything and there is little to do other than daily chores. I will be at the farm for seeding season and first spray which will last till late June then I'll be off on another adventure to Alaska.
Looking back on my travels this past winter I realized that I was actually "mobile" (not living at the farm) for four months. Not too bad. I had thought my time was going to be a lot shorter, but I guess I misjudged. After my return from Cyprus I had one week left to wrap up everything that was in the works in preparation for my return to Alberta. It was a hectic week but probably one of the best and worst weeks I've had in a while. Here's what went down in the last week.
I arrived back in Canada on Good Friday, enjoyed some family time then charged into the weekend managing to get some wheel time with little brother and snap off some photos of him in his element. I'm continually impressed with my brother Andrew, having taken up mountain biking roughly three years ago he's already surpassed my skill level developed over 17 years on a bike. He's probably the most fired up person about bikes that I know and he's found some serious purpose and enjoyment out of his life on wheels.
The next week was mostly consumed by wrapping up small things on my to-do list, but also getting Casper ready for his new owners. I had a couple come to look at the trailer on Saturday and they gave me an offer on the trailer which I accepted. The trailer was sold, right? Kind of. Due to some complications I didn't end up delivering Casper till Thursday at which point a further complication was discovered when we realized I had forgotten to switch over the VIN plate when I built the new frame. Luckily with some creative thinking the problem was solved and Casper was delivered to his new home in Chilliwack on Friday.
Aside from all the to-do's of the week I managed to get out to Clear Creek Hot Springs with TJ. Traveling through BC's back country again brought on a flush of memories from my time spent on those same roads years previous. It reminded me why I love BC so much and that behind my bad memories of constant rain were really positive memories of when I explored in the sunshine.
As of Saturday I had everything wrapped up and I was ready to leave for Alberta. It was my plan to make it to Calgary as soon as I could to pick up my new tent so unfortunately I had to forego taking pictures as I traveled but I did manage to return to Canmore to camp after spending a day in Calgary with the Hills family.
Every time I return to the Spray Lakes Provincial Park in Kananaskis Country it takes my breath away. I have barely had time to explore this region thoroughly and I regret leaving every time. As I drove towards Canmore it was snowing and miserable, I spent some time in a McDonald's considering what the heck I was going to test out my new tent in such miserable weather, but after I decided to do it anyway and make my way up the mountain I had the pleasant surprise of sunshine and clear views of the surrounding mountains. I slowly worked my way down the road alongside Spray Lakes then cornered onto a familiar turn off, one I had been at years ago with friends Victoria and Duane, and set up camp at the end.
The next morning at 6am I was woken up by an odd sound outside. What I quickly discovered was that the sound was that of snow falling down the fabric wall of my tent. I looked outside to see about 1.5' of snow on the ground and still more falling from the sky. Seeing as I was out pretty far, no one knew where I was and I wasn't really well equipped for snow I decided that it would be best to skiddadle out of there before I got snowed in. Twenty minutes and I was packed up and ready to go, with frozen fingers I steered the truck out towards the road and went snow blasting for the next 45 minutes. Perhaps I should have checked the weather before I went into the mountains and maybe told someone where I was going but what started out as a questionable judgement call turned into a really fun adventure.