Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Calgary: Let the Adventure Begin

Just hanging out at CBC

Well, our first week on the road for #GetRAOKT has come and gone and it's already been a crazy adventure!

It all started on September 2nd at 6am with Jessica and myself taking a taxi over to the CBC Radio headquarters in Vancouver. We had been invited to talk about #GetRAOKT on "The Early Edition" on radio one. I can't think of a better way to have started off such a great adventure. After the radio show we really had no idea what we were going to do to actually get ourselves to Calgary where we had decided to start #GetRAOKT.
 
Beautiful BC
After the show we headed off in the rain, (go figure) to the skytrain only to find out it wasn't open yet because it was a holiday. Well crap. So we jump in yet another cab and bolt off to the Greyhound station. We hopped on the next bus out of town which took us all the way to Chilliwack where we thought hitchhiking would A) be a good idea and B) actually be possible to get us at least closer to Calgary. Clearly the lack of sleep had damaged our abilities to think, but while in Chilliwack we ACTUALLY attempted to hitchhike, directly below the sign that clearly states it's illegal. Whatever, rules are made to be broken right? After zero luck we wandered back to another area just off the highway to put our backpacks down and lay in the grass under the shade of a tree, maybe we would have more luck here? Turns out we did have more luck here, just not in the way you're thinking. We had posted on craigslist and kijiji about needing a ride to Calgary and out of nowhere I got a text. Someone was
Rideshare to Calgary
going to Calgary and wanted to know if we still needed a ride, YES! We had a few back and forth text to make sure no one was a crazy and do a bit of a background check and then it was decided. Our new friend Josh would be our ride to Calgary! We went back to wait for him at the Starbucks where he said he would pick us up. Josh turned out to be a really awesome guy. There was more than enough room for all of us in his Jeep plus all of our bags. He was headed to Calgary because he had moved from there years ago and wanted to finally pick up all of his stuff he had left behind. For the first while we were all treading lightly because this was our first rideshare ever and we had no idea what the custom was. Soon enough though things picked up and we were well on our way to Kelowna where we had planned to all stay the night at friends and then carry on the next day.
Sushi at Jared's

In Kelowna Jessica and I stayed with my friend Jared who was nice enough to open his place to us. I had asked on Facebook if I knew anyone in town and he was right on it. He treated us really well too! There was wine waiting when we got in and he also had all the makings of a sushi feast. Thank god because we were hungry after the trip. We got to know his other 3 roommates and enjoyed sharing stories over drinks and playing with their pet snakes...yes real snakes! The next morning Josh came and pick us up early and we were off again towards our destination, but first, breakfast. We came across a nice little place along the highway which had "unlimited waffles" as a sign out front, we were sold. After the mouthgasm that was breakfast it was direct to Calgary!

Calgary

I really like Cora's
Calgary in itself wasn't exactly what we thought it was going to be. After a lot of calling around everywhere told us that they didn't need our help despite Jessica calling when we were still in Vancouver and us being told they DID need our help. Womp Womp. But that's ok because it's all just new lessons to learn, right? So with our volunteering dreams in Calgary shattered we decided to just enjoy our first stop. We took in some sights, wandered around the city, I got to visit with my friend Blake Skjellerup who is training for the 2014 winter Olympics and we also visited the
Hanging with Blake
infamous Cowboys Bar. Jessica ended up leaving a few days early so she could sort some stuff out in Vancouver before we left to Seattle. I ended up staying for 2 more days and really enjoyed my time. I had a great tour guide, Joe, who I found to show me around the city. One of the stops was the random gardens in the mall which I never would have found on my own. There was even fish in the pond and everything!

The Gardens with Joe
All in all I think it was a good thing we went to Calgary first. It taught us a lot of lessons we needed to know for the rest of the trip and gave us a chance to reassess everything when we got back to Vancouver before heading out on the big one. I left Calgary with a smile on my face and some new experiences under my belt.






Next stop: Seattle!