Life is a highway

One of the last stories I did for my internship in St. Albert was about a local playwright and the Christmas play that they would be performing again, which I guess is kind of a tradition in the city.

We made some chitchat before actually starting the interview, and it turned out that she’s a graduate of the same high school as me (we figured out this by talking about marching band, of course). Somehow, that turned into a conversation about driving from Calgary to Edmonton or vice versa, and she made a comment about how she gets a lot of thinking done on that long, boring highway.

I agree, the QEII is pretty boring. Maybe it’s because I’ve driven it a lot more than I’ve driven Highway 16, but I much prefer to drive 16 than the 2. The interesting thing is, that while Highway 2 goes up and down, Highway 16 tends to wind more side to side, though there are a couple good hills on it too.

That was my first summer that I did a lot of highway driving (OK, it was also my first summer driving) but since then, I’ve realized that you can get a lot of thinking down during highway drives.

I’ve done a lot of highway driving this year – in the past nine months, I’ve put over 10,000 kilometres on my car, and that’s just trips to Edmonton, to Calgary via Edmonton, to Bonnyville, or, today, to Wainwright.

There’s arguments for and against going home so much, although I would like to point out some of those trips were for must-not-miss events, and others were just because. Most of my friends are fairly amazed I don’t mind doing the drive, and my mom too doesn’t understand how I don’t “mind” getting in a car for six hours and driving.

I just don’t. I get to think, I get to sing along with my iPod (except when I’m coming up on the south Anthony Henday exit. Singing to Janis Joplin’s Another Piece of my Heart – well, really any song – is a guarantee that I’ll miss that stupid exit and have to go in on the Yellowhead, which, even if I’m stopping in Edmonton, is never convenient), and yes, I even talk to myself a bit.

There’s been three times this summer where I’ve just gotten in my car and put it in drive. The first time, I went up to Frog Lake and area, the second time I made it down to Ribstone Creek area, which kind of reminds me of Drumheller with the hills and colours, and I went to Wainwright today.

Because when you’re driving, you have to think about driving. When I’m at home trying to sort through my thoughts, it’s too easy to check Twitter, pick up a book or watch a movie.

Considering there isn’t much option for shopping as therapy here, I consider driving through the prairies a pretty good alternative.

Today though, I’m a little disappointed. It feels like it didn’t work — that, or else I just didn’t need it enough.


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