Over the last six years we have driven countless hours behind the wheel of our cars and trucks, adding hundreds of kilometres on our vehicles to travel across the western half of North America. If you have read anything on this blog, you will already know that we live in Central Alberta Canada. This means if you want to depart Central Alberta you must drive 4-hours east to reach Saskatchewan, or 4-hours west to reach British Columbia, or 13-hours north to reach the Northwest Territories, or 8-hours south to reach the US Border of Montana. Basically, we are centralized in the plains. And this is why we have learned what those top 10 things to bring on a road trip, are.
Just last year in June, we drove west from Central Alberta, along highway 16 through Jasper National Park over to Valmount, BC. Swung south and headed down highway 5 to Kamloops. Hit Trans-Canada highway 1 for all of 15-minutes then dipped southwest along highway 5 following it until we reached Vancouver. From here we jumped onto highway 99 and crossed over into West Vancouver, then grabbed a ferry at Horseshoe Bay heading across the Salish Sea to Departure Bay in the town of Nanaimo, BC. Took a left at the local main street hub, filled up the truck and headed south for wine country along island route 19 until we found Victoria on Vancouver Island. We spun around the island for a week, caught the first ferry out of Swartz Bay, back across to Tsawwassen Vancouver, back along Trans-Canada highway 1, connected onto crowsnest highway 3 over the switch backs at Copper Mountain down into Keremeos, through the Similkamean Valley, past orchard after orchard and winery after winery until we reached Osoyoos, BC. A few days catching up with the grandparents then back onto the road. Driving north along Okanagan highway 97 past Oliver, then Penticton, as we go deeper and deeper into the Okanagan Valley until we exited on 97B for a quick layover in Salmon Arm to meet up with some cousins. After our afternoon rest stop we are back on the Trans-Canada highway 1 heading for Revelstoke and the wife’s aunts house. Packed up in the morning after breakfast, and headed east along the Trans-Canada highway 1 through Glacier National Park of Canada through Rogers Pass and down hill into Golden, BC. Take a left and a handful of minutes later you are in Yoho National Park, back into Mountain Standard Time of Alberta and eventually you’ll reach Icefields Parkway 93 north to Jasper except on this journey we continued south along the Trans-Canada passing Lake Louise, as we kept on the gas going through Banff National Park, and into our favourite mountain town: Canmore. Another restful night, another breakfast in the morning and we finally reached Calgary, only long enough to stop for coffee and a quick chat with old friends. After lunch we got onto the QE2 (Queen Elizabeth II Highway) drove the 3 hours and 25 minutes into our small rural town to unpack our stuff and the smell of “home sweet home”.
So, what are those Top 10 Things to Bring on a Road Trip?
- A backcountry road map
- A cellphone
- A 20-gallon jug of water
- A cooler filled with veggies, dips, spreads, corn tortillas and ice
- Bug spray
- Bathroom supplies
- Camping Gear
- Layered clothing
- A survival kit