Following My Dads Footsteps: Driving Vancouver to Calgary

How To Connect With Someone After They Passed?

 

Being able to look back on life is something we can all comprehend and evaluate.

Did I spend enough time with the people I loved when I had the opportunity?

Did I do all I could at that time?

The good, the bad and the ugly we can analyze when we are honest with ourselves.

Looking back on my relationship with my father, who passed away from cancer, was a positive one. I AM happy with the time I spent with him.

He put his blood and sweat into my youth as a high-level athlete, giving me every opportunity to succeed. And when I had put the cleats away finally and found new endeavours to follow passionately, he did his best at that time to better understand them. 

With the mindset I had at these ages, sure I gave some guff to him and lashed out at times. But I also cherished countless moments.

I don't regret anything I did or did not do. But I often think about the time, during my youth, when dad was flying around the world for work — also driving north to south, east to west all across Canada.

Travel was a massive part of pops life. It connected him with old friends and made new life long friends along the way.

And I want to understand better his love for unknown.

I want to follow along in his footsteps, and maybe make that connection with him now a little bit stronger.  

My road trip to Calgary from Vancouver is my first adventure with him in mind.

 

Driving From Vancouver to Calgary - 1942Km with Lincoln Canada

 

The travel bug has been with me ever since I dated a flight attendant. Since that first trip to Greece, I have been looking for the next best flight deal out of YVR.

Living in Vancouver, British Columbia has a lot of perks that means I don’t need to own a vehicle to live. One of them is the ease of getting around town by walking, bicycling or public transit. Unfortunately, a taxi is not something that aids in this, but that's another subject for another day. 

The only hiccup from not having a set of wheels is the ability to take off at a whim and see the beauty that Canada has to offer around me. 

Fortunately, Lincoln Canada reached out to me and offered me the new fully loaded Lincoln Navigator. At this time of wanting to be more like my dad and hit the pavement more than the friendly skies, I now had the means to do so. 

The Lincoln Navigator Canada 2019

 
Tall Paul Lincoln Canada Navigator 2019
 


Staying at Sutton Place Hotel - Revelstoke

 

Now that I had a set of wheels, I decided to drive to Calgary, Albert. It was within a days drive if I wanted to push it and also my sister and uncle lived there. 

Along the way, I was going to pass through Rogers Pass and the picturesque landscapes of the Rocky Mountains. I decided that breaking up the drive to spend a night in Revelstoke was needed.

Stopping in Revelstoke not only made sense from a location standpoint, but the old man would stay here because of the natural beauty to it.

 
Walking through the National Park Giant Cedars Boardwalk

Walking through the National Park Giant Cedars Boardwalk

 

Revelstoke is a beautiful little town just shy of 15,000 residents. However, that number fluctuates in both the summer and winter season. The Columbia River runs beside it allowing for water activities in the summer, while Revelstoke Mountain gets used both for winter sports and summer activities. Mountain biking runs rampant on Mount Revelstoke in the summer but what catches kids and grownups alike is the 1.4km Revelstoke Mountain Coaster.  They say it gets up to 42km an hour and I can attest that it for sure feels that fast, if not faster.

I was not able to leave Vancouver when I first had planned due to a call from my agent for a last-minute audition. I found myself speeding up the side of the mountain because of the 3-hour delay, praying that the falling sun hadn't yet set on The Sutton Place Hotel so I could get my first piece of content I had envisioned. Having just passed through the town on the river, already a blanketed in shadows, did not leave me with much hope. 

However, luck was on my side as I finally opened up my door on the 4th-floor Suite and saw the mountains basked in a golden hue. 

 
The Patio From The Fourth Floor Suite

The Patio From The Fourth Floor Suite

 

The Sutton Place Hotel is situated right in the middle of Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Walking out the back of the hotel puts you 50 feet away from the Gondola. It is the quintessential ski-in ski-out luxury hotel. With beautiful panoramic views throughout the grounds.

 
 

Calgary

 

Calgary changed many roles in my planning for the trip and then again once the driving had started. At last, Calgary served one purpose. 

To re-enact that connection point, my dad made in so many of his travels. 

He was the master of turning a few days work trip into a 12 hour ( 6 of those sleeping ) catch up with friends or family. Keeping true to the ways of Bill Marlow, I arrived in Calgary at 4:30 pm and drove out the following day at 8 am. 

I saw my sister at her work at CBC Radio, and then we both had dinner with my Uncle and Aunt. They all had lived there for 5+ years, and until then, I had not seen them in their town. It was far past due.

 
Uncle Dave checking out whats underneath the hood of the 2019 Navigator

Uncle Dave checking out whats underneath the hood of the 2019 Navigator

 

Calgary Back To Vancouver In A Day

 

At this point, I had hit many stops and done most of the things that would have fallen into dads journey. The final box to tick off was to get in a full days drive from sun up to sundown and cover as much territory that I could.

After staying the night with my sister, I woke and had a cup of coffee with her. Then hopping into the Navigator and headed back the way I came, with the vision of Vancouver in my head, 1,942 kilometers away.

Not owning a vehicle, meant I hadn't driven 6 hours straight in the last ten years. So is it even necessary to say I had never driven 10+ hours ever in my life?

I wasn't worried about it, yet I was curious about how my big body was going to hold up. And this is when I found out three things about the Lincoln Navigator that I endeared the most.

 

30-way power adjusted front seats: General production of anything, does not scale to the tall world. So being 6'7, weighing 234lbs and having the ability to form the seat to exactly what I needed was a much needed luxury for the long drive.


Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go Capability: This allowed me to set one speed and have not to worry about speed limits or to slow down to a full stop in a construction zone. Giving me the ability to enjoy the Rocky Mountains in a 10km long construction area of 0-15km speeds, and not worrying about rear-ending the person ahead of me.


Heads-up Display: Due to my long torso, I find myself having to duck my head at times to look down at the speedometer. Doing so isn't comfortable nor safe. The heads up display projects the speed and navigation information onto the windshield, where you can see it just over the steering wheel but not obstructing your view of the road.

 

I managed to get home in 11 hours after a hand full of construction zones did their part to bring traffic to a dead stop. 

However, the drive was much more enjoyable than I was expecting due to the comforts the Lincoln gave me.

And so was the whole trip. 

I ignited the flame for taking more trips by way of a vehicle.

Where should I head next?