Last year, Sylvia Pedley picked up a Go East of Edmonton Roadtrip Adventure Game, and then didn’t go anywhere. This year, she not only wholeheartedly committed to the game, but she also collected all 43 stickers in 11 days, setting the record for completion time since the game debuted in 2020.
“I knew this year, that once I started, I had to finish it,” she said. “I wasn’t going to let it sit on the backburner.”
Sylvia knows all too well that time waits for no one. In the past few years, she has battled cancer, lost her husband, and six months ago, said goodbye to her loyal companion, a 12-year-old border collie named Jock. She knows that time is precious.
“Roadtripping makes the most of every moment. You slow down, and enjoy the ride,” she says of her favourite pastime. In fact, “Enjoy the Ride” is on a license plate-like sign she found at the Clandonald Country Store, home to one of the sticker stations in the County of Vermilion River. The sign sits proudly in the back window of her bright blue truck that she named, Moody, after Elvis Presley’s song, “Moody Blue.”
Coming across cool finds was one of the best parts of the game, Sylvia says, recalling the handmade bracelet and Cowboy Cookie Mix she bought at Heidi’s Haus in Legal, and the candies from The Sour Moose in Tofield. In Kitscoty, Sylvia stopped in at Only Sourdough Pizzeria & Bakery for a sticker and walked out with two bags of freshly made bagels. The yeast-free goods impressed her so much that she is planning to go back for pizza. The fish and chips at T&T Iron Horse near Waskatenau and the pierogies and cabbage rolls at Baba’s Bistro in Mundare also received the thumbs up from this Go East go-getter.
Sylvia could have returned home every day after getting stickers but finding tasty food in new places and staying in hotels added a mini vacation feel to the game. The price for hotel rooms was money well-spent and less than what it would cost if she travelled out of province, as many people do on vacations.
“You can’t take it with you when you go, so you have fun now,” she says. “That’s what I’m doing; I’m having fun.”
While Sylvia’s approach to roadtripping is usually done with a good amount of spontaneity, the Go East game kept her to a more determined route.
On June 10, Sylvia got her first sticker at the Petro Canada in Lamont on her way to Elk Island National Park. On her way home, a couple of hours later, she detoured to Fort Saskatchewan for another sticker, then Bruderheim, Mundare, and finally, Andrew.
A few days later, she headed south, picking up stickers throughout Beaver and Camrose County before stopping in at the Cherry Lane B&B for not only for a sticker, but for a grilled cheese sandwich and a lemonade, too. The next day was a blur as she zoomed east to Wainwright and north to Vermilion, stopping at golf courses, grocery stores, visitor centres, and museums, collecting close to 20 game stickers in just over 48 hours.
There is both freedom and contentment that comes from hopping in a vehicle and seeing where the wind takes you, Sylvia says. Cresting a hill to see a river valley bellow or rolling land lush with grass, are beautiful surprises—as are the dilapidated barns, galloping horses, and sunsets, all of which she captures in photographs using her trusty Canon camera.
On her last day of the game, Sylvia picked up stickers near Viking at Camp Lake Park, and headed north to Kinosoo Ridge Adventure Park near Cold Lake—a place where kids and teens can climb and swing from ropes—and the Cold Lake Marina, where she took time to sit by the water to watch the boats. She got the final sticker at the Bonnyville Visitor Information and Interpretive Centre located in the Shaw House at Vezeau Beach, purchasing a campervan key chain to commemorate the event.
If you are on the fence about starting the Go East Roadtrip Adventure Game, Sylvia has some advice: ease into it by starting out with what is closest. Be open to experiences and stay curious, and, when you go into small towns, smile, wave, and talk to people. You never know who you will meet or what it will lead you to. Just be friendly.
And if you pass a blue Dodge Ram with an “Enjoy the Ride” sign in the back window and the lady driver is belting out Elvis songs, that’ll be Sylvia Pedley. Make sure you give her a honk and a wave.
Here’s to happy travels and fun pursuits. May your roadtrip game be an epic one, too.
Written by Twyla Campbell
A few tips from the Go East of Edmonton Team – while Sylvia finished the Game quickly there is really no rush – you have till September 3rd, and you can collect as little as 7 stickers to enter for prizes, as well a bonus prize at every Station. Take a Roadtrip today and have a great summer and remember to post your trips on social media at #GoEastofEdmonton and #GoRoadtrips2023