Kick off: Alberta's Cypress Hills

We rolled out of Calgary last Friday morning as planned.

 Sophie rocking the SUP at Spruce Coulee, Cypress Hills Provincial Park.

Sophie rocking the SUP at Spruce Coulee, Cypress Hills Provincial Park.

We logged several hundred kilometers on the TransCanada highway until we veered south on highway 41 to find a small parcel of land near Elkwater Lake in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.  We stayed for three nights and spent a wonderful Canada Day there to kick off our cross Canada road trip.

From our campsite, we pedaled a beautiful trail along the lake to take us to town where the kids decorated their bikes and participated in a Canada Day Parade.  But getting the kids to pedal a whole lot more than that was difficult with the option to play in the water.  Although there were marked single-track trails in the area, we opted for spending more time with our water toys, especially with temperatures soaring to +34 degrees.  It was smoking.  I was also happy to spend more time on the water.

 Canada Day in Cypress

Canada Day in Cypress

This was a very special weekend for us. 

Not only because it was Canada Day weekend and our trip kick off, but because our number one supporter came down to spend the weekend with us. Although Matt gave me the half chuckle of disbelief and surprise when I first mentioned that maybe I should drive across the country with the kids, he has been on board since the beginning. And he has made sure that we are well set up.  WELL set up.

And so, for Canada Day weekend, he drove his truck down to Cypress to spend the first weekend with us.  And I was so happy for that because we hadn’t done a run through with all our new gear yet.  Yes it’s true, I am setting off on an adventure, practically still pulling the tags off stuff.  I’m fully aware that there’s bound to be something that goes sideways.  Plus the van was fully loaded without an inch to spare.  I had to make sure that once we exploded out of the van, that I could get everything back into it!

 Black Betty heading South to Cypress Hills, Alberta

Black Betty heading South to Cypress Hills, Alberta

I was feeling great about driving the van. It felt good on the road.  But after hitting several sections of rutted road, I wasn’t feeling so good about the bikes on the back end.  They were bouncing all over the place.  It felt like the rack was going to bottom out and my bikes would be left crushed and bent or they would just completely fly off the back of the van.

When we finally got to Cypress with all the shaking and bouncing at the back end, I was happy to take the bikes down.  When I gave the rack a shake, I found that the pin had loosened and I was able to turn the nut with my fingers. 

Does it sound like I know what I’m talking about? Then I’ve done a good job fooling you because the reality of the situation is that I think you call that little part that came loose a nut. Either way, the nut-thingy was loose and I could turn it with my fingers and in my honest Van opinion, I just don’t think that’s what it’s supposed to do. 

So you see, I was thrilled to have Matt with me to pull out the tools he packed for me to deal with such problems.  Anyone who knows my husband will know that he’s a boy scout through and through.  Because of this, he has me equipped with all the tools necessary.  I’m just not sure I know what to do with them.  But I figure I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.  In the situation of the loose nut, he was there to replace it and tighten the rack up. Crisis averted. The rack is now doing its job and other motor vehicle operators don’t need to worry about a fleet of bikes bouncing down the road at them.

We really had a great family weekend with him. And on Monday morning, there was a teary farewell. The kids and I have never camped without Matt, so the kids were weary that we were parting ways. We’ve also never had such a long stretch apart. And so, saying goodbye to send us on our merry way was a bit emotional.

 My Love and I. Sending us on our merry way.

My Love and I. Sending us on our merry way.

 Emily and Ande's Mom, originally from New Waterford but now living in Calgary, displays this flag proudly!

Emily and Ande's Mom, originally from New Waterford but now living in Calgary, displays this flag proudly!

But to the East, adventures await and we are keen to go find them.

And check this out!! Even the Cape made an appearance in Cypress Hills! 

 

Matt, thank you my love! We will see you in Halifax!