“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” —Robert Louis Stevenson
We all have a different idea of what a “perfect” Saturday consists of. For some people, it’s full of shopping at the nearest mall. For others, it’s relaxing with a book on the couch. I never really knew a perfect Saturday until last week when I visited the village of Glendon.
Two words – Giant. Pyrogy. (Spelled the Glendon way).
I know what you’re thinking. You’re actually considering putting the paper down and doing something more productive than reading about a giant pyrogy.
Perhaps you’re going to make yourself some. Or maybe you’re thinking, “I knew we should’ve subscribed to the Red Deer Advocate!” But in all seriousness, hear me out.
While spending a lovely weekend at the family cabin on Upper Mann Lake with two friends, we decided that although sleeping in and playing cards was fun, maybe a road trip was in order. At first glance, there is nothing to do up there, but with a little research — we found the perfect adventure.
It seems to me that for many central Alberta citizens, the universe seems to end at Edmonton. Believe it or not, there are civilizations north of the big city. Granted, you may feel as if you are driving into the middle of nowhere (which you kind of are), but you must persevere. It takes a real commitment to get in the car and drive to a place you’ve never been. We had no idea what to expect, but we had snacks and music, so off we went.
Glendon was a total win. The giant pyrogy really spices up the village, like Ponoka’s bronc and rider, Smoky Lake’s pumpkins, Vilna’s mushrooms and Alix’s gator. It was time to add the pyrogy to our photo album of random landmarks. Don’t you judge us for what we find amusing.
As we arrived in Glendon, our first big laugh was “Pyrogy Drive,” which is Main Street. Cue the giggles. “Pyrogy Motel,” “Pyrogy Park” – these people have a serious obsession. It wasn’t hard to find the Pyrogy (complete with giant fork), given the huge crowd at the park.
Wait – a crowd? In Glendon?
Yes. It was a miracle. Like a dream in the form of homemade pyrogies for sale, Glendon souvenirs, and some random lady yodeling while her ancient granddad played the fiddle. Everyone knew each other, so the park was full of friendly chitchat, kids running around and lots of happy smiles. A total small-town experience, which is harder to achieve than you might think.
All around the province, these little gems of culture and fun can be found with a little digging. For instance, Pepper’s Gas Station in Waskatenau, our favourite stop on the way home, sells fresh baked goods, and the best sticky buns I have ever tasted. (Ask Ms. Belter, she was there Sunday morning.) All these best-kept secrets of small town Alberta are truly meant to be experienced first-hand.
Even in a village smaller than Ponoka, you can feel like a tourist. So please, get in your car, and go. Take your friends, blast the music, and remember the words of my old pal Robert Louis Stevenson – “The great affair is to move.”