When you jump into a car and the driver has a multi-colored mohawk, it’s a good bet that you’re in for a treat. In my case, the treat was a ride all the way from Blind River Ontario straight through to Calgary. Me and Ben (the guy with the Mohawk) just took turns driving and sleeping until we hit Regina. We did check out Winnipeg on the way though, and I must say, it’s a really beautiful city. I don’t know why I assumed it would be dirty and grimy but it wasn’t, it was really nice.
Now keep in mind that Manitoba and Saskatchewan were both flooding, and the highway actually just reopened right before we passed through. Everybody had told me that the prairies would be boring and that there would be nothing to see, but when you’re used to only seeing the tree lines beside the highway, it’s kind of a nice change to be able to gaze off at the horizon in every direction you look. Combine that with the fact that there were tons of little ponds and lakes everywhere, thanks to the flood, passing through the prairies was one of the best parts of my trip so far.
A good night rest in Regina led to an early morning departure heading straight for Calgary. I had never been there before and I tried to book a hostel so that I could drop my heavy bags and really experience what the city had to offer.
After a long drive, I said goodbye to Ben and I had finally arrived only to find out that it was Stampede time. Not only was the city electric to say the least, but my hostel was directly across from the stampede. There were people everywhere and everybody was happy. I must have received over a dozen high fives from random strangers, and I certainly met some colorful individuals that night.
After a late night skate session I finally fell asleep at 4 a.m. When I awoke my face hurt from smiling all day long. I talked to a bunch of cool travellers at the hostel and I found out that I needed to take the C train followed by a bus to the city limits where it was legal to hitchhike. Three hours and two rides later, and I was in Red Deer Alberta with my good friend Tara. We hung out for two days and she fed me the healthiest food that I’ve ever eaten. I actually enjoyed it more then the food that I would normally eat. When I left Red Deer, she drove me back to the outskirts of Cowtown. One hour and one ride later and I am in Cochrane Alberta.
I have a lot of food, a lot of water and I have my tent, so it looks like I’m going to be camping here for the night. I will try to wake up early so that I can make it all the way into the Rocky Mountains tomorrow. Though I have no idea what tomorrow holds in store, only one thing is certain, I will be back out on the Trans Canada with my thumb out and a big old goofy smile on my face.
Next stop, the Rocky Mountains…..hopefully.