Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Every year, my best trip is the pilgrimage out west to see my family. In the exact reverse of my own childhood, when my father would pack us all up and drive out of the Fraser Valley at five in the morning to take us to Calgary, Alberta, to stay with my grandparents for a few weeks, I now pack up my own children and travel in the opposite direction, from southern Alberta to the BC coast.
(perhaps not very exact, as I avoid leaving at five in the morning at all cost)
This year, we had the additional pleasure of meeting my sister and her family, who were on a road trip of her own through Alberta, in Revelstoke, where we stopped to camp overnight. It wasn't memorable just because of my kids getting together with their cousins, my husband glowering in a violently purple rain poncho, the many flaming marshmallows or even the towering, dense cedars surrounding us. It was a return to camping itself, after eleven years without so much as airing out our old tents. There is a fairly long story behind this, involving an August rain/snow/windstorm on a long weekend in Waterton, a screaming baby, a full diaper, and a shivering dog, but it exhausts me remembering it, never mind retelling it. Suffice it to say, it was over a decade before I found the motivation to again bring tent and children on the same trip.
But on this journey out to the coast, we broke that long dry spell, and despite the other excellent camping trips that followed later in summer, this one sticks out in my mind as the one that got us going again.
For Gwen Bell's Best of 2009 challenge