Edmonton, 294 km from Calgary.
Our plan for the long weekend is to drive to Whitehorse to see our friends Duke and Jonelle at their wedding reception; a great road trip and a typical long weekend adventure. Let’s not forget that we live in Canada, which is a country where vast open spaces rule.
The distance from Calgary to Whitehorse one way is 2400 km; to put this into perspective: imagine driving from Calgary to Vancouver, double the distance, and add in tons of wildlife. The distance from Calgary to Whitehorse is the same distance as it is from Calgary to Thunder Bay. Double that and you are in Halifax (if you count our trip back we basically drove from Calgary to Halifax in just over two days!). Nova Scotia is a whopping 708 km long and it you were to drive across the province three times and you’d have roughly the same distance as Calgary to Whitehorse. In the UK the distance from London to Glasgow is 654 km. So, triple that distance and add another 500 km for good luck and you have our journey one way to Whitehorse.
We did the drive there in 28 hours and the drive back in 24 hours.
The first leg of our journey was the shortest of all: from Calgary to Edmonton, 300 km. Just as we were pulling into the city we saw the sun set over the horizon and determined that a Starbucks coffee was needed to prepare for the long overnight journey. There were three of us in the car: Chris, myself and an acquaintance who was also heading to Whitehorse to visit his family.
We stayed in Edmonton long enough to grab a coffee, find a semi-decent map and get lost on our way out of the city. The reason I say semi-decent for the map is there are NO maps that have the Yukon on it. All cover to just above the BC border and then end. I looked everywhere: atlases, road maps, travel guides, coiled map things, folding book map things, big maps, little maps, and it seems that when Canada was mapped they forgot the Yukon!
After gassing up in Edmonton we hit the highway for our overnight haul, which was the hardest part of the journey. Staying awake when you are driving is not a treat nor is it easy. We managed and travelled through the populated portion of the highway through Grande Prairie and Dawson Creek to the Alaska Highway.