B.C. road trip

It’s official — our family is on the road. We’ve loaded up the SUV and pointed it southwest to Fernie, B.C. We’ll stay there a couple days, then drive west to Osoyoos, on to Vancouver, and end our holiday in Vernon.

I love the journey when the scenery is gorgeous! Pictured here: hay bales, canola fields and the Rocky Mountains in the distance en route from Calgary to Fernie, B.C.

I love the journey when the scenery is gorgeous! Pictured here: hay bales, canola fields and the Rocky Mountains in the distance en route to Fernie, B.C. from Calgary.

Leading up to our summer vacation I kept coming across stories with headlines like, How to survive family road trip hell. I read stories urging parents to involve children in the trip planning and others suggesting a ban on electronic devices (a return to the good old days of license plate alphabet). Curiously, all of these advice-y columns include the word “survive,” as if the act of driving from one place to the next with tots in tow is something to suffer through and hopefully come out of intact (or, at least, sane).

We’ve been driving to Fernie regularly with the kids for four years now and while at times I just want the drive to end, there’s a certain comfort in the familiarity of it all: turning west at Nanton, the hills and cows along Highway 22, the huge windmill after turning on to Highway 3, and of course, the World’s Largest Truck in Sparwood. But what I love about a driving holiday somewhere different are all the new sights to see and places to discover along the way. We’ll be breaking new road trip trails driving through Kokanee and Sasquatch country near Creston, and on through Castlegar and Grand Forks. Will the kids get car sick? Will the dog?  Will we, ahem, survive?

Of course, we bring tons of snacks and all the electronic devices to stem off boredom: DVDs, LeapPads, iPhone music and iPad games, but the kids spend a lot of time looking out the window like I did on the annual summer trip from Colorado to Kansas when I was little. Plus, our puppy Piper is a passenger with us this summer and that helps entertain the kids in the back seat.

We did a version of this trip two years ago, when the kids were six and three and it went surprisingly well. I am curious to see how we’ll fare this time. I will, literally, keep you posted. My aim is to upload at least one photo a day that encapsulates our adventures, with a couple of graphs describing the day and its high and low. Will we survive the family road trip? You be the judge.

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