Getting lost near Sheep River

Every summer I try to go camping. It helps initiates that at-ease, summertime feeling and when you live in Alberta, you can’t just not take advantage of the beautiful camping zones we have so close to us. When my friend Sam invited Tim and I to come out for the night near Sheep River with her and some friends, we jumped at the chance. Only thing is, without service, Google Maps isn’t the most reliable.

Tim and I began driving westward out of Calgary, only to realize we hardly had any gas left. With over an hour left in our drive and having already driven for 45 minutes, we had to keep going to find a gas station. Well, in the nearly middle-of-nowhere town of Millarville, on a Saturday, after dinnertime, most small-town gas stations (apparently) aren’t open. We tried an old-school gas pump only to find the store was closed and the town had no cell service, so we had to keep driving.

Finally reaching the little town/nook of Turner Valley, we found a gas station! But… they were clean out of gas. How convenient. I was not the happiest… But after about 15 minutes, the gas station lady said the gas had filled up and we could start pumpin’. Plus, to make me feel better Tim bought me chocolate. He knows me too well.

Once we had gas we set out on the road again, only to realize Google Maps was taking us back to Calgary. Wrong. SO we had to turn around and start driving the right way, only adding more time to our trip. By the time we were on the right road I was pretty happy, because the drive was stunning, but also disappointed because we were running so late.

Eventually we reached Sheep River territory. I spotted a tiny bench looking over the view of the mountains, forest and river, and decided we needed to go back there ASAP. After driving for way too long without direction from Google Maps, the sun was going down and Tim and I had no idea where we were. Maybe we were close to the campsite, maybe we were still another half hour away. Who knew! So, we decided to head it in, with heavy hearts, and call it a night. But… what was waiting for us was that lovely little bench, which is where all these photos are from.

We had a cozy time just talking and laughing and admiring our hour-and-a-half-away backyard scenery. I felt really bad about not going camping (#fomo), but the time we took to get lost and milk it for all it was worth was, well, totally worth it. Sometimes you need to go off the grid, however unintentionally it may be, and just enjoy the moment.

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