Calgary

Calgary family finishes 4-month road trip for Canada 150

All good things must come to an end, and that's exactly what Calgary's Cyre family is grappling with this week.

'We’re definitely ready to go home and see our family and our friends'

The Cyre family from Calgary on a sailboat in Prince Edward Island during their four-month, Canada 150 road trip. (cyreiouslycanadian.com)

All good things must come to an end, and that's exactly what Calgary's Cyre family is grappling with this week.

After almost four months on the road, driving all the way from Alberta to Canada's East Coast, they're now on their way home.

Jeff and Shelley Cyre, along with their three kids — Evan, 8, Riley, 7, and Wyatt, 4 — and their giant schnauzer, Midas Touch, marked the final day of their adventure on Monday.

"I think there's some mixed emotion," Shelley told the Homestretch. "We're definitely ready to go home and see our family and our friends. We have an excellent support system and the kids love their school.

"But it's been so great to connect as a family and just spend so much time together, and I think we don't realize how much we're going to miss that when we get back to reality and the real world."

The trip finished in LaFontaine, Ont., at the home of Shelley's parents.

She and the kids are flying back to Calgary on Tuesday, and Jeff will tow the mint green trailer — nicknamed Kermit — that they've been using for their trek.

Jeff Cyre and kids Wyatt, Evan and Riley relax on their Canada 150 roadtrip. (cyreiouslycanadian.com)

One highlight from the trip — which was documented on the family's blog — was an up-close and personal interaction with sea creatures at the Gaspe Bay Peninsula in New Brunswick.

"There  was a wonderful interpretation program," said Shelley.

"A marine biologist was able to show [the kids] sea cucumbers, sea stars. There was just so many little critters, scallops, crabs, and Riley actually got sprayed by a scallop while she was sitting in the audience. It was a really great, hands-on interpretive program."

Another lasting memory was a stop in Tadoussac, Que., for whale watching.

The Cyre family at the Gaspe Bay Peninsula in New Brunswick. (cyreiouslycanadian.com)

"As landlubbers, we don't get to see the whales. But as soon as we got on the ferry to cross the St. Lawrence, we actually started seeing pods of whales. It was incredible," said Jeff.

"The campsite Shelley had got us overlooking the bay in Tadoussac, every day was a coffee and binoculars, looking for beluga whales or minke whales."

The family also spent Canada Day in Ottawa, but it being the country's 150th anniversary, the nation's capital was predictably packed.

So they did a redo of sorts in recent days.

Jeff and Shelley Cyre, and kids Evan, 8, Riley, 7, and Wyatt, 4, in Ottawa. (cyreiouslycanadian.com)

"We weren't happy with what we saw initially, so we had a couple floating days and did an Ottawa redo to see the Parliament grounds and see Ottawa without the crowds."

The impetus for the trip came earlier this year when Jeff was laid off from his job in the oil and gas sector.

He admitted he's feeling "anxious" about returning home and starting the search for employment.

"I had three opportunities evaporate over the summer and I've got to work my network hard and get back on that," he said. "I'm eager to do it and I think I'll be successful.

"I've got 15 years of drilling completions experience as an engineer, and I'm just confident and positive whatever happens. Our family overcame the challenges of the trip and we'll make through the next six months to a year."


With files from the Homestretch

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