Tuesday, September 8, 2009


With sunglasses clipped to my progressive lenses and my favourite coil bound road atlas in my lap, we were off on a late August road trip. Not that I needed a map because we had been on this route before, but because I enjoy perusing all the roads, rivers, towns and points of interest that intersect and border the roads we travel. It was a road trip with an exciting destination, with the car stuffed with birthday gifts, a baby gate, tools, suitcases, and a ice chest filled with vegetables from our garden and local fruit. We were off to see our daughter and family who had recently moved east, across the Rocky Mountains and over two provinces.

I often read while traveling but this time my eyes were riveted to the scenery and my camera shutter was clicking wildly through the passenger window as we drove through our magnificently beautiful mountain passes. It became a joke as I would again and again open the window with a blast of fresh air, to capture another Kodak moment, only to delete it as a power pole or tree would blur the pristine vista.

Nestled in the shadows of the mountains, snowy glaciers reminded me that only too soon they would just blend into the winter snow that will blanket all the peaks.

The varied formations of these massive, majestic mountains are so awesome and it made my mind wander into wonderment how they came to be as God spoke creation into being.

A road trip must have rest stops long enough to take a nap and to chow down sandwiches, fruit and cookies, packed with anticipation early in the morning. It's the best way to keep my favourite driver happy. See the smirk, or is it pure satisfaction expressed on his face?

Once through the craggy mountains the hills rolled gently past lush farmland until the atlas showed me we were approaching the Stampede town which slowed us down to a crawl through traffic lights and construction zones.

We deviated from the main highway and wound our way through the badlands where we are told that dinosaurs once roamed. Our destination for day one was around one of these corners in the County of Wheatland, where we came upon the quaint hamlet of Rosebud, nestled in a valley beside a lazy river. A little gem hidden away from the big city and yet drawing thousands of tourists every year. Once a viable working village it now has only about 80 permanent residents, no gas station or convenience store, but instead boasts a renowned school of performing arts.

Our reservations for the remainder of this first day of our road trip were securely held and handed over at the quaint box office in the antique mercantile.

A sumptious dinner buffet was served in a renovated meat market with cozy rooms filled with an assortment of dining tables and country decor.

We had a table in the 'Potting Shed', decorated with plants, garden tools, a trickling fountain, and a view into a country backyard setting.

Fortunately we had time after dinner to walk off a few calories and take a tour of the town up and around several gravel streets with a nostalgic moment beside a vintage tractor 'just like we had at home on the farm'

I couldn't pass up a shot of this fine Hindi welcome buried in a flower bed, or the sunflower nodding at us along a weathered garden fence.

The evening sun was beginning to cast it's shadows on the cozy cottages and gift shops, reminding us to check our watches for show time as that was why we had stopped here in the first place.

The Rosebud Opera House sounded so grand, but we were pleasantly surprised to enter a low ceilinged, small theater with a small stage and with spartan props, but nevertheless with a BIG theatrical performance.

It was a delightful 2 hour production that kept us entertained with marvelous acting, delightful solos and chorus lines accompanied by a six piece instrumental ensemble.

Late at night, we stumbled our way back in the dark to the Rosebud Country Inn, a welcoming haven with antiques and fine linens.

Since I enjoy picking posies it made my heart glad to see this little teacup of fresh, sweet scented posies at our bedside. A restful night to the sound of crickets chirping brought this first day of our road trip to a satisfying end.

The lyrics of "The Impossible Dream " from Man of La Mancha will stay in my memory for long time.

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