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Our trip began on a bit of a soggy note. We left early Saturday morning with the hopes of avoiding the long weekend traffic. The roads were relatively quiet but the heavy rain seemed to put a damper on the initial excitement of starting our journey. Nonetheless, the overcast and eerie fog that surrounded the mountains made for a beautiful and haunting landscape. But with the weather, it also meant that I was limited to taking photos in the car.

Once we left BC and approached the prairies, the landscape and weather drastically changed. Instead of dramatic mountain peaks and lush fir trees, we were surrounded by vast farm fields and open skies.

Sometimes you can literally see for miles on end.

We arrived in Regina for Canada Day where we watched prairie thunderstorms compete with fireworks.

My mother-in-law just retired and now the in-laws are moving out to BC to enjoy their retirement. J.’s aunt and uncle had a surprise party for them at their cottage on Katepwa Lake.

And of course, the family pup has to make an appearance here.

The rest of the trip was filled with other family get-togethers as well as a few shared meals and drinks with old friends. I also got to meet up with an old friend of mine who moved back to Regina. He’s a photography genius so I got the opportunity to pick his brain a bit.

On our way back, the geek in us had to make a pit stop at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, AB.

When I was a child, I had the opportunity to tag along with a group of paleontologists to observe the excavation of the fossilized remains of the largest-known marine reptile. This particular fossil is now housed at the museum and I never had a chance to see it until now. It was amazing to see a little bit of my childhood in this huge exhibit.

Then we stopped in Calgary to visit J.’s brother and fiancee. Fortunately, it was the Calgary Stampede so we spent a long and excruciatingly hot day eating fair food and playing the games.

We finally made our way back home yesterday, making a couple of stops for lunch and photo ops.