I made a short trip to Calgary just for fun to see all the nature in between and escape the city life a bit. It’s still winter time here in Canada and our country is well known for frigid cold and mild summers. Funny enough in western Canada where I live the weather can be bi-polar where you can sometimes see sun in the morning, snow in the afternoon, and rain in the evening.
As I was driving along passing through mountains, parts of the highway were covered in ice and snow but about 10 minutes later I’d be in an area where it looked like spring with the sun shining and the road dry.
I started my trip from Vancouver, which is an 11-12 hour drive or about 1200 kms away from Calgary. About the time when I decided that I wanted to pack up things and go on a road trip, it was already late afternoon so I knew I had to make a stop in between to sleep and rest up before continuing. Where? I wasn’t sure but I knew it had to be in a town where it felt safe to sleep in the car.
There are two ways you can get to Calgary from Vancouver: Driving on Highway 1 – TransCanada or Highway 3 (it’s considered the longer scenic route). I took Highway 1 the easier and faster way because during this time of year, highway 3 would be treacherous with all the smaller roads and windy turns, but for visitors in the summer, I would recommend it.
This was the first time I’ve ever drove the highways in winter and seeing the snow topped mountains was a real treat. There’s something majestic about how tall and over bearing mountains are even from a distance.
Many hours of driving had passed and I found myself picking a spot behind large trucks to stop for the night in Golden, BC. It was across a Dairy Queen just off the highway and it felt safe and there were no restrictions for parking. I set up my bed in the back of the SUV, created a fort with a large thick blanket, and watched a movie before falling asleep.
By the early morning at around 5am, I decided to hit the road after having some breakfast at the local Mc Donald’s. I drove and drove and at one point I hit a patch of black ice along the highway.
My car spun out off the highway into a ditch! I lost total control of the steering but was still able to adjust the drift with light taps of the brakes. It was sort of useless though because my windows were filled with a smoke screen of powdered white snow and I couldn’t see what was going on outside. Time slowed down and I felt like I was in the game. Luckily I landed in a somewhat flat ditch and my all wheel drive vehicle had no problems getting out. Happy to say no vehicle accidents occurred because of it and no damages to the car. I’m counting my lucky stars.
Made it to Calgary.
What a beautiful city and if you’ve been here during the summer, it’s even more gorgeous. Something about this place feels like home in my heart. It’s Canadian modern, rustic in many parts, but it’s all down to earth.
I’d describe this city as having a cowboy and modern feel to it, a mix of stone and glass I would say. I’ve always thought of this city as a crossover of Edmonton and Vancouver with a valley and river running through the city as seen in Edmonton, and tall modern glass structures as seen in Vancouver.
I have an affinity for libraries that are well designed and gives a cozy feeling. I guess it stems from my uni days where I would spend a ton of time in libraries and appreciated ones with many amenities as well. Calgary just recently built their central library and it was on the list of must visit.
Four floors of modern space for the public to enjoy. It features free wifi, cafe, meeting rooms, many bright open work spaces and reading areas. Well designed and built.