Thursday, 2 April 2015

Boxing The Continent

The day has arrived; we must head north today. It is the only direction left to us, having east, west, and south blockaded by the sea. We are headed from summer towards winter, from palm breezes to icy northern winds, from ocean to prairie. Of course we won't make this trip in one day; each day will be a small change, a difference only noticeable over the course of time. This is something I am used to, the kind of change I've seen a lot of.

With this last few days, I have achieved something a great many road trippers would love to do; I have "boxed" the USA, as well as pretty much boxing the continent. I have driven the whole of the East Coast, from Newfoundland to South Florida; the whole of the southern US, from Miami Beach to California surf, the whole of the west coast, from the start of the Pacific Coast Highway in Lund, BC right down to Tiajuana, Mexico and even further down the Baja Peninsula to Ensenada; and the whole of the northern crossing, both in the US and Canada, from Seattle to New York and from St. John's to Victoria.

My travels have added other markers. My truck has been from the Arctic Ocean, or as close as one can get in a truck, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. It has been across the continent west to east and back, through remote Labrador and the northern route of Canada. It has seen spring in Yellowknife, summer on the BC coast, winter in the prairies and fall in the Rockies.

I have driven in every state of the USA, including Hawaii and Alaska, with the exception of Vermont and West Virginia, a situation I plan to remedy at least in part on my way back to Calgary. I have driven in every province and territory of Canada with the exception of Nunavut, where roads are merely a suggestion. I've been as far north as possible in Canada and as far south as possible in the USA, as far east as possible in both Canada and the US, and as far west as possible in both as well. unless you count Haida Gwaii in Canada; I have yet to catch the ferry to the Charlotte's.

I've done a bit of road tripping in the last few years. This is a good thing. I love the freedom and flexibility of a road trip. Even as I write this, Katherine and I are contemplating another change to our itinerary. We are discussing the possibility of making our way home through New York City and Quebec City. It would mean some longer days of driving, but it would be a monumental addition to what has already been an epic road trip.

Nonetheless, our direction is homeward, bound by the dual dictates of time and money. I've already exhausted one of those precious resources. I'm working on the second.

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