This coming Monday I am leaving on a cross-Canada drive with my amazing daughter who is moving 3600 kilometers (2250 miles) away. The fact she has asked me to accompany her on this adventure is an honor I treasure immensely.
The anticipation for this trip has been high and the preparations furious, both on the part of my daughter and mine. She has a house to pack up and ship, while making sure she says goodbye to all family and friends before she leaves. She’s leaving a job where all loose ends have to be tied up and starting up another one on the other side of the country, the week after we set out.
As for me, I had a book to finish writing, which I’m happy to announce, I did. It will be in editing while we’re driving. There are sales to plan, a blog tour to prepare for, covers to design, and…. Well let’s just say it never ends.
I’m pretty sure by the time we roll out on Monday morning, we’ll both be tuckered. But it won’t stem the sense of adventure, the excitement of driving clear across this beautiful country we get to call home.
Packed in my daughter’s car, with enough ‘stuff’ to tide her over until the moving van gets there—anywhere from two weeks to a month—and with my horse-sized grand-dog breathing down our necks from the back seat, it’ll be interesting.
I called around to find pet-friendly hotels or motels on our route and was surprised to find out that once you leave the ‘big city’, rules around animals are far more relaxed. I spoke to a lady at a hotel in Kenora, Ontario, who assured me the dog wouldn’t be a problem. She pointed out that in the past few years they’ve had any and all kind of animals stay in their hotel; snakes, cats, dogs, birds and apparently, even a young polar bear, which certainly got my attention. All of this adds to my level of excitement. I just hope bedbugs aren’t on the list of welcomed creatures at that hotel…
Driving through Ontario will be beautiful and rough once we get a bit further north. Mostly forested land and we’ll have a very good chance of seeing wildlife along the way at this time of year. Manitoba is uncharted territory for me, so I’m not sure what to expect other than what I’ve been told; that it’s pretty boring. There isn’t much countryside I find boring to tell you the truth. The fact you can see further than the house across the street is a big perk for me. The countryside is supposed to change from forest to grass and farmland. Next will be Saskatchewan, which is purported to offer mostly farmland. Again I will reserve judgement until I can see it with my own eyes. Finally comes the cross over into Alberta, which is where our journey will end. It starts as flatlands but morphs into the majestic Rocky Mountains as you drive west. It is easily one of the most beautiful views on this earth…
Crossing the country, seeing the rugged beauty of the Ontario north transition into 'the Prairies' before reaching the glory of the mountains, has always been at the top of my wish list. Doing it with my first-born only makes that experience richer.
I know my girl will love it there.
But I won’t love leaving her there when I fly back home that following Sunday.
It will be hard to say goodbye to my oldest child, who has never lived further than at most half an hour away. Although we were never the kind of mother and daughter who lived in each other’s back pocket, we’ve always had the security of knowing the other was just a short drive away. And believe me, that has been welcome over the years.
So yes, I’ll feel a little lost when I get onto the plane back to Ontario—leaving my girl behind—but I will have an incredible experience to carry with me. And I will leave with the satisfaction that once again I’ve been given the privilege to send her safely on her way to a bright new future.