Thursday, July 15, 2010
No, I'm not using bad language. It's where we are presently. Go check out the map here. How did we get here? We drove. Then we drove some more. Then, we drove some more. Then we drove. Then we crossed the border back into Canada. Then we drove some more. Then we drove some more. Then we drove some more. Then we slept. Then we woke up. Then we drove.
So, do you think we've been driving a lot? I believe since yesterday morning we've driven a total of over 20 hours. 20 hours. In a mini-van. With 2 children. Aren't you impressed that I'm coherent?
We have been doing a few things besides driving though. Fun things.After we left Fargo (*sob* - I couldn't take the entire store with me), we drove out of town for a while to our hotel to bunk for the night. We knew yesterday was going to be the drive-until-you're-cross-eyed day, so we were up early (painfully so) and on the road. As we were now in mostly prairie land, we frequently ran across sights like these:
Abandoned and falling down houses and barns are so fascinating to look at, aren't they? I can't help but wonder what led to it being abandoned and what it all looked like when it was in its glory....We started seeing many of these as we drove westwards:
Grain elevators and their corresponding train tracks.
And we ran across this funny, abandoned little building:
I can't help but see eyes, a nose and a mouth.....
Of course, now that we were heading west, we started seeing more and more of these in the middle of various fields:
This is called an oil derrick. You can read more about them here. There's lots of oil in the west and we saw lots of it being brought to the surface with these little machines. They remind me of a horse...
Finally after much driving, we made it across the border. The travelling project was up for celebrating, so it posed for a shot with this sign:
We made it to the rectangular province, otherwise known as Saskatchewan. Tough to spell and tough to say. But, we made it there. Shortly after this picture was taken, we were greeted by another fun sight - a deer decided to go charging across the road in front of us. I didn't hit her (it was a doe), but managed to stop in plenty of time for her to cross safely. So far it's wildlife 2, me 0 - everyone is happy and uninjured.Saskatchewan is known for growing lots and lots of wheat. So, after we crossed the border, the sights were (un)surprisingly familiar:
Yes, I've seen more grain elevators in the last 24 hours than I ever thought possible. The Canadian ones tend to have more variety in their paint jobs than their American counterparts, but beyond that, there's not that much different about them.
But being good Canadians, there was one grain elevator we *had* to take a picture of:
If you don't know why this was a must-do - go read about Corner Gas for a while and you'll understand why. Watch a few episodes. Great Canadian comedy.
After seeing the never-ending stream of grain elevators, we finally crossed into Alberta:
My apologies for the really bad picture. The weather had turned quiet foul and was so windy that it was difficult to get a picture at all. We discovered later that night that there was a tornado two provinces over (in Manitoba) and some of the high winds we were driving through were due to that.
A few hours later we made it to the hotel and all fell upon the closest horizontal surface and slept as if we'd been concussed. 15 hours driving. We ate our lunch and dinner in a moving vehicle. Don't try this at home. Don't try it on vacation, either.Today dawned cool but sunny. We were off to one of the most amazing places I've ever been to:
Getting out of the van and walking a short distance led us to this view:
Think Grand Canyon, but green! It reminded me of the Grand Canyon, but it's much, much greener. The views were stunning! We drove down into the Canyon and spent much of the day hiking through portions of the park. Archeologists and paleontologists have found more than 300 different species of animal and plant life here, including many of the world's dinosaur fossils. We saw lots of dinosaur bones today.
We also stopped today to see a coal mine (now defunct) and a suspension bridge, before making it to our hotel. We've managed to find a hotel with a good, fast Internet connection. Sadly, it has the thinnest walls. We know for sure that the folks in the next room have two children (boy and girl) *and* a dog. We think there are massage beds in the rooms above ours..... Ah, the joys of travel!
If you've managed to read this far, I guess I should throw a little stitchy stuff your way.... Here's a couple of pictures of my newly acquired stash (sorry for the bad pictures - hotel lighting isn't particulary great for taking pictures!)....
First up are some great mesh bags. I've only seen these in Canada once before. I bought one to try it out and fell in love. Naturally, my LNS didn't have anymore after that.... I found them at NN for a song, so I snapped up 3 of them (2 are already holding projects). I found the little purple bag too. The mesh on it is something I could actually stitch on, so I'm thinking a bit about that.....
I also picked up these:
I already own one Tacky Bob and I really love it when I'm doing beading. I decided I needed another one. Being that Halloween is probably my most favourite time of the year, I had to grab these cute little Mill Hill kits too. You would not believe the number of Mill Hill kits Nordic Needle had - the walls seemed to be covered with them - or at least two of them did! I've never seen so many in once place at one time. I enjoy having a few of these little kits around - they're always a fast stitch and they sparkle like mad when they're all done.
One more picture, for the road? Okay - I picked up a few fibres too..... I did restrain myself a little bit, although it was really, really, really hard.....
Most of the fibres are for one of the colour study projects from Needle Delights and some others are just for random other projects. The selection of fibres at NN was outstanding and it was hard to not just buy one of everything. Wasn't I a good girl???
.....then again, you haven't seen all the *other* things I bought.......
BUT, it's nearly midnight and I need to get to bed. Tomorrow will find us on a real dinosaur dig and doing some other fun stuff, but I can't remember just what!