Snow cannons and craft mead, hahaha! (huh?)

I think it is time for a suitably seasonal travel tale. How about a mighty mountain road adventure? All that follows is (mostly) true. If it helps, I hear the voice of Brian Blessed in the parts where there is a weather god laughing. I hope you know what I mean, there. Where is this going? Where were we going? Read on, if you have the time. We certainly had an interesting time as we travelled across Western Canada earlier this week.

A snowy Calgary? Nope. Another Chinook arch? Yup. Let’s pack the car, head to somewhere else!
If you’ve read one or two of the more recent posts, there’s a chance you have spotted a recurring theme. Theme is too strong a word – it is more realistic to describe it as a repetitive sulk – where I might have mentioned a distinct lack of snow the past six weeks? So of course the day we decided to leave a little earlier than planned (due to the lack of snow, why stick around any longer?) and head to the coast, was the day the snow gods decided to heed one man’s whining:

“Is that another snow prayer from the plaid clad little man? We cannot and should not put up with his incessant complaining any longer – it’s headache inducing, and I already have a slight hangover and blurred vision. That new mead with the lavender honey is quite delicious, and rather potent too. Just look at all this snow we’ve made, it needs using. We can’t keep it in the house, erm, I mean the great hall, any longer, there’s no room for our new barrels of craft mead. That checked-shirted irritant drives a black Jeep. He was packing the car last night, so when he leaves later, let’s point the snow cannon at his vehicle. He wants snow? Then snow he shall have, hahahaha!”

You have to love the snow gods, they’ve got a great sense of humour. Snow gods do exist, don’t they? Not too sure about all the craft mead – and adding honey/drinking from a cup in the shape of a horn doesn’t make for a better beer. Still, I guess if you’re a weather god, you get to drink what you like from any cup you choose. Lavender, though? Shudder…

Canmore had snow
Our trip got off to a great start! Approaching the mountains on Highway 1, we could see there had been snowfall. When we passed through Canmore, there was fresh snow! Yes, we did stop at Le Fournil to top up our coffee and buy a pastry for later…

Field had snow
When we paused to pee in Field – my goodness it was cold there – they had received fresh snow. It looked properly wintry.

This wall in Revelstoke had snow (what a terrible photograph!)
On we went to Revelstoke, stopping to gas up the car, and refill the travel mugs – Tim’s dark roast – and the first few real flurries of the day were starting to fall. Clearly the snow gods were recovering from their hangovers, and their blurred vision was clearing – the aim on our car was much better.

“Target this Jeep, hahahaha!”
By Salmon Arm the flakes were really quite impressive, and along the valley towards Kamloops, the weather gods let loose with their celestial snow cannons! Big flakes in what we are more used to seeing as summertime high desert country.

“Hahahaha, he asked for it, hahahaha…”
At Kamloops, the overhead traffic signs warned that the highway ahead was closed beyond Merritt due to heavy snow. Thanks, Drive BC, that was good to know. (There was no mention of annoyed snow gods targeting the route – essential information, but there isn’t enough room on the signs to include all the details or hahahas…) What to do? Stay in Kamloops or push on? We decided to press on – our motel room in Merritt was booked, and if the route beyond was closed, we could worry about that the next day.

“Snow, hahahaha!”
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Next time we’ll stop in Kamloops! Poking the sleeping – drinking? – snow gods is not a good idea. The Coquihalla Highway between Kamloops and Hope is a high mountain road that can get snow any time of year. On a clear day, the drive from Kamloops to Merritt is less than an hour. If the weather gods have you in their snow sights, it’ll take well over two hours, and it won’t be fun. I like driving, and I like snow, but sometimes it turns out you don’t want both. What kind of fool would offer up a prayer for snow?

