Prairies or plains, plains or prairies? It doesn’t really matter – either way, they’re great! Well, that’s what I think…
We were driving through Alberta (Alberta Bound – Paul Brandt) and Saskatchewan last week, enjoying the delights, much missed in recent years, of a road trip.
Our destination for the journey was beyond the Great Plains, and when friends heard about our trip, a few muttered something about how the days can drag traveling through the boring middle western provinces. You know, there’s nothing to see out there.
Drag? Nothing? Huh?! I respectfully disagree! On this trip, once we passed Calgary and the smoke from wildfires north of the trans-Canada corridor – hope that they get big rain and less windy days soon – we enjoyed bright sunshine and big blue skies. A drag? Nothing to see? Um, where to begin? How about the rolling green and gold hills?
Or the sight and sounds of a train rumbling and clanking, parallel to the road?
Then there are hawks above, geese at eye level, and water fowl on the ponds – a drag? The sparkling ponds and newly green early spring trees? Dreary?!
What about seeing horse paddocks and corrals, mighty farm machinery, and the intricate wrought metal ranch gates? I’m always thrilled by the older style grain elevators, and the newer vast – perhaps not beautiful but certainly impressive – modern equivalents. Empty space?!
Empty? Ok, then how about the joy of an empty open road in front of you, stretching into the distance? For me, this is a road trip prize to savour when it happens, and it often happens on the prairies.
So, if the prairies are a bore, something dull and simply to be endured as you pass though, then colour me dreary, because I love the plains. It helps when you can fuel up at Tim’s (dark roast, always the dark roast) and Ian Tyson or Paul Brandt are doing their thing on the radio. Oh, ok, not the radio – on the road trip mixtape that some nerd might have thrown together before leaving. Can I say mixtape when it’s an Apple playlist? I think so. (Navajo Rug – Ian Tyson) Great songs for the Great Plains!
So there we are or there we were. I love the coast, I love the mountains, and yes, I love the prairies!
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!