Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Journey or the Destination???

When I was a child our family would make a yearly vacation trip to Nova Scotia, where both Dad and Mum's families lived.  It was always at least a seven hour drive from where we lived in New Brunswick.  There weren't fast food restaurants along the way so Mum would pack a lunch that we'd eat in the car, after our preliminary bouts of car sickness had passed, of course. The trips seemed to be endless to us as young children.  I always knew when we were close to our grandparent's home because Mum would take the pincurls out of her hair and comb it out so she would look nice when we arrived at her parents' home.  In those days, the destination was definitely more exciting than the long car ride. Dad would drive as direct a route as possible, with no side trips or stops for sightseeing.

Maybe it's a part of aging, but I've begun to believe that the journey can be just as fun and exciting as arriving at the actual destination, whether it's a long holiday trip or a walk down the road to visit a friend.  With all the travelling Lloyd and I have been doing between Edmonton and Lethbridge, we've come to embrace that philosophy and the simple joy of travelling distances together in the best possible company, each other.

Sometimes the 5+ hour trip passes quickly with us just talking - telling stories about our childhood and we've found that even after 42 years of marriage there are still little facts and stories we don't know about one another. Sometimes we listen to music and podcasts and drive along enjoying the memories and pleasure that certain music brings to mind.

But the most fun part of making the drive we've discovered in the past year.  Lloyd has become a picture taker, thanks to the advent of cell phones with cameras. We don't drive the major north-south super highways any more, opting instead for the back roads of Alberta where the traffic is lighter and the sights more exciting.  Whether it's Lloyd driving or me, if we see something that looks interesting or photo worthy, we'll pull over to the side of the road and stop to explore and take pictures.  That's how we discovered the small communities of Millicent and Patricia and Rosebud that I've written about previously.  Occasionally the five hour drive has taken us close to nine hours to complete because there's been so much to see and explore along the way.

Yesterday's trip from Lethbridge to Edmonton took us eight hours. There was a place outside a small town that we have driven past hundreds of times and always said, "We should stop there some day", but never did.  Yesterday was the exception.  It's a little place called Aspen Crossing just out side the village of Mossleigh in the middle of the prairies.  There's a restaurant in an old railroad car, and a couple of other railroad cars around.  There was a large nursery full of plants and flowers, a patio area where every Friday night there's a show held, either live music or a play or something equally as entertaining, complete with a buffet dinner...all very rustic...much more to Aspen Crossing that we had imagined as we drove by time after time.  We lingered here for awhile taking pictures and wandering around.  Here's a sampling...

Creative use of an old car at Aspen Crossing

The restaurant Car

The kitchen attached to the restaurant car

This beautiful rooster crowed constantly athough it was 6 pm when we were there

A nice little resting place for travellers

And inside the Gift Shop, this lovely looking old mother with
her tray of reaslistic.

Mossleigh's triple grain elevators, visible for miles around.  I imagine it
won't be long before they're torn down and replaced by the giant
concrete ones used now...the end of an era.

It's harvest time in Alberta and the prairies are
dotted with these gleaming golden bales of hay.

This field has just been cut and the hay is waiting to be baled.

A decrepit old barn with character.

So that's just a taste of why it takes us so long to get from one place to another.  I hope you enjoy the getting there as much as the arriving in your travels too.

Enjoy your day.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Oh yes, I did enjoy the journey. Thanks for taking us along with you there. How pretty the countryside always is...each season giving us something different to see. Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday!


What a lovely journey you have. Ours is all city and hwy. Nothing much too see.

Granny Annie said...

Family fun was the best part of any trip I took growing up. The conversations with Ron in the car were the best parts of my adult travel with my honey.

thisisme said...

So much better to stop and smell the roses along the way, rather than just dashing from A to B. I love how you and your hubby can still enjoy each other's company so much, even after all these years. I find that very touching. Great photos. Loved the old rusty car with the flowers and the old lady with the cakes! All good photos though. Mobile phone cameras are so good these days, that there is no need to carry a large camera around any more.

Mickey said...

Such beatiiful Fall photos of that lovely trip! Happy you are enjoying the drives with your wonderful companion!

Kath said...

Destination. The journey I am on right now has very few postives but the destination will be positive regardless however it ends.

RoeH said...

That's exactly how I like to travel. I want to see everything. Which is be able to do that...I have to be the driver. Saw so many shots in Oregon a couple of weeks ago but Phyllis was driving and didn't have the same interests as I did. When I wanted to see an old school turned into a three story antique store, she waited in the car while I went in. *sigh*