Since there was so much smoke in Montana we decided we’d rather just drive to our next destination … Edmonton. It was about a seven-hour drive and that included the scenic drive we wanted to take through Glacier National Park.
Here’s our first “next time we’d do this differently” moment. Buy the park pass! We didn’t think we’d go to the parks because the dogs can’t do much there but we also didn’t know they had such scenic drives.
It was even more beautiful than the Rocky Mountain drive, even with the swirling smoke through the canyons. We stopped a few more times to get photos than we had previously, but it was worth it.
Not far after the exit of the park did we arrive at the border crossing. We were expecting them at least asking questions about the dogs, but instead they just asked the basics “who are you, where are you from, how long are you staying, do you have anything illegal” and waved us through. The drive in Alberta was different than we expected. It was all farmland, and pretty flat too. Luke had never been to Canada and my only experience was in Vancouver so neither of us really knew what to expect I guess. Driving north, you can see Calgary in the distance for a long time…it’s the largest city. We stopped there are grabbed some Canadian fast food at Tim Hortons. We definitely showed we weren’t from around there by our off encounter with the young man taking our order. We were only a few hours away at this point so we only stopped one more time for gas.
Why Edmonton? That makes us go 16 years back in history. For anyone reading and doesn’t know our love story, we originally met when we were 13 years young. We were on mission trips with an organization called Teen Missions International and I went to France and Luke went to Australia. My best friend that summer was a girl named Rachel. She actually is the one who told me that Luke liked me, and is credited for us even being together today. Anyway, Rachel lives in Edmonton and when we had originally talked about going to Canada and the route we might head, I knew I wanted to reach out. Rachel and her husband graciously offered to let us stay with them, pups and all! They have a toddler named Oslo and a pup named Jesse too, so it was a full house.
It was great exploring Edmonton with them and having a native as a guide. One of the nights we even met up with the rest of Rachel’s family who took us in as their own. Her mom said it was fun to see me in real life after so many photos from all the years ago.
One of the days Rachel had plans so we explored on our own. We were able to leave the dogs at the house, which was a nice change of pace, and we went to our first game cafe. We’re both board game lovers, so it was fun to be able to play and learn new games. One of the games we played was called Patchwork and it was a lot of fun.
After our game day, we came back, walked the dogs, did some laundry and prepared to head out the next day. Stephen, Rachel’s husband, grilled up some delicious burgers and we enjoyed the weather and company. After dinner, he brought out some maps and worked with Luke to navigate Jasper National Park, our next destination. Once there was a plan, we put the maps away and had our own game night. Rachel also brought out her photo album from the France trip and we reminisced. She even had a photo of Luke in there!
Did you notice anything different in this post? No camping! It was definitely different being in a home again, but being with old friends who are now new friends made a world of difference. We hope we see the Musselwhite’s again soon.