Every 6 months we make a pilgrimage. At least that is the way I see it. Like a homing pigeon, I am drawn, every so often, to my birth province. (Technically the February trip is still in B.C., but it is super close to Alberta and filled with the same).
On our summer drive home this year, we tried to stop at a few new places. This is a long drive, even with no major stops, usually taking about 12 hours. Unless we are taking 2 days, we try to limit the stops to gas station fills, potty breaks and snacks.
This time we agreed to add at least an hour to the day. First new stop was the spiral tunnels. This is an engineering feat in Yoho National Park where the trains pass through and spiral over themselves as they do. We were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of it, along with a couple of tour buses full of people.
Just after that was Field. We have stopped there many times, but not as a nice happy family. I was forced to stop there once with the kids, when my daughter was about 5. She took one step out of the car and promptly threw up everything in her stomach. I should have heeded that warning. But I digress, another time, another story.
The next required stop was lunch. Since finding The Nomad Food Co. in Revelstoke, we try to time every lunch stop here. A funky, fun and fresh cafe serving everything from big hearty burgers to curry wraps. Even if we just want a snack, at that point in the journey, it is always worth the wait. (Gets pretty busy in the summer).
Not a new stop, but made special by a huge ice cream treat – Pedro’s in Salmon Arm. A crossing of the Rockies in the summer is not complete without an Okanagan fruit stand. (As I write this, it occurs to me that these names sound pretty strange – what is Pedro doing in a place called Salmon Arm?)
Finally, as we crested the Coquihalla, we stopped at a large public rest area. We have been forced into this during our winter drive by a kid who needed to pee, but in the summer it is quite different. There was a gourmet coffee and snack truck. I half expected a small band to be playing. There were random travellers stopped, some looking like they were staying awhile. But the best part of this break were the signs showing circle routes throughout British Columbia.
As we stood there picking out our favourites, ones we truly would like to do, and started looking at the kilometres involved, it was fine to take a picture and think, “someday”. With only 45km into Hope and then another 150km to our doorstep, we were practically home already.