The light was fading – it hadn’t exactly been bright all afternoon – and the snow was very heavy. Yikes, that part of the journey was a white-knuckle whiteout! I am forever grateful to the driver of the white pickup just in front of us. S/he had their hazard lights flashing, and from time to time, if they hadn’t been on, I’m not sure I’d have picked out the road quite as well in the snow and dark. We were stopping in Merritt anyway, but even if the road had been open further ahead, there was no way I’d have continued. It was a scary ride, and not helped by the occasional brain dead driver hurtling past in the unploughed lane. Hey, you brain dead drivers? Thanks for throwing up the extra snow, because honestly, it wasn’t challenging enough already. Do you have sight that allows you to see through a snowstorm at night? You do? Oh, my apologies, and what a gift…

A fine SN winter ale. It’s not mead.
Anyway, we made it to Merritt, and after checking in and eating that pastry from earlier, I popped into a beer store and bought a horn of craft mead. Isn’t that something, mead by the horn in Merritt – who knew? Stepping outside into the cold and snowy night air, I raised it to the skies, and gave thanks for our safe arrival. I also put in an apology for all those pesky snow prayers, and made a request for clear skies the next day. No harm in asking. Then I hurried back to the motel. People were staring…

The Coquihalla Highway, the following day
What do you know, dawn revealed clear skies and an open road all the way to the coast. Thank you snow gods, and gods of weather and travel in general – I knew you were real, and you’re the best!

Lots of highway snow, and doesn’t it look lovely?
“Hahahaha, that little fellow in the patterned shirts won’t be bothering us for quite a while, hahahaha! Ooh, the lavender honey really works in a horn of mead, doesn’t it? Fragrant! Is there any more?”

Thanks for reading, and if you celebrate Christmas, enjoy the coming weekend and beyond. Perhaps you’ll drink a horn of mead, hahahaha?

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

21 thoughts on “Snow cannons and craft mead, hahaha! (huh?)”

  1. Oh those snow gods really let you have this time, pc. I am delighted you found the snow, and happy you made it through the adventure unscathed. My warmest wishes to you and Mrs. pc for more snow, more fun, and dreams come true.


    1. Thanks, Jet! All the snow on our journey over to the coast certainly made up for having none the previous weeks – but I should be careful what I wish for!
      I do hope you see some festive snow in the Sierras, and we wish you and Athena a wonderful Christmas with the chance to rest and recover. You would be busy anyway, but 2018 will be a busy one for you…
      Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad the snow gods finally heard your prayers and that you made it safely through the snow! Love the blue skies and snow on the highway and the wonderful humor throughout the year! Enjoy the snow and I hope you and Mrs. PC have a wonderful holiday!


    1. Thank you! The snow on our journey over to the coast more than made up for the lack of it earlier in the season! It doesn’t often snow out here, but there is a slight chance it falls today – if it does, I’ll be off to the beach, camera in hand (and if it doesn’t, we’ll still be off to the beach!)
      Have a wonderful Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great read – and just before we take off for our drive up into the mountains in Oregon. Fortunately, the snow prediction is for tomorrow! Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow (and please, no rain!).


  4. Such a great story PC. I must admit I haven’t drunk mead in a long time but if I did I’d say cheers to you on a well manoeuvred journey. Those weather gods really were giving it to you, no doubt about that. Wishing you many more safe yet exciting adventures ahead. 🙂


  5. Way to invoke the horn-drinking snow gods, PC! Lots of fun in your great escape with a happy ending. Myself, if I find a horn of plenty, I’ll raise it on high in honor of your narratives and photographic reflections– may there be many more in the new year’s turning seasons.


    1. Thanks, Walt! I’ll take the snow gods more seriously in the future, particularly if they’ve been overindulging the mead…
      Here’s a glass of winter ale raised to you and your family, wishing you a peaceful holiday, and perhaps the chance to take a ramble or two along the banks of your favourite rivers. Cheers!


    1. Thanks for leaving the link! It confirms what I suspected, that Brian Blessed is a wonderful person. When Flash Gordon was first released it was my birthday, so off we all went. Even as a child I knew the movie was completely bonkers, but I loved it anyway, mostly for the camp and colour, but particularly for Brian Blessed laughing all the way through. “Gordon’s alive?!”
      All the very best to your partner – climbing Everest? – I hope the snow gods are kind…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He really is awesomeness personified! He’s touring the UK later this year, so I’ll book some tickets and we’ll hopefully meet him afterwards if he does a book signing.


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