Road Trip to Oregon

Well it finally happened. After almost three years, I finally joined my family on the annual road trip to Hood River, Oregon.

Mt. Hood
Mount Hood – Possibly the most beautiful mountain. (But I might be biased.)

It should probably come as no surprise that my parents were the first ones to introduce me to travelling. I was only a few months old when I had my first plane ride (to New Brunswick for all my relatives to oggle how cute all my baby fat rolls were). And a year later, I had my first major roadtrip to Oregon – a trip that my parents have been doing since they discovered windsurfing in the ’80s.

Usually, the 22 hours it takes to get down to Oregon are spent reading, building pillow forts, sleeping in Walmart parking lots or playing RV-friendly board games (“It’s fun getting into Trouble!”). But sometimes these road trips can get a little interesting when the motorhome breaks down or it takes a little longer to get to where we’re going…

Motorhome
Home for the next week! My family usually goes down for a month. That’s 4 people in 24 feet of space.

I was in my early teens at the time when we had the 40-something-hour road trip. By accident. We had driven from Edmonton, A.B. to Cranbrook, B.C., which is only a couple of hours outside the U.S. border. We had stopped to cool off at a neighbouring creek so that the motorhome engine wouldn’t overheat in the July sun. As we headed back into the motorhome, my mom went to grab our passports before we continued down to the border.

But, they weren’t there.

In fact, they were home on the kitchen counter, 10 hours away.

So here we are, about to cross the border, trying to figure out another way to cross.

We could pay to have our neighbours ship them? It would take a week, it’s not secure and we don’t have an address to send it to in Cranbrook.

We could cross with 2 pieces of I.D.? Both my brother and I were too young to have our learner’s licenses and mom doesn’t like to carry around our birth certificates.

So that left us with the last option: Turning back home to get out passports. Driving an extra 20 hours to cross the border.

"Once a year go someplace you've never been before."
“Once a year go someplace you’ve never been before.”

Fortunately, we learned from that lesson and we rarely have border troubles now. But sometimes the weather likes to throw snowballs at you. Literal snowballs.

We were driving home from Oregon on August long weekend and were passing through Olds, a little town between Calgary and Edmonton, when we had to pull over on the side of the highway for the night because it was snowing so hard outside.

A blizzard.

In August.

Definitely not the Medicine Hat August blizzard, but this was May long weekend in 2014, just so you can see how crazy Alberta weather can be!
Definitely not the Olds August blizzard, but this was May long weekend in 2014, just so you can see how crazy Alberta weather can be!

Needless to say, we were woefully unprepared. It was about 40 C when we had left Oregon and, as it was the middle of summer, we didn’t think to pack any extra blankets, jackets or warm clothes. Armed with Chunky chicken noodle soup and 40 layers of summer clothes, we played a round of Sorry before heading off to bed. The next morning, I remember waking up sweating because it was in the low 20s outside and the snow had almost completely melted.

That’s Alberta weather for you!

Do you have any crazy roadtrip stories? I’d love to here them! Leave a comment here or on Facebook! More stories about my trip to Oregon coming soon!

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