The ongoing story of a girl and her van on an epic journey across Canada.
Day 22 (Monday, May 31st)
I made it to my Calgary friends, Vicki and Tim, and was immediately scolded for not calling them when I got into town the night before. Yeah, like I’m going to call a household with three children at midnight. What do you think I was, raised by wolves? Granted, I don’t have a maternal bone in my body, but I do know better than that.
Vicki let me hold her little baby, Alice, AND a beer, at the same time! Then she took pictures of it. She is my kind of mom. Although Alice doesn’t look to impressed. She’s all “Mom, who is this psycho, and why are you hiding behind that small flashing box?”
Day 24 (Wed June 2nd)
For some reason I’ve been really into the hockey playoffs this year. Maybe partly because Frank had to shave his head over them (that will NEVER stop being funny!). So Tim was holding his four month old daughter, trying to calm her down, and I asked if it would bother him if I turned the game on (I mean, it was game three of the finals, after all). He said it was fine, and then paused. I don’t know if a woman has ever asked a man that before, he said. Later, I was knitting and watching the game and he walked by. Is that a thing? he asked. Knitting and watching hockey?
Day 27 (Saturday, June 5th)
I finally left the kindness of my Calgary friends, and their beds (I mean, not their beds, as in the ones they sleep in. With their partners. No, I mean their spare beds…), and headed North East. One thing that I really really really love about the prairies is their roads. They have a ton of them. In BC if you want to get somewhere, you pretty much only have one option of how to get there. It’s hard to build roads through mountains. We’re not going to go all crazy and blast our way an alternate route, just for the fun of it. But on flat, rock-free land it’s easy-peasy. So there are multiple navigational options when going from A to B. Or in my case, from Calgary, Alberta to North Battleford, Saskatchewan. I wove my way through back roads, ending up in a small town called Viking for the night.
As this was my last night in Alberta, it was time to concoct my drink for this fine province. It was Sunday evening, and the only thing open in town was the liquor store. Actually, it was more of a liquor shed. It’s just this tiny little structure that looked like the garage of the adjoining house. Only it said “Liquor” on the door, and had a neon “Open” sign.
Yes, I considered the possibility that it was a trap to lure unsuspecting tourists into a den of torment (or DOT, as I like to call them). But I don’t think Viking is the kind of place that gets tourists. It does, however, look like the kind of place where you’d want to drink. So I took my chances.
I bought some Bow Valley Lager, which looks like the Alberta equivalent of BC’s Lucky beer. Cheap and watery. I also bought the only mixer available in the store — a small bottle of clamato juice.
Back at camp I considered my ingredient options. Beer. Clamato. Tequila. Everyone in the pool! My Alberta cocktail is: one part clamato, two parts beer, splash of tequila. I call it a Bloody Viking.
Yes, I think it’s likely that most of my provincial drinks will have beer and/or tequila in them. Deal with it.
All photos by Sarah Gignac
Alice and Me
The Road to Viking
Friendly Viking Sign
This article was first published on Raggedy Threads in June 2010.