Thursday, May 27, 2010

Saskatoon to Edmonton

Catching up.

Where to begin?  Actually, that's the easy part.  We last spoke in Regina.  Or maybe Saskatoon.  Since then, we drove to Edmonton, explored the freak show that is the West Edmonton Mall, stayed the night in a hotel with a gorgeous view, got up the next morning and powered through to Fort St. John, where I sit in a Super 8 Motel at this very moment.  Sophie and I are officially on the Alcan!  A mere 1500 or so miles separate us and our bed in Anchorage.

Saskatoon was uneventful.  Continental breakfast, fill up on gas, get going.  Token picture.

Motels are exciting. 

The landscape has been slowly getting prettier over the last two days.  We've gone from flat and uninteresting to hilly and exciting.  I first noticed that the badlands were becoming less bad at a rest stop between Saskatoon and Edmonton.

As you all know, Sophie and I are animal whisperers.  We often whisper in the presence of animals, mostly because we don't want to scare them off.  Although we rarely share the secrets of our practice with outsiders, or even family, we have decided to make an exception in order to show you all an example of the extremely rare mammal, Rodentus Cutus Tinius, genus Restus Stopus.

We now reach the terrifying climax of our trip thus far: the West Edmonton Mall.  According to Joe's vague memory of a Wikipedia entry he skimmed several days ago, the West Edmonton Mall is the largest mall in the known universe.  There are actually seven thousand malls in Dubai that are larger than the West Edmonton Mall, but as it has recently been discovered that the laws of economics are totally different in Dubai, it can no longer be considered a part of the known universe.  It's more like the hard-to-believe-they-actually-think-that-shit-is-a-good-idea universe. 

While the West Edmonton Mall does have the standard Sephoras, American Apparels, and Oakleys that are the standard fare of malls worldwide, in order to differentiate itself from apparently reasonable places elsewhere it has chosen to include a giant pirate ship, a scale cast-iron model of a whale, the world's largest indoor waterpark, three indoor rollercoasters, daily sea lion shows and a lemur exhibit.  The mall also has a dining area named "Bourbon Street" which conveniently omits authentic Cajun food from its restaurant options, and a small Chinatown, complete with sign and kitschy fountain, that has a surprisingly odd assortment of produce that I have never, ever heard of.  Sophie and I wandered around for a while before the stress of driving began to sink in and I treated myself to a deep tissue massage at one of the several spas in the mall.  It was awesome.

Please observe the incomprehensible insanity that is the West Edmonton Mall.

Sophe, growing extremely tired of the car, decided to try to find alternate means of transportation.

Last but not least, the traditional Canadian indoor lemur exhibit.

Well, friends, although I would love to write some more tonight, I am completely exhausted and need to go to bed.  Expect more news in the next few days.  I leave you with the night skyline of Edmonton.

Good night, and good luck.


  1. Hey you two. There is a fire in Tok that forced the closure of the Alaska Highway. Keep yourself informed of the situation before heading that way. Love, Mom

  2. Places like this terrify me. When I was in Minnesota many moons ago, I was taken to the Mall of America, where they have wedding chapels, roller coasters and the like. Part of me thinks this is ludicrous and a much smaller part of me is in awe.