adding it to my bucket list

i don't currently have a bucket list on paper.  i have an extensive array of things that i know i want to experience/create/meet (people)/own that flies around in my head every minute, however have not yet started the epically fun task of getting those bad boys down on paper to shout out to the world and request support in smashing some big time bucket items.  one such task, that i am now SO present to wanting to complete, is the following:

DRIVE THE LONG WAY FROM VANCOUVER TO CALGARY.

ON PURPOSE.

the long way? highway #3 - a periously twisty, most of the itme two-lane, often VERY uneven road that winds its way along the southern interior of BC through some of the most picturesque, quaint, and yes, at times startlingly ghost-like parts of the US-border region of our find province.

how this BLI ('Bucket List Item' - i shortened it - i LOVE acronyms) got added into the mix was the happenstance of a last minute road trip to Calgary coupled with the beauty we know as Mother Nature causing a massive mudslide that closed the Trans-Canada between Revelstoke and Golden (a large leg of the highway that was not reopened until about 36 hours after the slide).  I was determined to make it back to Calgary for the graduation of my sister-from-another-mister, and had to do it Wednesday afternoon/evening to be in Calgary on time.  What was planned on being a midnight arrival in Calgary turned into a 5:30am entry as i watched the sun come up over the prairies on Highway 22. Caffeine shock aside, i experienced a burning desire to be stopping in every small town, road side 'view point' and hilarious photo op, yet with my arrival deadline looming i blazed on through the night.

an amazing drive, a test of my road skills and driving endurance, and the catalyst for what will be one of the funnest and potentially longest commutes to Calgary from Vancouver via one of the most beautiful and giggle inducing stretches of road i have encountered.

some highlights i am looking forward to:

- Stopping at every oversized beach chair that advertises lake life in Osoyoos and taking a series of pics

- Pulling over in Keremos at the 'Fine Gifts' shop (oh yeah - souvenirs)

- Going to EVERY fruit stand in Summerland and getting the best of the best - stomach ache anticipated

- Hitting at LEAST 4 vineyards in the Osoyoos area for 'Quality Assurance' testing

- Going out of my way to get to Nelson for the AInsworth HotSprings and the Outer Clove (BEST restaurant)

- Playing 2 or 3 probably horrendous rounds of golf in the interior courses (hey, the scenerey will be great additions to the trips' photo album)

- Rolling through Fernie and checking out the hill - then going to the waterpark at the hotel that is on the highway for a quick spin on some MASSIVE slides (i'm still quite the kid at heart)

- Taking COPIOUS amounts of pictures at the World's Biggest Truck attraction in Sparwood (hopefully with Cait and Mike - back to your roots, Trouty!)

- Stopping in the Crowsnest Pass at the Frank Slide informational center - it's a sight to see, full of history and that eerie spookiness of a city under rubble - a full sensory experience

- Finding a dude ranch on highway 22 that would hook me up with a sweet dawn or dusk trail ride, complete with bonfire acoustic guitar session (country with a true twang...my heart palpitates)

- Stopping in Longview at the Longview Beef Jerky shop and taking pictures of the joint that i used to drive WAY outta my way to get my jerky fix at (no longer on the red meat train but  the memories are of salty, salty goodness)

- Stopping at the Boston Pizza in Okotoks to raise a glass to by late friend A-Con. 'Nuff said.

There is SO much to see and do along that drive, and as i rolled in and out of these beautiful spots, i felt a swell of provincial pride that made me grin with excitement, laugh out loud, and build this lovely little plan for a 'tourist in your own town' adventure (the laughing out loud may very well have been caused by delirium from exhaustion, but i digress...).  I cannot wait for the photo diary that will result from getting off the 'main road' and getting into the most lush and green, majestic mountained area that i have had the pleasure to experience.  AND i am sure that the people that i meet along the way will be as inspiring and impactful as the environment i find them in.

been hit over the head with a 'holy crap, i should come back here some day!' thorughout your travels?  SHARE!  finding unique, weird, awesome, beautiful, sketchy and any other descriptive adjective and meeting and greeting the people there is my passion - so hook me up with some wicked cool places and people to get to know! (please and thanks, of course!)