From Dundas to Barrhead
The evening before I was to leave for the longest journey of my young life, there were a few concerning thoughts that crossed my mind.
1. I was potentially homeless, as I did not have a place to live yet.
2. In approximately 12 hours my plan was to fit three large suitcases, one oversized duffle bag, three average-sized duffle bags, camera equipment, a backpack, a bag of winter coats, one box full of random items, four pillows, a double IKEA foam mattress, and myself into my 2002 Saturn.
3. Most of the belongings I was planning on stuffing into my vehicle still needed to be packed. But you can’t rush into these things, right? Right.
4. My car was making relatively abnormal sounds, even after a trip to the mechanic.
5. Where was Barrhead again?
Nevertheless, I packed at a speed the Energizer Bunny would applaud, and spent the next morning strategically placing items (using force where necessary) into my sometimes not-so-trusty steed, bidding farewell to Dundas, Ontario.
Because of the prepared nature of my life, my lack of passport would take me the scenic route through Canada rather than the quicker route through the States. But I love my country. My big, big, big...country.
It really was a beautiful drive with the lakes, the towering hills my poor car struggled to conquer, and even a moose sauntering along the side of the highway.
Hours into my second day of driving, I was starting to think there would be no escaping the vast wilderness of Ontario. The open road would finally defeat my decrepit Saturn right there in the middle of nowhere, and I was going to have to live in the woods and kill squirrels to survive. Being a woman of the forest wouldn’t be so bad, would it?
When I saw the “Welcome to Manitoba” sign I breathed a sigh of relief because who am I kidding, the closest I’ve come to camping alone was a tent in my backyard.
I was all set to enjoy Manitoba in all of its glory...then I was out of it. I guess after spending half my trip just trying to get out of my home province, Manitoba was a piece of cake. There isn’t much I can say about Saskatchewan, except I was tempted to put on “I Can See For Miles” by The Who. And the dream-like skies with their perfect puffy clouds are a photographer’s dream.
Long story short, Ontario was really big, Manitoba in comparison was really small, Saskatchewan was just plain flat, and by the time I reached Alberta I was half delirious with cabin (car?) fever and lack of sleep. I still don’t know what my new province is like.
I can tell you this though: throughout my entire 40-hour trek, I think the most beautiful sight of all was the “Barrhead 1km” service sign. I didn’t run out of gas, my car didn’t break down, I didn’t hit a moose, and I didn’t have to live in the forest surviving off small woodland creatures. I had made it.
So here I am, on my third week in a little town somewhere north of Edmonton, and things couldn’t be better. I’m not homeless, I can fit comfortably in my still-running car now that I’ve unpacked, and best of all: I’ve been constantly surrounded by an abundance of friendly people. Barrhead, hands down, has been the most welcoming community I have ever had the pleasure of moseying in to. I can say without a doubt I will enjoy my time here.
In order to post comments on our web site, you must validate your email address. An email was sent to you when you registered that included an activation link. If you have not yet done so, please click on the link to activate your account.
If you did not receive your activation email, please click here to have it resent.