We're back from Edmonton, Alberta. My impressions of the place?
Well, when you look at the layout of most places in North America, it's hard not to come to the conclusion that a race of humans has been colonized by a race of automobiles, each of them with very different goals and projects. When city landmarks are built close to each other, it feels like an offense against General Motors.
Edmonton is even more surreal because it's only intermittently populated. Huge swaths of prairies spread out like a golden crew cut. Most of the highways are much larger than they need to be, as if built for religious purposes instead of for transportation; the city was enriched by oil after all. The original 1947 drill that hit oil stands as a sort of monument, although presumably archaeologists will think it was pointing towards a god of some sort.
It's a gorgeous area. My favorite aspect was the sky in Alberta- it's huge and expansive, placid and cheerful. Because the city is so far north, daylight begins at 4:30 am and dusk is at 10:30 pm. People are more pleasant in places that receive a great deal of sun. I think I need the humidity as well. Claire thinks I'm crazy, but I miss sweat beading up on my forearms in the Virginia summertime.