I had a particularly difficult time with the first two hours of the drive. I left home about 6 am and decided to wait to grab a coffee at Wandering River. In retrospect, that was probably a wrong choice. A young lady came up to me in the gas station when I finally stopped for some caffeine and a snack.
"Are you driving a grey Escape?" she asked.
"Yes," I said.
"I just want you to know that you were drifting quite a bit. You might want to get your alignment checked."
"Thanks," I said sheepishly, not having the gumption to admit that I was just struggling through a drowsy drive.
Her comment and the coffee, combined to wake me up, and for the rest of the trip I was completely alert.
I found myself retracing my evacuation steps, back to Run Digital Inc. in Calgary and Mike and Kathryn's house in NW Calgary. It's rather hard to believe that nearly two full months have passed since Heather and I loaded up the car and returned to Fort McMurray on the first day of re-entry.
I slept in the same bedroom that was home for our 4-week stay in Calgary. Initially I was on the left side of the bed, near the light on the bedside table. But when it came time to turn in, I couldn't stay there. That was Heather's spot; so I went over to the other side and fell asleep almost immediately.
The reason for my drive south was twofold, primarily to pick up Dylan at Artstrek in Red Deer, but secondarily to sign the remaining commemorative prints of Fire Chief Darby Allen and pick up the remaining copies to bring back to Fort McMurray.
I once felt like an outsider spending time Calgary. It is very different now; it feels like home away from home, and that feels good.