This coming weekend is a long weekend for us here in Canada due to the Remembrance Day holiday. We always try to make the most of a long weekend, so our plan was to head from Alberta to the west coast of British Columbia to escape the snow for a few days.
It always takes a few days to get ready as packing for a family of seven is a bit of a chore; but we have been debating of whether to go or not since last weekend. Last weekend a ferry hit a dock on the island of Mayne taking it out of service for a while; this ferry just happened to be the one we usually take. The ferry being out of service already made our trip take longer, but we were willing to risk it.
Yesterday we decided to go for it and head to the coast. We had extra homework for the children as we were taking a few extra days, my husband had booked off holidays, babysitting for the fish had been arranged, we were all set.
Driving to Banff was fine, busy, but fine. By the time we hit Castle Mountain the weather was coming in but doable. We thought it would get better the closer we got to the BC border, but it didn’t.
Just after the turn off to Lake Louise things really took a turn for the worse. A quick tap of the brakes proved we were on pure ice. Passing a single vehicle accident proved the bad road conditions. The fastest anyone was driving was 60 km/h.
By the time we passed Spiral Tunnels we were down to 40 km/h and just hoping to keep the car on the road. By the time we hit Field we were driving at 20 km/h and on pure ice. Things were not improving. A decision had to be made.
We still had 813 km to travel. The roads were awful. Our ferry was out of service so we would have to take a longer route. This no longer made sense. We delivered the unpopular news to our kids that we were turning around and heading home; a five-hour drive back.
Bad weather is just a fact of life when it comes to winter in Canada. Sometimes you just have to surrender to it and make the safe choice.
This weekend won’t be filled with walks on the beach, instead it will be filled with shovelling snow. (Oh joy!)