Sarah Peters | 11:30 AM Mountain Time
Hey Sharks fans! This is Sarah Peters and Patrick Hooper writing from the road for sjsharks.com. We just left Calgary and we are headed north to Edmonton. The weather in Canada is much different than the Bay Area as it’s about twenty degrees right now in Calgary and only five degrees in Edmonton. Edmonton is roughly 190 miles north of Calgary and a four hour bus ride. There is snow on the ground outside and blue skies ahead.
In Calgary, the restaurants that had televisions usually had hockey on every channel. Hockey is a major part of life in Canada and that was evident at last night’s game. Almost everyone in the crowd had a hockey jersey on and the Saddledome was loud. The press box was up in the rafters and we could feel our seats shake when the crowd cheered.
Patrick Hooper | 11:45 AM Mountain Time
As Sarah mentioned, it's rather chilly compared to what we're spoiled with in the Bay Area. I'll definietly have to check myself the next time I try to complain about 48 degree weather.
Early observations of life north of the border... it's cold, hockey is life, and at least for the western lifestyle of Alberta, everything has the word Canadian or Deer in it. We stayed in a hotel across the way from the Deer Head Cafe. We passed by two or three Deerfoot Bars on the way out of town. We're currently en route to Red Deer, Alberta. So, I'm rather excited to see some deer, but no luck yet. On the bus to the Saddledome yesterday, Jamie Baker pointed out every business that had the name Canadian in it. He said Canadians are very proud to put that word into the name of a business or building whenever possible. There's something about seeing people patriotic and passionate for their own country, it adds a bit of appreciation for having that same attitude back home.
The geography is not that much different from the U.S either. Aside from a bit more snow and some cooler temps, it could be confused as Colorado. Plains to the east. Mountains to the west. Cows in between.
Patrick Hooper | 2:15 PM Mountain Time
We're over halfway through our trip north, after a quick pit stop in Red Deer, Alberta. Checking the temperature, it was about nine degrees Fahrenheit, which did not feel all that much colder than Calgary. When your fingers, toes and mouth are numb, it's rather hard to tell the difference. However, there is a small anticipation that we could pass another threshold once in Edmonton.
We had the pleasure of chatting with a few locals on the bus, who shared a bit about the culture and lifestyle of Alberta. They reaffirmed our astute perception about the cold weather of Canada. This part of the country is very rural with many of the jobs between the major cities existing on farms or drilling rigs. We've been advised to try something called Poutine, a food that's description is better than it's name, a mix of fries, cheese and gravy, and isn't originally from this area of Canada, but a national treat nonetheless. Also just as we assumed, they're passionate about their Oilers or Flames. I've tried up and down the bus and can't get one person to predict a Sharks victory tomorrow night. Here's to proving them wrong!
Sarah Peters | 4:30 PM Mountain Time
We've finally made it to Edmonton. It was a long bus ride but we were able to pass the time by snapping photos, shooting videos, and talking to the friendly Canadian passengers. There is more snow on the ground than in Calgary, which is expected as we are much further north. Edmonton is also a little different as there are more hills here than the flat plains of Calgary.
So far the Canadian experience has been very enjoyable. The people are very friendly and usually stop to ask if you need and hand or help with directions. One thing to know if you ever travel here during the winter is that you will need a good pair of gloves and a hat. After getting off the bus we were greeted with a blustery snow and near negative temperatures. Walking the short distance to the hotel was definitely colder than Calgary and I am glad I came prepared.
So as the snow dusts the ground here in Edmonton, we're getting prepped for tomorrow night's matchup versus the Oilers. For all of those who haven't heard it, here's the inspiration for our blog: "Do you Know the Way to San Jose" by Dionne Warwick. Go Sharks!