Straight on Till Mornin'
December 26, 2007 12:19 AM   Subscribe

"23 days, 12 states, five Canadian provinces, and 10,923 miles. We came within a hundred miles of the Arctic Circle and 500 miles of Russia. And we saw the most beautiful place that can be imagined." In June of last year, Clint and Robin drove from Chicago to Alaska and back again. Last August they headed into the great American west. Along the way they took some beautiful photos and made some inspired observations. If you've got some time on your hands, and some wanderlust in your heart, read along.
posted by Roman Graves (15 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
To head anyone off at the pass: yes, you'll see we're both from Kentucky. No, I don't know either of them. I came upon the blog while I was searchin' for badlands photos, and was both inspired and depressed by their journeys.
posted by Roman Graves at 12:21 AM on December 26, 2007

The description of crossing from the US into Canada where the only border marking is a chain link fence seems so strange to me. I was born and raised in the Detroit area, which meant that going to Canada involved a bridge or a tunnel and many border guard booths at either end asking serious questions. (Although pre-9/11 quite often all they asked was "citizenship?" and then waved you through.) I love road trips and would love to drive to Alaska one day. Thanks for the post!
posted by Oriole Adams at 2:12 AM on December 26, 2007

I love serendipitous finds like this. I found the Beimers in 2002 while looking for something else. I think I wasted half a day on their original journey and forgot what I was looking for.

They've since done a bikeabout across Australia and had a baby. (unfortunately the sites are unavailable, hence the internet archive urls.) The Beimers Previously.

I love travelouges, too. Thanks for the link!
posted by lysdexic at 6:13 AM on December 26, 2007

That's some very aesthetically pleasing display of nature, it's easy to get a "crush" on the idea of travelling and collecting such a series of pictures.
posted by elpapacito at 6:15 AM on December 26, 2007

COP (Canada Olympic Park) isn't some abandoned relic on the outskirts of west Calgary. Those ski jumps are still used; the bobsled runs are still used; the hillsides are packed with skiiers in the winter and mountain bikers in the summer, all a 10 or 15-minute drive from downtown.

As to "hating" Banff: Fuck you, assholes. You come to "Canada" and complain about service at Wendy's and McDonald's- what a great effort you made to leave Chicago behind there- and then proceed to the busiest national park in the country at the very height of tourist season and "hate" it because of all the other people doing exactly what YOU are doing?

Our gas stations are harder to reach because Calgary, like most Canadian big cities, did not commit esthetic suicide by building a superhighway through its city centre. This is a GOOD thing. You want the Dan Ryan and the fucking Calumet Expressway, stay in Chicago.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:37 AM on December 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

I can't get as enraged as ethnomethodologist, but I did find their observations a bit pedestrian.
posted by rhymer at 11:16 AM on December 26, 2007

As to "hating" Banff: Fuck you, assholes. You come to "Canada" and complain

Personally I have no problem with their snarks if they're writing on the trip and are just tired and irritable. But the blog appears to have been written about a month after the trip.

My main problem is that I have no idea who I was "travelling" with... I saw only 1 picture of one of the people in the car, and zero of the other. I still don't know who "Robin" is.
posted by chips ahoy at 11:53 AM on December 26, 2007

Cool post.
posted by nola at 2:20 PM on December 26, 2007

...what better place to wind things up than a state simultaneously built and destroyed by oil?

posted by acro at 2:21 PM on December 26, 2007

12 states and 5 provinces in 3 weeks? Racing from Wendy's, to McDonalds , to Subway, to Burger King, all in order to stay on schedule? That's not traveling. That's driving.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 2:49 PM on December 26, 2007

I'm with you PareidoliaticBoy, if you don't make time for hight tea on your trip you might as well stay home.
posted by nola at 6:41 PM on December 26, 2007

Wtf, they hated Banff, are they insane, did they drive throught it with their eyes closed or open!?

PareidoliaticBoy nails it.
posted by zarah at 8:07 PM on December 26, 2007

They went to Whistler Mountain and never left the village. First people I've ever heard complain about Whistler as a place to visit. No interaction with locals. No local cuisine. No local activities. No bike riding, golf, sailing, kayaking, hiking, or even a chair-lift rid to the top. No exploration that couldn't be accomplished from a parking lot. One of the best burger places in the province is in Whistler, and it isn't especially expensive. But they complain about prices there, while they couldn't be bothered to spend any time gaining any local knowledge.

Its a wonder that they didn't bitch about the dearth of Waldorf Salad ingredients.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:11 PM on December 26, 2007

Precisely zarah. The Sea to Sky Highway between Whislter and Vancouver must be one of the most picturesque routes in the world.

It's pretty much a must-see for anyone coming to this region. Experienced travel writers rave about it. But they bitch endlessly about all those other pesky tourists, delaying their next fast-food dine'n'dash grease-fest.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:26 PM on December 26, 2007

A long, long, time ago, before any of you were born, we had this crazy president who balanced the budget and got in all sorts of trouble for servicing an intern. Gasoline was something we all drank with dinner (called "supper" back then) because it cost about 89 cents a gallon. ("Cents" is an archaic term for a fractional portion of a dollar.)

Where was I? Oh yes. Roadtrips were a Web 1.0 thing. And forever they shall remain as such.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:59 AM on December 27, 2007

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