Remember this post?
Well that led to much thought and prayer, which ultimately led to this:
That's me embarking on a 2665 mile journey.
That's me moving to Utah. For the winter, anyway. Last winter. That was in October of 2012. Right about when I stopped blogging.
My life, which had been seasonally divided for the past sixteen years, was also about to be locationally divided. I was going to start wintering out. Six months here. Six months there. People do it all the time. It can't be that bad. In fact, it's exciting!
Butters wasn't convinced, but she'll come around. She's a rockstar at traveling. Two countries, a few thousand miles, six days, four hotels and she came out of it on top. Literally. I carefully packed her giant dog kennel (more comfortable than the smaller cat-sized kennel) with all her favorite toys, blanket and everything imaginable to make her feel at home. She never went in it. She climbed up on top of the highest thing she could find in the car and hunkered down in my down comforter for six days, never once complaining. I tried not to think about all the fabric that I could have packed in the space her kennel was in.
We had plenty of fun adventures along the way. The Canadian Rockies are not to be missed, and we didn't plan on missing them. And surprisingly, I didn't go to a single quilt shop until we hit Utah.
So here's the Top Ten of our trip. The ten moments and places that made it an epic adventure.
10. Day one: Watson Lake in the Yukon. The famed Sign Post Forest is worth the pit stop. Over 72,000 signs. Street signs. Town signs. License plates. And a few random hubcaps, flags and what I can only assume was once a small float plane propeller. We had so much fun walking the "aisles", picking out funny signs or ones from places we've been.
9. Also in Watson Lake, we were gifted a golf-ball sized rock from a passing semi truck. Welcome to Watson Lake. BAM! In reality, we were blessed it only did minimal damage to the lower portion of my windshield. We were out in the middle of nowhere and I can't even begin to imagine where or how we would have gone about replacing it had it been worse.
Just North of Liard Hot Springs, there is a section of the highway riddled with buffalo. Every single time I've come through here, they're all out and about, paying no attention to such trivial things as the Alcan. Hundreds of them. Big burly males. Big burly females. A few burly babies. And more than a few locking heads over something...probably a girl.
Although the buffalo didn't make any noises as we stopped for pictures, Butters was instantly alert. And not happy. She puffed up her tail and the hair on her back stood up and her eyes were as big as silver dollars. She stared them down and told them who was boss. Thank goodness or we might not have gotten out of there alive.
The ice was unbelievable! We were averaging temps of about 17° for the first two days until we reached Jasper. Lots of snow and wind, and the ice just kept building up on the car. The formations were so interesting though! You could see how it was forming in the wind. It just cracked me up how it built up on the backside of the side mirrors.
6. Maligne Canyon, Jasper
This little gem is a short drive off the highway right before you hit Jasper. I've driven by it before and never knew it was hidden right there! It was a fun little walk along a spiderweb of small trails.
I loved this place! I could have spent all day there. So many cool little treasures to explore. I fell in love with the turquoise color of the water. I just wanted to sit on the rocks and daydream.
4. Lake Louise
Lake Louise will always be one of my favorite places. Ever. I love how it's nestled up in the mountains, a sparkling gem-colored lake with it's back against a glacier. And the most gorgeous hotel! Any girl in her right mind would dream of romantic getaways at the Chateau Lake Louise.
2. This sunset in Montana.
We planned our trip around the dates of the open house for the new Calgary Temple. This meant staying in Alaska two weeks later than we would have normally fled the scene. This meant 900 miles of snow and ice for the two first days on the road. But it all melted into oblivion as I stood there on the curb, at nine o'clock at night, and looked up into these glowing windows. Beautiful didn't do it justice. Nor did gorgeous. Stunning. Breath-taking. They were truly glorious. The next morning, we had early reservations for a tour, then we got back on the road to see the Cardston Temple that afternoon.
My favorite time of year in Utah is fall and it didn't disappoint. But we'll save that for another day. Cause this story has a different ending than you might expect. Oh, and there's some quilting in there, too! Check back, cause my blog and I are about to rekindle our relationship.