Canadian LIB Moment

Posted July 19, 2018 – Narrated by Jim
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The road to a friend’s house is never long” or, so says the Danish proverb.

Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, Canada

But it took us twenty years to finally get to Calgary in Alberta, Canada to visit my friend and colleague Darwin and his family.

Yep, two decades ago Darwin and I hit it off while working on a software install in Coronado, California. Way back when, Darwin invited us to visit Calgary, and here we are at last beginning a four-month Canadian holiday.

Which is a warning to those who might invite us to visit.

Sooner or later, we may arrive.

Our Calgary friends, Darwin and Andrea

Right from King’s Gate, our wild ride began with Stampede!

Entering the Calgary Stampede, July 10, 2018 with our friends Andrea and Darwin

And, now, we turn a corner as LIB begins YEAR THREE!

Chuckwagon Races, Stampede, July 10, 2018, Calgary, Canada

It’s not like we’re trying to break any records…

Bronc riding, Stampede July 12, 2018, Calgary, Canada

… or take unnecessary risks.

Motorcycle Jumps, Stampede July 12, 2018 – Calgary, Canada

It’s just that there’s still so much to see.

Mt. Tecumseh – Alberta, Canada

When we’re asked how much longer we plan to keep ridin’, the truthful answer is, we dunno. Till we get thrown, I guess.

Bull riding, Stampede, July 12, 2018, Calgary, Canada

But, let’s pray it’s a gentle moment – not too messy and with a modicum of dignity.

Bronc riding, Stampede, July 12, 2018, Calgary, Canada

Till then, we’ll keep chewing up turf

Pony Broncs – Stampede, July 12, 2018, Calgary, Canada

… because you can’t buck the system.

Bronc riding, Stampede, July 12, 2018, Calgary, Canada

Someday when we least expect it, the moment will arrive when we concede to nature and time and head toward the pasture, and consider the stable.

Yahk, British Columbia, Canada

But, after 730 days, 24,074 miles, and 157 different overnight locations in 37 states and provinces, we feel we’ve only begun to explore this vast continent …

… seeing things that take our breath away …

Crowsnest Mountain – Alberta, Canada

… and simple, unknown places where nature’s understated majesty gives us pause.

Yahk Provincial Park – Canada

Following the 4-3-2 Rule (two weeks in one place) we forfeit some things and gain others.

We may sideline a “must see destination”, so we can settle in and experience a place. We prefer short travel days and longer stays to reflect, recreate, live.

Saint Andrews State Park, Panama City, Florida

The slow pace allows us to absorb the local history – discover the hang-outs and haunts.

Without strict schedules, timelines or reservations we’re open to spontaneity, allowing for great camping finds like Lion’s Campgrounds.

Right now, we’re urban camping in Okotoks, Alberta – a growing community with all the comforts nestled within two bicycle-friendly square miles.

So far, the LIB idea works for us.

If we don’t over-think the next destination and just make loose plans, we can be open to anything like an overnight in an unexpected location …

Jail, at the Royal Mounted Police Museum – Stampede July 12, 2018, Calgary, Canada

or just looking at stuff …

The site of the historic 1903 “ Frank Slide” – A terrible national disaster

Sure, sometimes this laissez-faire attitude backfires and we realize, too late, that we missed something wonderful – even spectacular.

But no reservations and no fake deadlines makes LIB a more relaxed and delightful ride. It’s rare to find treasure where expected – it usually reveals itself on detours.

Tarpon Springs, Florida – a wonderful small town we found by accident.

Every hour of the last 730 days on the road have surprised, delighted and enlightened these three old explorers.

Our Lions Club campsite in Okotoks, Canada

We’ve seen that people, everywhere, are basically good.

Whether in small towns that are barely on the map or metropolitan areas that some advise us to avoid – we always encounter the best in human nature and are often encouraged to return.

Yes, seems everyone can agree that human decency is the best currency and Disneyland is the happiest place on earth.

Other things we’ve learned in 730 days are,

  • We can’t experience all an area has to offer in two weeks. When we leave we always plan to return someday.
  • With an annual goal of 24 different communities, we accept that we can only see a small portion of the continent each year.
  • As much as we love Florida, we’ll winter in a different area this year. Suggestions?
  • We don’t like reservations. When, on occasion, we reserve ahead (usually out of fear there will be no room) it’s always troublesome to meet the agreed upon deadline and, upon arrival, we usually find the reservation was unnecessary.
  • Surprise and the unexpected are travel’s reward.
  • Oh! And next time a Calgarian presents me with a white hat I’ll take him up on it. We’re all Calgarians at Stampede.
Shoulda wore the hat

Hey! That reminds me of my favorite series!

Okay, so here we go. Year Three!

"LIB: the final frontier. 
      These are the voyages of the Airstream, Beauty.
Her continuing mission:
      to explore strange old worlds,
to seek out new life in old civilizations,
      to boldly go where no Beaubeaux has gone before."

If you want to see our exact route, click here.

*photos in this post (unless otherwise noted) were taken and copyrighted by Living In Beauty.

Here are all our “On-the-Road” Anniversary blogs posts.