The Road to Okotoks

Yesterday, We needed to escape for awhile: Man, Woman and Pug.

Sunny day for a drive about

My analytical husband figures out where we will go  based on the most recent covid stats.  Not Lethbridge, not Calgary and not Cranbrook. So we decide on Okotoks,  a suburb of Calgary that also has a Costco. I used to call it the $200 club in the good old days when I went shopping there and never left before spending $200, which at the time seemed like a lot and seemed to purchase a lot. Today we call it the $400 club, as we have for many years now and it purchases about the same as $200 did all those years ago.  But still great value. We purchased a side of Atlantic salmon for $33, which turned into 12 vacuum sealed individual portions.  A small tin of macadamia nuts was $25 and worth that and maybe more based on their most deliciousness.

“Save the Oldman River” signs dot the roadside along Highway 522, The Cowboy Trail. The owners of this signage disapprove of further open pit coal mining in Southern Alberta and fear the impact on environmentally sensitive areas such as the North Saskatchewan watershed and the Oldman River.  I share this concern.

I’m on the lookout for a couple of vultures I often see along this road.  They are a relatively predictable and always interesting sight, perched on a tree branch by the side of the road, lazily trolling the landscape whilst waiting for something to grab their attention.  We also see a great big, beautiful white-headed eagle fly above our vehicle, also trolling for a snack.

Along the way,we listen to an audiobook, this one titled NPC (Non Player Character).  We have been listening to this book for awhile, and today we had 4 and a half hours left.  This was enough to get us to our destination and home again.

The day is sunny blue with dull brown and white in the landscape. It is prime ranch land we drive through and cows dot the landscape as if randomly shaken into place. Black and brown.

Today’s drive is exacerbating my cabin fever, and I realize I need to get out more so I start thinking about a weekend at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in the coming weeks. I’ll  start planning this trip on Monday. 

We pass through Nanton and are on the highway now and.  Our speed limit switches to 120 Kph which means we can safely drive 130 without drawing unwanted attention. 

Clouds hang low in the distance.  By the time we get to Costco we’ve been driving a couple of hours so I get out to stretch and walk around for a wee while.

After, I’m waiting in the car with my small black pug. The parking lot is very busy with cars cruising for spots and mask wearing people going in and out of the store.

I’m listening to Bob Dylan ask Mr Tambourine Man to play a song for him. Roop is having a few biscuits while we wait for Dave to emerge from the store, having spent only slightly under $400.

There are quite a lot of spots designated for handicap parking. My observation is that there are a lot more handicapped people out and about these days or maybe this is the natural result of an aging population, you got that Boomer?

I am strong

I am reminded of how great it feels to hit the road for a good, long drive.

I am awesome

And so are you!  And like you, I anxiously await news of when I will get my vaccine jab.  By all accounts it could be as early as April or as late as September.  I am a glass half full kind of gal so I’m already planning to meet my BFF travel buddies in Winnipeg come August.  I miss them and my old life so very much I could cry, and sometimes I do.  If we can’t adventure our way around the world, we will adventure within the limits of our amazing country.  Safely. Mask wearing, socially distant and hopefully vaccinated. If covid tests are available in drugstores, we will take those before meeting up.  Trying to stay sane and doing the best we can to wring a little enjoyment out of this strange life we find ourselves living. 

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