The Road to High Level

High Level, Alberta, Canada
Saturday, September 6, 2014

Got off to a rocky start today. After saying goodbye to Mom and Andy I stopped to get gas and wash the windshield. When I pulled the wipers up out of the way, the driver’s side wiper fell off. I didn’t even touch the blade, just the arm, and the bloody thing fell off. Now, I’m particularly annoyed about this because I have had ongoing issues with that particular blade for at least two years now. They kept putting a 26″ blade on, as per specs, which is too long; it kept catching on the passenger side blade, eventually snapping the latch. In Whitecourt this trip I finally had Canadian Tire both recommend a 24″ blade and install it for me. There was no way I was going to drive through the mountains with predictions of rain without being able to rely on my blade staying on. It did last nine days, not falling off until now. I went to Canadian Tire in Edmonton, explained the situation, and produced my receipt. They shook their heads at the Whitecourt parts person’s apparent ignorance, provided me with the correct replacement 24″ blade, installed it, and I was on my way again.

Unfortunately, this resulted in delaying my scheduled departure by an hour and I still had not grabbed breakfast yet. I remained utterly annoyed until Highway 37 saved me. This was a very nice gift of the Australian-voiced GPS after I ignored its initial instructions and chose to go through St. Albert before cutting across to the highway to Whitecourt. Once it recalculated, it directed me to take Highway 37 instead of 28 and by that point I figured why not. My mood improved dramatically as I drove that stretch of highway — it was beautiful, dare I say serene. Next time we drive south we are taking that road again.

The rest of the drive was relatively uneventful — picked up a geocache in Whitecourt and another in Manning. Then I got to about an hour or so from High Level and the sky got grey, then I hit this wall of fog that immediately reduced visibility to maybe a couple-few hundred feet. The next several kilometres should have taken 10 minutes, instead took closer to 20. No mishaps, though, no wildlife (still), and the rest of the way was rainy but visible.

Got some BPs for supper, checked in to the Best Western (which is great, BTW), and I am writing this blog on my iPad while I sit in the hot tub. It’s all very nice, but I can’t wait to get home tomorrow.

Wildlife sightings: As mentioned, nil…again…except road kill.

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