Driving to Alaska: Day 5

April 19, 2019

Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada – Cochrane, Alberta, Canada

There was nothing special about the town of Medicine Hat, Alberta. In fact, I remember nothing about waking up there whatsoever this morning. I only know that I climbed out of the back seat and into the front seat, without exiting the vehical, and I continued on my way.

Today is an exciting day. Today the loneliness ends. Today my adventure partner joins me! I get to pick him up from the airport in Calgary, Alberta this afternoon.

My morning of driving proceeded well. It felt innocent and hopeful. Once the afternoon came along, unfortunately, after three nights of sleeping in the back of the truck, each night about 10 degrees cooler than the last, I was so tired. Tired seems like such an ineffective word to use for what I felt, but I’m not about to get a thesaurus out just so I can use the word exhausted or drained or spent or any other word to communicate that I was beyond emptied of energy.

I pulled over twice on my way from Medicine Hat to Calgary to take a tiny nap, so I wouldn’t fall asleep while driving. Oh, I was just so, so very tired.

So tired that there was no chance of me accurately converting miles per hour to kilometers per hour in my mind. I was doing my best to keep up with traffic, and that was about all I could offer.

Of course, you guessed it, this oblivion I was in led to my getting pulled over for going 20 kilometers over the speed limit. Luckily, the officer had compassion for me and even admitted that I was in the zone of a speed trap. He let me go as soon as I told him how long I’d been driving and how much longer I had to go. He apologized for inconveniencing me on my road to picking up my husband from the airport. I am telling you, Canadians are simply better than Americans. I’m convinced.

Despite my two naps and one inconvenience of getting pulled over for speeding, I arrived at the airport at the exact time Ethan was due to land. I learned, soon after arriving, that the taxi areas of the airport were really busy. It wasn’t until an hour later that Ethan finally came through the arrival gates. I was overjoyed to be back with my love! And Ralphie was so excited to see his daddy.

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We were both starving, even though we were directly between the hours when you’re supposed to eat lunch or dinner. Ethan had been on a plane most of the day and I’d been trying to focus on just getting to him.

The Airbnb I’d found for us was geographically between Calgary and Banff in the small town of Cochrane. I’d arranged for us to stay there rather last minute, as I wasn’t sure we’d feel like we had the time to stop for the weekend and enjoy the surrounding areas of Banff. I was glad to have covered the miles that I did, so that we could actually stay still, even if only for some moments, and be grateful for where we were.

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I so wish that we both would’ve had the energy and desire to go exploring in Calgary; I’ve done enough reading on the city to know we would’ve been more than entertained by what we’d find. There was no chance of either of us rallying, though. We both wanted food and sleep and we couldn’t think further than those large items on the agenda. We picked up a pizza from the Canadian specialty of Boston Pizza. We practically ate the entire thing in the car on the way to our Airbnb.

Upon reaching a real, material, bedframe-and-mattress bed, I collapsed and didn’t arise for 15 hours.

Day 5 Mileage Total: 217

Liv – Authentically


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