Saturday, May 9, 2009

Unremarkable vs. Unforgettable

I'll take a clear stand on this one! No beating around the bush. Today we drove the "upper part" of Rt 22. It was pleasant. Very pleasant. It was an easy ride. It was flat by comparison to other alternatives. Unfortunately, it was also quite unremarkable. So unless ease of drive, time considerations, and fuel economy are high priorities you simply MUST cut over after Cochrane and take the run from Banff to Jasper. Now THAT! IS UNFORGETTABLE! There are a lot of people who will tell you that is one of the most scenic and spectacular highways in the world. It's hard for me to argue with that point of view and I think, once you have done it, it will be for you as well. Marilyn calls it the "most scenic bang for your buck" she's ever seen. True! It will take you an extra day in all likelihood to run that way. Worth it! It is mountainous. Has abundant wildlife of all kinds. Breathtaking vistas. Stuff that will raise the hair on the back of your neck at no extra charge! It will take more time because you will be hard pressed not to stop often and take a whole host of pictures. If this is your first trip north, if this is you ONLY trip north- take the Banff to Jasper run. It will be the thrill of a lifetime without any doubt.

I know I said I wanted to sync the trip two years ago with this year's trip time wise, but I'll make an exception here, because I know some readers are a week behind me and if I wait a week to put these links up I would have to boot myself in the butt if I didn't strongly encourage you not to miss this part of the trip. Especially since yesterday I talked up "Catch 22." It would be a dis-service, plain and simple. It's that good! But before I offer you the links to three posts I think you might benefit from reading, a bit more about today. We saw quite a few beavers working the holding ponds and having a good time. A good size herd of buffalo as well, plenty of deer, most of them muleys. Warning signs for moose, but none sighted so far. There was one sign I fancied. Alberta has a new campaign against driving "Intexticated." Has nothing to do with alcohol; I didn't use the wrong word. They just don't permit text messaging while you are driving. Works for me! I don't like it when I'm not driving.

Clouds were the most interesting part of today's ride. We drove in and out of short but powerful blasts of mini ice storms. Each one died away before it got to be a problem with windshield buildup. Pretty, actually!

No pictures worth stopping for on this stretch of the road, so I didn't. But please, take a look at the posts from the Banff to Jasper run just to see the comparison, of which there really isn't much of one. Just Do IT!

Mountains In My Mirrors

The Bigger They Are (just for fun)

More Banff To Jasper

I think you know the drill. The colored text above is an active link to the posts from our Banff to Jasper run of two years ago. Click or double click will take you to one post at a time.

I also noticed that two years ago, Mark and Chris asked about the Verizon wireless air card for pc connection. They wanted to know if it was working under the regular plan or whether it was incurring roaming charges. And two years ago it did incur a few (but not always) charges based on roaming, even though we used the "North American Plan" for the trip. Never did figure out just where or when the charges came from and honestly I didn't care because at least it kept me connected. I did a check of "My Account/Verizon" before posting this, and no charges from roaming at all have appeared. Just tell Verizon you need the North American Plan before you head into Canada. You can call them and remove it as soon as you get back in the states. The additional charge is a mere 20 dollars a month- worth it! Some places have free wifi, some have pay wifi, and some of them actually work off an on!!!!

I'd like to extend a hearty welcome to the truck camper set- forum readers - with NATCOA. No sooner did Mike from Chicken Gold Camp post a link with your forum, than some of you, already in front of me on this jaunt, started sending back road and weather conditions to be aware of. Most helpful- thanks a bunch! Keep up the good work, and I hope to meet a lot of you at the Outpost.

That's it for now. I hope you'll find the time to check out the posts from the Banff To Jasper run.
Friends don't let friends drive without it!

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