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Canada Day

July 2nd, 2011

What better place to be on Canada Day than in Canada?  After all, on Canada Day, everybody is a little bit Canadian.

Canadian flag

Cheap Canadian flags are MADE IN CANADA, eh?

I began Canada Day in Jasper, Alberta. It was incredibly similar to being in the States on the Fourth of July, except everybody was waving around Canadian flags instead of the stars and stripes.

Canadians like Canada, eh?

Canada Day celebrates the creation of Canada back in 1867.  That was not the date of Canadian independence, which came gradually over the years.  Canada was still somewhat subordinate to the UK until 1982, when an act of the British parliament which granted Canada the right to change its own constitution.  Not that there’s anything wrong with celebrating the beginning rather than the end of the change; nobody in the States celebrates June 21, which is the anniversary of the 1788 ratification of the United States Constitution.

Jasper kicked off Canada Day with a pancake breakfast.  Pancakes are always extra delicious when enjoyed outside on a beautiful morning with big mountains sitting all around the horizon.

Pancake breakfast in Jasper, AB, eh?

From standing in line, I got the impression that there were at least a few townsfolk present, but many of the patrons seemed to be visitors.   It was hard to tell them apart.  I do know that I enjoyed my flapjacks over conversation with a family from Edmonton and a couple from Santa Cruz, California.

Pouring pancakes, eh?

I’m not sure why, but I found the celebration of Canada Day by all of the Canadians to be incredibly amusing.  It was almost like a kid (Canada) trying to emulate an adult (America) – and I mean that in the nicest way possible.  Maybe it was just my perspective.  I’m sure that foreigners find America’s Independence day festivities equally ridiculous.  Is there really much difference between a little kid riding around on a tricycle decked out in the stars and stripes versus one with a bunch of maple leaves?

For my part, I walked around in my red raincoat, which was made in Canada.  I figured it would be less alarming than walking around in my red goalie mask (which was also made in Canada).

It was time to hit the road after breakfast.  My destination was Ft. St. John, British Columbia, about 370 miles from Jasper.

Along the way, I happened upon the remote town of Grand Cache, Alberta.  Grand Cache is the sort of place that is the “next gas” and “last gas” for 100 miles in any direction. It is the center of activity for a large swath of land.  They had a Canada Day celebration, too, complete with street hockey and cake.  I was too early for hockey, so I partook in Canada birthday cake instead.

Canada Cake. The little kid to the back-left knows what's up, eh?

Canada Day was fun.  If I time things right, I might be back in Canada in October for Canadian Thanksgiving.

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  1. Dad
    July 2nd, 2011 at 19:29 | #1

    It must stay cool there with everyone in jackets at the beginning of July.

  2. Jeff
    July 3rd, 2011 at 20:43 | #2

    @Dad – You know, I never even thought about that. It just seemed completely natural for everybody to be in coats. Maybe it was the fact that I had been hiking in snow and driving by glaciers in the previous days.

  3. John Shen
    July 5th, 2011 at 03:38 | #3

    great post and great photos eh!

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