Driving home from Jasper yesterday afternoon I got the notion stuck in my head that I wanted to get to Vancouver sooner than later.
That said, I don’t think speed precludes enjoyment of the trip. I wanted to get beyond the familiar, and until I start heading out from Alaska, there is something very familiar about Alberta, British Columbia and everything between my house and the far tip of Vancouver island. Part of this trip is about flying... the other part is about flying around the world and into the unknown.
So, again, I wanted to get to Vancouver as quickly as possible because it represented a kind of gateway ... a threshold ... to the bigger, wider world. Beyond Vancouver, the real adventure begins.
There’s no clearer illustration of that truth than even as I flew from Kelowna to Vancouver in the third leg of flight in less than twenty-four hours — nearly six hours of flying out of the the last eighteen if I’m being honest — I could still comfortably point out the landmarks, name off the rivers, remember where I’d been and what I’d seen in real life.
But this project is beyond that. I haven’t even left Canada yet (and won’t for a few more days) but I did follow my flight plan, fought with Air Traffic Control over my altitude for nearly two hours, and eventually got clearance to land at YVR.
There was a lot more air traffic, of course. Lots of people are checking out Vancouver. Fewer are putzing around Edmonton and central Alberta. I even had a near miss upon landing as another plane pulled out of the taxi just as I was clearing the numbers for my touchdown.
So, three flights in less than a day is probably too much. And when I take off from Vancouver, sure I’ll buzz by some familiar sights on the Island, but when I turn North it will be to explore lands I’ve never actually seen with my real eyes. A long coastal trek. An icy ascent into the North of my country. A buzz through Alaska... then?
The adventure really begins.