Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Road to Revelstoke...

We are writing travel poetry today over at is more prose or a story; I am sorry it was not condensed more, for the reader's time taken here, but it was hard to edit this or even make it into a form of poetry.  I hope all will enjoy the read, however, and I will be around to comment on others' poems over the day and coming evening.

Whining, we did not wish to go
Over the mountains, through high peaks
of Glacier National Park where we saw  goats
grazing precariously  on the steep slopes
Crossing into Canada's lower provinces,
we first stayed at Harrison Hot Springs Resort
There was horseback riding, a lake for boating,
a pool where my brother learned to swim
and I learned to dive in great form
One afternoon, we were to go on a hayride
while our parents went golfing and were not pleased
Peas were on our menu; so they went golfing anyway,
made us wait in the car for 4 long hours....
we hated peas

Winnipeg, Medicine Hat, Penticten -
I don't remember the order now
Our road map lined in dark blue ink
Driving through British Columbia
on the way to the Calgary Stampede,
the only route from Saskatchewan
through Moose Jaw was "the road to Revelstoke"
Newly graveled, the two lane road cut through
open plains territory;   cattle, horses,
views of flat farmland were all we would see,
the small dot on the map was where there would be
new asphalt, giving us momentum,
(I don't remember many cars)
a road less bumpy

A four hour drive at most, but as the hazy blue sky
turned whiter,  we crossed miles of dusty terrain
It seemed like forever, with many stops -
made slower because we kids were carsick,
had to pull over many times.  Finally,
we arrived at a small dingy motel at dusk,
far away from civilization but there were bathrooms
There was one light bulb overhead on the ceiling
in the room;  we were unable to sleep well
Not only were there mosquitoes but we
discovered bed bugs and cockroaches in the morning.
Our father complained about the dirty conditions
That was when we first learned the word "asshole".

I traced the winding inked line on said map
with my finger.  We had reached Revelstoke,
and soon the gravel road would turn to smooth
tardown and traffic in four lanes
But instead of four hours, as the road curved
north across Alberta and British Columbia,
by the time we arrived, it had taken 12 hours
(total) to get to the Calgary Stampede
Stopping for water often, it gave our parents a break
from our bickering; we grew tired of puzzles and
word games, singing the same songs,
their nerves  had to have been
very frayed

Once settled,  we saw the rodeo and logging contests
We wore our little red and brown cowboy hats
Alan had a toy holster and guns;  it was hot but we
had a pool at the motel, so no complaints
4H shows and rides, lots of things to see
We were ages 9 and 12 - I remember a large crowd
at the fair.  One night we ate at a fancy restaurant
We had by that time, learned to order politely
our manners in check
It was dark with romantic lighting,
and from the corner a piano player sang
"Hey there, you with the stars in your eyes" -
sounded just like  Frank me, I thought,
for he looked my way occasionally as he played and sang
I was blushing, a strange sensation came over me
but I'm sure my parents could not see;                                                                                    

Onward we went, going south to Banf and Lake Louse,
the same as my middle name and
the name of my grandmother
It had to have been named just for us
Country western songs on the car radio
and an exciting baseball game
kept us entertained as the climate cooled
Still, the sky was true blue and was reflected wonderfully
in the Frasier River winding below and beside us
Rounding a mountain with a canyon on one side
I could not  look out for fear of height
Nature's creation of the huge ice blue glacier above
made the lake an even deeper shade of blue
In the distance we could see chunks of ice fall
splashing into the water

Heading south, we waited in the long line
so the border patrol could inspect the car;
it seemed strange to us, did we look suspicious?
The arches meant friendship between nations;
it was time to make a trip to the restroom,
take more pictures, rest a bit, as our parents were tired of driving
Arriving home in Washington, it was good to see familiar sights
We rolled in just before bedtime and although we thought
a lot of the trip was boring, we couldn't wait
to to go back to school and tell our friends where we had been
We had two little sisters who didn't go and whom we loved,
but one thing we didn't miss was their crying and yelling
We told stories  of the trip we call "The Road to Revelstoke"
which was nothing more than a speck on the map
an X with a circle around it marked the halfway point of our trip
which I still can see in my mind's eye



  1. What a great trip you had and how vivid it is to this day! I wonder whether you still think of the trip, and circumstances, when you hear the word 'asshole'. Bedbugs can't have been fun. Thanks for playing along.

  2. What a journey you took! I have been in Glacier National Park, have always wanted to see Lake Louise. I smiled at the new word you learned from your father along the way. Nice that this trip has stuck in your memory all these years.

  3. I was laughing when I read this as it reminded me of car trips we made in various part of Europe.. For sure I hated that, but yes afterwards the memories brought joy.. Yes the backseat was not the best place and I guess my parents where quite tired of our bickering..

  4. That is one long road trip and honestly taking the long route is such a headache ~ I haven't been to Alberta but BC yes such a gorgeous journey that I would like to do again ~ Thanks for sharing a personal journal, you brought me there with you ~ Very well done Kathy ~

  5. Every word was wonderful; thanks for not condensing it. Went to Revelstoke 5 years ago; roads are much better now, & the Rockies are breathtaking. Loved the train museum there. But it was plagued with numerous forest fires that year; skies full of ash & acrid smoke. Lake Louise was nothing but haze; so we swung south back down into the Idaho panhandle instead.

  6. another place to add to my list - thanks!

  7. sounds like a long, long trip but learning of the new word or the strange sensation for the blush is so enjoyable and "but one thing we didn't miss was their crying and yelling" made me smile....

  8. We gave six children and once when we were all packed into the van for a vacation, as we were backing out of the driveway, my youngest son threw up! I kid you not. I'm glad you kept it the length it is, it adds to the whole feel of it. The places named, the thoughts, the sights. I really enjoyed it - and hope to do a similar trip someday - just with no bedbugs! ugh.

  9. Sounds oddly familiar (from the point of view of a child and from a parent's point of view now) - a reassuringly frazzled but very vivid rendition of a moment which obviously impressed you very much in childhood.

  10. wow - what a journey... and ugh on 12 hours in the car instead of 4 - i can imagine that the nerves were frayed a bit... i once did a very long car trip with my boyfriend when i was 18 - and that was because i booked a holiday destination without really realizing how far it was away from where we lived... we drove 2 days...

  11. A road trip I remember well. Brings back such memories...

  12. Great memories there. Boring or not. My brother and I were backseat passengers for a hundred thousand miles over our younger lifetimes. We have become prone to impromptu sightseeing drives ourselves. I am smiling because my dad would inspect rooms and if they passed we stayed. If not he would drive all night or until he found a decent room. Remembering lots of 4 hour drives turned in boondock twelve hours rides looking at cows. LOL now.

    1. ..for many growing up in America this is typical ;)


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