Wow, have we really been on the road for a whole week?!? While at times this trip has seemed to really drag, overall it’s going by pretty quickly.
Today we drove from Valleyview, Alberta to Fort Nelson, British Columbia. This was hands-down my favorite drive so far.
We left Valleyview around 8 this morning. Valleyview was basically just two hotels and strip of gas stations and fast food restaurants. Most of the towns that we’ve seen over the past two days have been pretty small. We grabbed coffee and filled up the car with gas and hit the road. Our drive was only about 6 and a half hours today.
Once we drove into British Columbia we crossed into the Pacific Time Zone and gained an hour on our day. Even though my best friend Kelci and I have lived in different towns for the past five plus years, we’ve always been in the same time zone. I’ve always woken up and fallen asleep texting my best friend. It’s so strange now not having her to talk to first thing in the morning because she’s already at work. Or not talking to her while I’m writing this blog because it’s after 11PM on the east coast. It’s like having a long distance relationship, we’ll find a way to make it work. We’ll just miss our old “norm”.
A couple of hours into our drive the road we were SUPPOSED to take was under construction so we had to drive through the upcoming town, Dawson’s Creek. I am SO grateful this road was closed because it gave us a last chance to refuel before driving through some extremely rural and uninhabited parts of BC. BUT I also spotted a Starbucks along the highway! Luckily Matt was ready for a refill on coffee as well, so it wasn’t hard to convince him to stop. I had not seen a restaurant I recognized besides McDonald’s or Subway at this point and I’ve been craving something from home. Gas station coffee is not the best and I’ve missed the good stuff.
After our Starbucks pick-me-up we continued our drive Northwest. The drive today was absolutely GORGEOUS! I know I’ve said this several times throughout the seven days we’ve been on the road, but today was hands-down the most beautiful scenery I’ve seen thus far. Our earth is an amazing and beautiful planet. We just have to get out and explore it once in awhile to actually realize how beautiful it actually is.Today we saw beautiful canyons, swirling rivers, giant Elk standing on the side of the road and the Rocky Mountains! I took pictures but honestly the pictures don’t even do the actual scenery justice. It’s one of those things that you actually have to see in person to appreciate.
At one point among our drive we saw several moose crossings. I was really hoping to see a moose, but we did see an elk which was pretty cool. We also saw tons of deer in the fields. The deer looked huge compared to the ones back home in North Carolina.
We officially turned onto the Al-Can highway today! The Al-Can is the highway that will take us into Alaska. We’ll basically be on the same road until Friday, when we officially cross the border into Alaska. I felt bad for Matt because he literally drove on a two-lane highway for five hours today. There were no turns and tons of RV’s and 18-wheelers that he had to pass. There were also very few gas stations among the Al-Can. People who have been stationed in Kodiak before warned me to stop when we see a gas station, even if it’s just to top off, because we may not see another for a long time. Now I get what they meant. We probably drove 100 miles at one point without seeing anywhere to stop on the side of the road. At one point I checked the weather on my phone and there was just milepost numbers where the name of the location is.
Since we’ve started to hit the very remote parts of Canada our cell phone service has started to get spotty. The cons to this is that I’m disconnected and can’t respond to texts or check social media to help pass the time. The pros to this is we have to listen to something else on the radio besides Boston Sports Talk Radio.
We’re staying in Fort Nelson tonight. This was the first town we’ve seen since we left Dawson’s Creek, the town that had the Starbucks. It’s still a relatively small area. But we’re finally in a hotel where we’re not the only guest. There was a Boston Pizza restaurant in front of our hotel that we went to for dinner. It even sold gluten-free pizza! My night was made! I’ve been trying really hard to stick to my diet on this trip. My body feels so much better when I actually eat gluten-free.
When we got back to the hotel we took Madison to the indoor pool. I’m starting to think Matt enjoys the pool more than any of us and just uses Madison as an excuse to go. This pool had a giant that waterslide that Matt and I both decided to try out. There is nothing wrong with connecting with your inner-child sometimes. After our pool adventures, Madison was beat. She fell asleep drinking her bottle tonight. It’s been a LONG time since she went to bed so easily.
The sun sets SO late here and rises extremely early. The sun will set around 10:30 again tonight but the sun will rise at 4:04AM. Thankfully our hotel’s blackout curtains seem much better than ours last night. I’m hoping Madison and Riley decide to sleep past 5AM tomorrow morning. This Mama needs some rest.