Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Think I'll Take a Road Trip


By way of some well needed R&R I thought I'd drive to Calgary. So I did, making good time through the Panhandle and Raton, pushing through to the other side of Denver, where I stopped at a not-so-super 8. "Super" 8s now cost around $80 per night, in case you're wondering.

Rocky Mountain Road

The next day I sped through Colorado and into Wyoming, taking a stop at Casper for an oil change and a quick visit to a Sportsman's Warehouse. I liked Casper; everyone I met wanted to talk and pass the time of day and they seemed pleased with life. Move to Casper, folks, and you too can be happy.

Little Bighorn

Then it was on to Montana. I took a break at Little Bighorn, where Custer fought his last stand, and today's Crow have a gifte shoppe and a trailer park. It's a dusty,windswept, desolate kind of place. I gazed at the battlefield from a distance and thought of the horsemen on both sides of the action; Crazy Horse and Gall going at it full tilt and the men of the 7th, fighting and dying where they stood. 

someone's picture of the battlefield

After a prayer for the people who died at the battle I bought an energy drink, which apparently contained something called "Guarana." The internet tells me that Guarana is native to the Amazon. Nothing daunted I drove to Billings and took 3N to Harlowton and, ultimately, Great Falls. 

Bad mistake; 3N is under serious contruction and that cost me hours of slow, slow driving over unsurfaced roads. Fine, if you're in a 4x4, which I wasn't, and you're not on a schedule, which  I was. Great Falls to Calgary was easy; a straight shot down I15N to the border, then 4N to Lethbridge and Fort MacLeod, exiting on 2N to Calgary.

But as you get into Calgary on 2N you have a choice. You can take the MacLeod Trail, or the Deerfoot Trail, to the city center. I opted for the Deerfoot. Why? Instinct, I suppose, and I didn't want to deal with the traffic lights on MacLeod. Bad mistake, because the Deerfoot's called the Deerfoot for a reason. You see, deer cross the Deerfoot, and I hit one at about 55 mph.

mine was like this but from the driver's side

It happened fast. One instant you're driving along getting ready to exit onto the Barlow Trail and the next there's a large animal bouncing up and onto the hood then skidding off the windshield into the darkness. The windshield didn't break, the airbags didn't deploy and no one was hurt. Thank God. I pulled over and inspected the damage; the car's front end was badly mashed but the vehicle was drivable. I coaxed it to my destination in Inglewood. The thing's insured, fortunately.

gotta get back to the garden, LSP

So that was exciting. Now it's time to relax and enjoy Calgary which is a prosperous city, waxing large on Oil and Gas.

God bless,



Julie Culshaw said...

Did you go there for the Stampede?
Thank God you were okay with the deer accident. And fortunately it wasn't a moose, you don't survive those.

LSP said...

Just went to visit family, but I'd enjoy the Stampede.

Very fortunate with the deer...

Silverfiddle said...

Nice pics! Sorry about your vehicle.

Wyoming is a nice place, isn't it? I've been to Cheyenne a few times, and it's a very unpretentious, working town.

LSP said...

Thanks, SF; I liked Wyoming. Never hit a deer before... scary.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Too bad about the car. How do you get back.

That painting of the Little Bighorn makes it look like an encounter of horsemen. Actually, the Indians were mostly on foot, running up from the village, and the cavalry mostly dismounted and formed into skirmish lines -- Custer's batallion, anyway.

LSP said...

Thanks Chas -- the car's getting fixed; I'll drive it back.

A good picture, though inaccurate. We forget, at least I do, that horse soldiers often fought dismounted.

David and Elizabeth Corey said...

That's a pretty spot you've got there in Canada, LSP. Terrific shade trees, and a charming cottage.

LSP said...

Not a bad place to be stranded!