One of my favourite drives in Alberta is from Milk River to Taber. Just north of Milk River, at Warner, we'd get off the highway onto another, well, it's called a highway, I call it a road. It's fairly flat and straight (and boring) until the road dips a little, then it swerves as you drive down between two hills, and then suddenly you're crossing a bridge over a long, skinny lake (the name of which escapes me). You reach the other side, climb up the small hill, and you're back to fairly flat and straight. I loved that moment as a child, I would anticipate the change in the scenery for the whole trip, and I did my best to try and memorize the change in the road which would tell me when the lake was coming up. I made a game out of it. How many false guesses to when the lake would appear? Eventually I didn't need to make it a game. I knew that road so well, I knew exactly when the lake was coming up.
At the age of twenty, after not having done that drive in a few years, my mom and I drove up to Taber to visit our family there. As we approached the dip which proceeded the lake, I found my feet tapping on the floor of the car in time to my fingers tapping on my legs, my heart started to skip a little as noticed the familiar change in the scenery, suddenly we were driving down and as the bridge appeared a huge smile broke out on my face. I wanted to shout and clap, to tell my mom I still knew all the signs but I some how managed to contain myself. When I close my eyes, I can still see the changes I memorized (I wonder if they're still there) and the image of the bridge as you come out from between the hills. If I was an artist, I would draw the scene because it's so vivid in my mind. There is nowhere in BC--no hidden road, no secret forest campsite, no memory-laden beach--which fills me with the glee and excitement of that 2 minute stretch of road in Alberta.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
This was originally part of the piece I wrote about Alberta but as I rewrite I'm finding that this doesn't work with the rest of the post. It means too much to me, however, to just toss it aside.