When plans start falling through.
Having been unable to go anywhere all summer–we devoted countless hours planning a trip around Alberta. The trip was our last hurrah before the the cold weather starts to creep in. We thought we’ve done plenty of preparation– from researching every item on the itinerary down to getting the most seemingly trivial travel gear. Except apparently we didn’t prepare enough.
We should’ve checked the weather again before we left.
When it rains, it pours.
I woke up to unexpectedly cloudy skies. The last time I checked, it was supposed to be warm and sunny all week. I shrugged the worrying off. We were headed almost 150 kilometers south; I figured, It will work out. The weather is probably better there. This was a rookie mistake. I should’ve checked. As we headed to Calgary, the weather went from cloudy to drizzling to pouring rain. Things were not looking good. Parked at a mall parking lot, we sat quietly in our cramped pickup truck. Panic was starting to bubble over as we checked the 3-day weather forecast. Everywhere we intended to go in the next few days was going to be drenched in rain. We had to go with plan B–except we didn’t have one. We stayed in Calgary to regroup. With the rain not letting up, we had to redo the whole itinerary on the fly. Day 1 was a bust, and summer was quickly coming to an end. It was a challenge not to let it bog us down.
Murphy’s Law at work.
It had rained all night and I woke up to a gloomy morning; it was still drizzling. We decided to head to Jasper; it was the closest place on our list that promised to stay (relatively) warm and dry. Jasper was just shy of 600 kilometers away; a long drive was ahead, but things were finally looking up–or so I hoped. It was a very scenic drive from Calgary to Jasper as the rocky mountains start to emerge seemingly out of nowhere; in stark contrast from the flat prairies. However, the first half of the drive was enveloped in fog, blocking what promised to be some breathtaking views. It was unfortunate, especially since we were hoping to make frequent stops throughout the drive to take some photos of the landscape. It was starting to get discouraging as it alternated between fog and rain. Then, as we get to Banff–
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“Wait, what? Is that snow? Is it actually snowing?”
It was snowing. Before labour day too! We ducked into a pull-out and parked the truck. We watched as the snow fell on the trees. It was beautiful– but it felt like it wasn’t too long ago when I watched with great anticipation as the snow and ice started to melt in our backyard.
Aside: Dear winter, we’re cool (pun intended) and all but it’s just too early to meet again. Let’s take some time to miss each other.
We continued on.
The snow stopped and the fog grew thinner as we inched closer to Jasper. The Rocky Mountains finally emerged from behind the fog and haze. By now we’ve seen (most of) the Rockies more than a handful of times; it never gets old. I’m still in awe of the sight just as I was the first time.
Finally, we entered the gates to Jasper National Park–and as promised, it was a clear, sunny afternoon.
Just outside the Jasper National Park gate, we decided to start looking for a place to stay. We called the place we stayed at the last time we were in Jasper. They were fully booked. Called another place we’ve stayed at in the past — no vacancy.
What’s going on here?
I consulted google to produce a list of all the lodging options in Jasper. We went down the list one by one. After what was easily half an hour, the answer was the same — NO VACANCY. I’ve never felt so rejected in my whole life!
Fuck! It’s a long weekend. Go figure. How incredibly out of touch can I be not to remember a holiday?
“When everything goes wrong, that’s when adventure starts.” – Yvon Chouinard
If there’s any truth to Yvon Chouinard’s words, then we must be off to one fucking amazing adventure.