My apologies for the long wait, but here are a selection of photos from the second leg of my great Canadian journey home.
My mom and dad picked me up from the bus stop in Hinton, shaving about 6 hours off my trip from Vancouver to Grande Praire (via Calgary!—quite out of the way, if you know your Western Canadian geography). Needless to say it was great to see them again after a two year absence.
Dad taking a nap in the car after having driven a few hours that day.
A common sight in the Canadian Rockies—moose on the highway. Dangerously common, in fact. A foreshadowing of things to come?
Oh, Canada. Quite a change from the Korean and Taiwanese landscapes of the past two years in my life.
Another highway landscape.
A train skirting a mountainside.
Gradually the mountains became foot hills and the foot hills became prairies and the prairies, grand prairies.
In the prairies towns are built around grain elevators. This is the latest small Albertan town that my parents have called home: Sexsmith. Where on earth did that name come from?
This is the trailer in Sexsmith where my parents are living while they wait for their house to be renovated after the fire that occurred the day after they bought it. For pictures and the rest of the story, see my dad’s blog, “Carpentering for the Carpenter”—linked on the right.
My bro and my pops, in my brother’s room in the trailer. He is attending the college in nearby Grande Prairie, so he is living with them.
Ron and I, and Ron's friend, Jeff.
Dad and his boys. Ron is showing off his bike, which would later cause us some trouble and contribute to a delayed and ultimately long trip back to his tree-planting camp.
A picture of a picture of the farm where my dad grew up.
Since there is nothing to do in Sexsmith, any going out entails going into Grande Prairie—the booming “gateway to the North”.
My mom and dad and I drinking coffee and chatting.
Dad finds some people he knows there and goes to chat with them.
My mom, working in the cosmetics department in Walmart.
My dad, having a burger on his way home after a day of building doors.
This bulletin board struck me as a culturally significant, and I snapped a few pictures to show people back in Taiwan.
My brother wanted to take me out to his tree-planting camp in the mountains so I could take a little helicopter ride with them and enjoy the scenery. He, Jeff and I played basketball at his college gym in the evening and then set out quite late on the drive to the camp. Shortly after falling asleep I was woken up by the screech of tires and a crash. I opened my eyes and saw this:
We had hit a moose.
It glanced off the front passenger side of the minivan…
…damaging it to a surprisingly limited degree.
The moose, however, wasn’t so lucky. It laid down in the ditch and huffed for a couple hours before dying. We waited on a fairly deserted road until someone came and gave Ron a lift to his camp where he could borrow a company truck and come back for us and our stuff.
After an all-too-short sleep, it was breakfast time, so we joined the line-up into the breakfast trailer.
These are the trucks that get filled with boxes of seedlings, then trudge up rough logging roads in the mountains.
But this is the transport that I was really looking forward too: the chopper. It was a lot smaller up close than I had imagined it would be in my mind.
Ron was kind enough to let me sit up front next to the pilot.
Flying a helicopter is complex. The pilot assured us that if we tried to pilot it based solely on assumptions and feeling, we would be dead within fifteen seconds.
The ride and the view was every bit as cool as I’d expected.
My brother, the foreman, watching over the transport of crew and materials.
The planters, bagging up.
Me at the cache.
Just below the cut block, there was a river, which I had seen from the helicopter, so I went down to explore.
Ron came with me and snapped a picture of me on the suspension bridge.
At the end of the day, we went back to the camp and mom and dad picked me up to take me back to Sexsmith. Of course, pictures had to be taken.
Mom and her two boys. It has been a long day for me, and I am visibly tired.
Ron, in the rain, showing my mom how the seedlings are packed in bundles, and the bundles into boxes.
After a few days in Sexmith and Grande Prairie, it was time to set out on the last leg: Edmonton to visit my friend Kasia and generally see the city that I call my "hometown" and Camrose where my sister lives with her boy, Thomas. But that story may be another while coming...
That's all for now folks!