I miss the scenery I grew up with. Mountains, giant trees, and water, always water. Rivers, lakes, streams or ocean always within a kilometre or less. The landscape is rugged, pointy mountains, trees that scratch at the skies, water that is always rushing, trying to change the course of their pathway, wearing down the rocks and beds they travel over.
Roads that twist and turn, roads that follow the river or cut into the side of a mountain. Roads that have an end, usually at a beach or base of a mountain. Roads that don’t stretch in straight lines for miles and miles at a time.
Alberta is flat country, empty for the most part; once you’re outside the cities.
Yesterday, I went to Drumheller with a friend. We went to see the Royal Tyrrell Museum, because it’s dinosaurs and I needed a good drive. (He’s a terrible navigator, by the way, but we still made it, with only minor delays and one backtrack that took us nearly halfway around Calgary again.)
We took highway 9. It takes you through farm country. Nothing but fields, green with grass for hay or yellow with canola plants. The drive takes a lot of straight Alberta roads, boring to drive on – not much to hold your attention when you can see 5 miles down the road before the next sign. I will concede that Hwy 9 has more corners and curves than our route home. The route home took us through Rosebud and down TWP 250. I liked the gravel, my friend, though he suggested it, did not. Probably because Henrietta doesn’t go over 80 on gravel.
What I noticed is how big the sky seems here. Yes, at home it is the same sky, clouds and sunlight, blue and gray. But at home, the mountains and trees keep you close and only let a small sky through. Here, in the prairies, the sky is endless. It stretches from one corner to the other with room to spare, like putting a queen sized fitted sheet on a single bed.
When we got into Drumheller, the sediment layers in the hills is pretty amazing. On our way back from the Museum, my friend and I went for a walk in the Midland park. We may have wandered off the trail and climbed a hill. Not a Hoo-Doo, we didn’t get that far. But our hill was pretty awesome. The view was lovely, I saw wild cactus, and some very lovely, delicate orange wildflowers.
I’ve been missing adventure, I’m glad to have had some of it recently. My travel bug is reignited and I have quite enjoyed my random explorations of new places, even if my sleep has suffered.