Current Location: Revelstoke, BC
Kilometres Travelled: 4,111
Total spent on gas: $548.46
Total spent on accommodation: $1,350.19
See that cute picture above? It’s from a vintage brochure on travelling in British Columbia that I bought on eBay.
Anyhow, we didn’t look like that as we drove through both Kicking Horse Pass and Rogers Pass yesterday.
The weather was absolutely perfect and the mountains were in their full glory, but boy oh boy, what a white-knuckled drive. Travelling in early April means the potholes are like craters and the lines on the road are actually non-existent (they’ve been scraped off by snow ploughs).
But the worst part is the humans – the aggressive drivers that ride your rear like they’re trying to mount you at the height of mating season. No disrespect to the province in general, but we noticed that Alberta drivers in trucks were especially nasty. There’s this prevailing idea on the highways these days that being safe and taking it slow (especially when faced with less-than-ideal conditions on some of our country’s most dangerous mountain stretches) is somehow WRONG or an AFFRONT to others. There’s a lot of talk about bullying in schools these days, so why it it that bullying on the roads is acceptable in our country? As a safe driver (and by that I mean someone who is driving at or slightly below the speed limit, according to road conditions), you’re incessantly harassed. We saw a poor driver in a sedan from Saskatchewan, obviously out of his or her element, practically mowed down by a truck as they entered a pitch-black tunnel.
I think we’re losing touch with the fact that highway driving is a matter of life and death.
DEATH!!! I don’t know about you, but I’m not too keen on death just yet.
It’s not a competitive sport and there’s no medal for getting to your destination 15 minutes earlier. Every person has the right to drive safely, and to not have a jerk honking or pressuring them. Just because our cars can go a zillion kilometres per hour doesn’t mean they should.
Would you stand behind someone on a diving board and push them in? Would you walk behind an elderly person on the sidewalk and yell at them to hurry up? To me, it’s a basic matter of respect. If someone is in front of you, you need to remember that they may have a good reason for the going the speed they are. They’re not doing it to antagonize you. Just chill out, listen to the radio, and think about how great it is that you don’t have to ride a horse for a week to get to the next town. Perspective!
It makes me wonder whether things were different when tourists first started cruising down the Trans-Canada for pleasure. First of all, I’m guessing their cars were less powerful with less sophisticated braking systems. Tailgating was probably unthinkable. After all, tailgating is risking yourself.
Furthermore, maybe people weren’t in such a bloody hurry to get to the destination. Maybe they actually appreciated the journey. I’ll tell you something: it’s awfully hard to appreciate the majesty of the Canadian Rockies – one of the world’s most striking landscapes – when you’re fixated on a) avoiding dangerous potholes and b) trying to appease the person in the rearview mirror.
Today, we’ll be driving from Revelstoke to Hope. And we’ll be doing it safely, with no apologies.