Canada one of the best places in the world for road trips

Sunday, January 02, 2011

This article from today isn't of any great geopolitical importance, but to all young parents in Canada and anywhere else suitable for road trips it's a good reminder of what a pleasure it is to live in a country that has such variety of places to visit by car. In Japan and Korea (among others) road trips are an entirely different manner: highways are usually built above ground, cost quite a bit of money, and are also necessarily isolated from the rest of the roadway system, since maintaining a paid system is easiest this way.

Those with young children should do one or two-day trips as much as possible as these are always a great deal of fun. Here are some of the places I remember well from our road trips departing from Calgary:

1) For some reason this tiny hamlet named Nevis, population probably less than a hundred. Checking Wikipedia...yep, population 35. I remember us getting gas there and wondering how one ends up living in a place like Nevis Alberta of all places.

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2) Drumheller. One of the best places for paleontology in the world, I absolutely love this road that leads into the town. All of a sudden you move from regular boring prairies into badlands, and have entered a town famous for its role in determining what the Earth was like tens to hundreds of millions of years ago. For some reason Google decided not to drive all the way to the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology, and went in on a pretty cloudy day too. On a hot day during the summer the area is quite surreal.

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3) Any downtown area in a small town. The idea of a downtown area composed of a single street never failed to trip me out. Something like this:

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4) Canmore. Better than Banff, it's a nice hippy town near the border of Banff National Park. Same national park-type feel, less touristy and close to the Three Sisters (three mountains nearby).

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5) Takakkaw Falls. The second-highest waterfall in the world, it's pretty close to here. Not the place for a casual road trip though as it's kind of in the middle of nowhere and inaccessible during the winter too.

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YouTube is better in showing the waterfall:

6) The town of Vulcan. Yes, that's the Enterprise.

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And in addition to those six there are hundreds more, and hundreds more where you are from too. If you're lucky enough to live in a place with access to free and fast highways, you simply must go on day trips from time to time. The less defined the destination before you leave the better, and beginning at about 5 am when the streets are almost completely empty is especially surreal.

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