Calgary - October 9, 2013

Wednesday, 09.10.2013 / 9:30 AM

With the first road trip of the season comes the inaugural On the Road Blog of the 2013-14 campaign! First up: a quick stroll down memory lane, all the way back to November 15, 2010. Jean Charest and his Liberals held a majority government in Quebec, Will Ferrell owned the box office with his animated hit, Megamind, Ke$ha led the Billboard charts with her second single “We R Who We R”, and the Canadiens still played in the five-team northeast division. That was also the last time Montrealers heading to the pumps saw gas prices dip below $1.10/L, so you can imagine our surprise when we stumbled across this Esso station peddling gas for $1.09/L on our way to the Saddledome. If only we had a way of stashing some of this discount liquid gold in our carry-ons for the trip home…

Everyone knows Montreal is a foodie’s paradise. The city is all about gourmet cuisine, even when it comes to street food. Foie gras poutine or salmon tartare, anyone? While it may be better known for its succulent steak offerings than its high-end culinary scene, Calgary also has its share of fancy food trucks on the roads, counting 37 mobile street vendors since the pilot project launched around the city in 2011. From tacos to perogies, they have a little something for everyone. For those visiting Calgary looking for a taste of home, they even have a Quebec-inspired spot called the Red Wagon Diner, complete with Montreal-style smoked meat.

In what was called “the worst flood in Alberta history” by the provincial government last June, the city of Calgary saw over 75,000 people evacuated and thousands of homes damaged as the rivers began to rise over a two-day period. With flooding in the Saddledome filling the ice level with water reaching the 10th row of the lower bowl, the neighboring Stampede grounds were also inundated just a few weeks before the 101st annual Stampede was supposed to kick off. As a testament to the resilience of Calgarians, the city went into immediate rebuild mode, ensuring the “World’s greatest outdoor show” would go on as scheduled on July 5, welcoming over 1.13 million people to the city for the 10-day marquee rodeo event. Estimates of damages stemming from the flood range from $3 to 5 billion, but just three-and-a-half months later, the grounds are already looking as good as new.

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