The bad news: we were forced to re-route our trip. Originally, our game plan called for us to take a 7-hour drive through Alberta’s Jasper National Park, which I have been led to believe is heaven on earth. The wildfire smoke has persisted, which would have made our drive overly long and tedious instead of breathtaking and memorable.
The good news: museums exist! We took a shorter route through Calgary (which was also besieged by smoke. It seems to be moving east, and so are we) and made a pitstop at the Glenbow.
The new route shaved about 3 hours off of our drive to Edmonton, where we’ll stay for a little more than two days. Edmonton is home to a massive Fringe Festival — a veritable Disneyland of experimental theater. Basically my Christmas.
We had not set our sights on the Edmonton Fringe Festival randomly — our friends Paul and Erika, both consummate Fringe performers, suggested we make the trip up.
Over the next two days I’ll get to see nine shows, including Paul’s Balls of Yarns for the second time and Erika’s Evacuated for the third. Dan will see slightly fewer shows as he takes breaks to tour on his bicycle (if he can breathe — it’s hazy here too, of course).
I’ll level with you: I love nature, but I love theater more. I am glad to have the frustrations of smoggy Banff behind us and two solid days of who-knows-what-will-happen theater in front of me — and most of that time will be spent with some of our best friends (and all the new friends they introduce us to)!
Miles driven so far: ~1,750
Part 1: Jackson Hole
Part 2: Craters of the Moon
Part 3: Idaho Falls
Part 4: Kootenay National Park
Part 5: Banff National Park
Part 6: Calgary
Part 7: Edmonton Fringe Festival
Part 8: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Part 9: The Home Stretch