August 10th 2014, was the start of a long journey. It started at Dunbar Heights United Church with two birthdays: Kelsie and Samantha. It was also an early start to our day, waking up at 5:50 to be on the road by 7. At the beginning it was mostly the kids from Victoria and a few from Castlegar. Slowly, around departure time everyone else started to trickle in.
Sunday was a long drive day, going straight up to Prince George where we would be staying for the night.
We stopped along the way to pick up a few stragglers, not to far from our start point. Of course we also have a few pit stops, because though there is a bathroom on the bus, who really wants to be the one to stink it up?
Our lunch stop was at 108 Mile House. It was a little area off the highway that had older building, kind of like you were going into the past, but not. There was a house, a barn, a postoffice etc. all the things a little town needs. After about 45 minutes there we were back on the road again. The day, being our first, just felt long. Like really long, but it was okay in the end.
I believe we arrived early at St. Andrews church, which gave us a bit of set-up time before a super yummy dinner of salad, chicken nuggets and spaghetti. We even had cake, but it was just general cake.
We went swimming at the Prince George Aquatic Centre, which meant a shower!
Back at the church, we had quiet time, which was meditation time. Then to bed for an early start the next day.
Today, August 11th 2014, was a long day. But not a bad day, just long. It was Merlin's birthday as well.
The day started early, 6 o'clock am wake up, breakfast at 6:30. The church we were staying at, St. Andrews made beautiful breakfast sandwiches and yummy potatoes. They were delish! We were even early, leaving at 6:26 am, which is pretty good for 44 people. After a few photos, we hit the road, our first stop, McBride. It was in the middle of nowhere, off the 97 highway. It's a railroad town, with a cute little tourist centre and a pretty awesome park. We only stayed for about 10 minutes, long enough for everyone to take a bathroom break and to stretch our legs. The bus rides are long, but not unexciting. Singing and laughing can be heard through out the bus. Out the windows, mountains and trees sped by, the emerald waters following us along our path.
We had a picnic lunch at Lake Lucerne, consisting or sandwiches, munchies and juice. It was a time to relax and converse and take in the 'northern' BC air, which wasn't short of Horse-flies.
After about 45 minutes, we made way for Jasper, where we were going to have a short visit with the Aquatic Centre. Seeing as the churches we stay at don't have showers, and even if they did it would take all night for 45 people to shower, we took advantage of pools. It was a short visit since Jasper National Park had some construction going on, slowing our pace. Though that didn't weaken our spirits.
After a short swim, of about 45 minutes, we hopped back into the bus, only one more stop on the schedule: Edmonton. It was approximately 4 hours, which is long to sit in a bus. Eventually your butt starts to hurt and you have to change positions, but that can be a bit difficult in a moving bus. We had on pit stop at a visitor centre off the highway. Hunger was eating at us, so a few snacks were taken out for our hungry tummys. After a short break in the warm sun, back onto the stuffy bus we went. Only a couple more hours till we reached St. Alberts, just outside of Edmonton.
We arrived and brought all our luggage to our respected sleeping areas. Soon after dinner was had; spaghetti and salad.
Surprise, surprise, there was a birthday cake for the birthday boy. He even got little present.
There was some free time after dinner, which lead to a few "get to know each other" games since we got some new people. Then it was our circle time, which consists of some singing and meditation. A nice calm end to a long day.
Tomorrow we start all over, but thankfully we get a later start, which means more sleep!
My favourite moment so far is when my bus buddy and I started listening to Bohemian Rhapsody, and we started singing out loud, as anyone does to that song. And slowly, one by one, almost everyone on the bus joined in, and it was so harmonious and it felt like a true community.
Life is glorious, beautiful, and stupendous. This entire trip i cannot stop feeling effervescent, jubilant, and rapturous! I am surrounded by friends who i would like to call my second family and i love each and everyone of them like I've know them my entire life! so happy to be here and am having the time of my life and know that it will never end just like my heart never skips a beat <3 -Merlin S
There is something incredibly poetic about travelling cross country on a greyhound for several hours and watching the world go by. I can't describe this experience except to say that I feel completely safe and comfortable with all the people around me on this bus, the ones I can call my close friends and the ones I have yet to connect with. Communities exist everywhere, but I can't help but feel like the community being created on this trip can't be paralleled by many of the communities in my life. I can't wait to see what these next days will bring, and experience them with a completely open heart.
- Anthea F
I always look forward to traveling with Youth / and Young adults, and learning different qualities about people has always interested me. its kinda crazy that we get great chances like this to visit places all around Canada. some certain things i've liked the best about the trip is just being out on the road and seeing the world flash before my eyes; it's truly a beautiful place to live . - Mason A
My first Rendez-Vous could not be with a better group of people! Probably the best part so far has been our stops at pools so that everyone can have showers. I'm so excited to see so much of this beautiful country with these beautiful people. If after just one day I feel this close to this many people I can't wait to see what the rest of this trip holds! - Tim H.