Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hwy Thirty-Six

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.

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.


Shannon said...

Guess what, I have family in Taber too...any more hidden similarities?

AndreaC said...

Really? Taber 'Corn Capital of Canada' Taber? I'm starting to feel like one of those 'two twins, separated at birth...' stories ;)