The Calgary-Edmonton run is one I hadn’t done in a little while. I used to find myself at 780Tuners’ season openers and closers each year, but with life always changing it had been a few years since I’d gone up for one of them – or at all, in fact.
In recent years there had occasionally been some parts I’d needed for one of the cars that were located up in Edmonton or its surrounding areas, though through coincidence it always seemed Paul would be going on a work trip to Calgary at around the time I’d find said parts, and so (being the legend he is) he’d bring them down for me and save me a several-hour round trip. Seriously, you’re amazing Paul!
Parts quite often run between the two cities as enthusiasts in one find what they want in the other, and so it’s not uncommon to see posts in our various Facebook groups asking if anyone is going soon and can either pick something up or drop something off. Or both.
Recently, Brayden posted that he was parting out his ST and there was quite a list of items up for grabs. He lives just outside of Edmonton, which meant that for all of us in Calgary we had to find someone making a run soon unless we wanted to pay crazy shipping for the larger items. I was one of the individuals wanting to buy some parts so I started checking around to see if anyone would be hitting the highway in the next week or so. As it turned out a couple of friends had just made the trip a few days prior but no one was yet scheduled to be doing it again soon. At this point I decided this was the perfect excuse to get out of town for a little bit and so arranged with Brayden to come up myself and grab all of it – the very next day.
The drive isn’t terribly long – a bit over 3 hours one way from where my house is – but when the extra distance to Brayden’s house was added, it was doubled for the return trip, and a bit more was accounted for (for a few stops I wanted to make while in town) it was set to be a fairly long day of driving; and it was, ultimately coming in at just over 11 hours all-in. 11 hours by myself would’ve been boring, but with company it would be much nicer. I knew Brian would probably be free so I messaged him at something silly like 10 or 11pm the night before to ask if he wanted to come with.
“I’m running to Edmonton in the morning to pick up the parts from Brayden. Want to come along?”
And so, less than 12 hours later we were loading supplies into the truck and hitting the highway. Semi-spontaneous road trip! Wanting to go on an adventure and also see Edmonton again for a little bit, my mother ended up coming along too. This gave her the chance to look over the ST too – for possible parts for Dijon – and while nothing is set in stone we might end up tossing a piece or two on. We’ll see.
The Calgary-Edmonton run is pretty simple. Leave Calgary heading north, set cruise control, and wait 3 hours. We made a quick stop at the halfway point in Red Deer for some food and coffee, but otherwise I just wanted to keep going and get the first leg out of the way. Once we hit Edmonton it was another 20 or 30 minutes to get to Brayden’s house, and then we got to visit for a little bit as we loaded up all of the parts that were waiting for us. I’d let our local ST group chat know when we’d be at his place and left them to make any final arrangements and claim whatever else they wanted. Sure enough, by the time we arrived a few more parts had been bought and paid for so they too were loaded in the back of the Suburban for the trip back to Calgary.
After getting everything in the truck, adding a few more little bits to the tally, and saying our goodbyes, it was back into Edmonton itself for a quick bit of wandering around. For as long as I can remember I have never been to Edmonton without stopping in Hobby Wholesale; I always love looking around because they have a different selection to our local shops and I never leave empty-handed. After a couple of laps of the store, a pair of new model kits, various needed supplies, and even another little model railroad addition were picked up. Brian also brought home a couple of kits and my mother found a few goodies too.
After a little more poking around town it was time to start heading back home so we hit the highway once again, but there was one final stop to make before ultimately getting back to Calgary. When one passes through Red Deer on the southbound trip, one must stop at The Donut Mill.
Like with the hobby shop, I can’t remember ever coming to Red Deer without stopping here. It’s tradition.
This little guy was part of the display for the store next door. I just thought he was cute so I took a picture. Haha
Finally back in Calgary, we stopped off at Mario’s since it was on the way home so that I could drop off the hood struts he’d claimed from the ST. In the end we brought a lot back from the part out, including the front bumper, side skirts, wing, coilovers, rear motor mount, windshield moldings, a few interior trim pieces, engine cover, and more…
…and of course our haul from Hobby Wholesale. This kit is currently well underway, painted in the closest thing we could find (within Tamiya’s range) to Chalk. Naturally.
I’ve never before made a trip of that length – 726 kilometers start to finish – on such short notice but it was a ton of fun to get out of town for a little bit and do something different. A bunch of us got the parts we wanted (including Yolanda, here holding her new carbon fiber rear trim), we got to see some of Edmonton for the first time in a few years, and got to quickly visit with Brayden while we picked everything up. It was a very enjoyable and memorable day.
And then, not long after we got back, Paul said he’d soon be making a work trip down here again. At least this time he didn’t have to load up his car with parts. Haha