Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel
So far my driving score card reads; pedestrians maimed (zero); animals maimed (zero), kerbs hit (two); Satnav failure (one - misdirected into the town of Airdrie) and "I know better than the Satnav (oh no I don't)" incident (one). For my Scottish relatives I should state that Airdrie in Canada is not much better than Airdrie in Scotland - it's just a little brighter.
Whilst no animals have been downed by my bright red Ford, thousands of mosquitos have. However, no matter how many I accumulate on my windscreen, bonnet and grill, I doubt if I will make up for the pints of blood they have sucked from me since we left Calgary.
On many of our stops we have been met by swarms of dragonflies. Large blue ones the length of a sparrow dance around our heads and delicate luminous green ones keep one step ahead of our feet as they rest on the paths we take. This amazing sight is accompanied by the sound of hundreds of crickets rubbing their legs as they jump in annoyance at our footfalls. This Disney like picture I paint would be amazing if it were not for the fact that the large number of dragonflies is down to an abundance of prey, namely mosquitos.
We have packed lots of Jungle formula to ward off the little blighters but one always seems to get through. Note for future travellers - the guide books tell you about the mosquitos and dangerous black flies when discussing the scenic areas but what they don't say is that the problem is everywhere due to lying water around the major population centres. Candians love water features, unfortunately so do Mosquitos - work it out Canada.
Anyway enough of the driving, insect related stories, you want to know more about the amazing journey we have been taking. Read on ….
Land of Make believe
We left the Emerald City behind us. Downbeat suburbs soon gave way to open pasture, Dutch barns and small communities clinging to the southern fringe of Veronica Lake.
A monotonous three hours took us over Wood Plain and through the Knots Forest. The once impressive Forest faded quickly behind us as we reached the edge of the Eire Plain, an expanse of prairie that stretched out into the distance up to the shores of the two Greg Lakes (Emerson and Palmer). It's mostly a flat country and the status quo was resumed once we passed the lakes and headed out onto the Paper Plain.
Our destination, the Big Rock Candy Mountain, was now in sight and a short trip over Harrison Ford on the Bryan Ferry led us to the edge of Virginia Plain, a feature that we were able to cross in less than an hour.
We reached Lac du Lait and after a short drive through the broad valley between Mont Buerre and Mont Beouf. I parked the car and we swooned drunkenly over the heady bouquet of Lac du Vin whose waters lapped gently upon the shore outside the Hotel Chocolat where we had reserved a large sweet.
"Time for bed" said Zebedee.