Saturday, May 27, 2017

Calgary








It was a mostly beautiful day to relax and enjoy the sun of which there was plenty. It reached a very comfortable 22º.  It was breezy, but pleasantly so. We had a late afternoon thunder shower but the sun returned

Shadow had the pet park all to herself. I walked Hunter around our site on his leash. We had our first outdoor dinner at noon. I bbq'ed chicken.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Wild Rose Country

We were back to our old RVing ways as we pulled out of the campground at 7:05. And we were not the first overnighters  to leave and make a run for it, so-to-speak! There was just a slight (really) wind. We entered Alberta and Mountain Time and drove straight to Home Depot in Medicine Hat. There I bought a 2"x 3"x 8' piece of lumber which they cut into 19" lengths for me. I also bought  sand paper and a pkg of weather striping. It took us less than 1/2 hour to have additional braces in place to stabilize the slideout when closed.  Take that, Alberta!
Not too many RVing firsts at this point in our 23 years of RVing, but we had one. We were going to stop at a Flying J in Redcliff for badly needed gas but Rhonda misdirected us. The station was a diesel fuel only truck stop. We carried on to the next town only to discover  that there were no gas stations !! In oil rich Alberta!! You've got to be kidding! As we were almost on  empty, the nearest station was back in Redcliff; we wouldn't make it to the next town. We had no choice but to return 33 km to Redcliff.  There was a Co-Op gas station on the other side of the hwy that we had not seen. We pumped 252.3 litres.  Duh....  A first: reversing our course for gas.
"world's largest teepee"
The remainder of the day was uneventful although we had our first sighting of pronghorns, three of them.  We stopped at Tillebrook Provincial Park to have lunch. We stopped in Strathmore just east of Calgary for a few groceries. Traffic was heavy but moving through Calgary. We stopped at Calgary West Campground  around 4:00. We have a nice site looking over the suburbs of the city and next to a large fenced in area for dogs. Lots of frisbee tossing and running  for Shadow.
We motored 449 km, unfortunately, not all in a westerly direction. It was another windy drive in the afternoon. The slideout was solidly secured. Wild rose country....I guess they couldn't say wild wind country.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A VERY Bad Hair Day

 
The wind alert was cancelled, only 50 k.p.h. winds forecast from the NW so we decided to continue on. We left the campground at 8:45. It was an easy drive as far as Swift Current where we made a comfort stop and motored on. 
And then wham! Within 1/2 hour we were being broadsided by strong winds, so strong that they were causing the main room slideout to vibrate out!! We limped along at 70-80 k.p.h. with    flashers on and eventually stopped at a roadside picnic area west                                          of  Gull Lake around 12:30. We ate lunch and played Scrabble as we waited for the winds to subside.
 They did somewhat and at 4:50 we ventured forth the remaining short distance to Eagle Valley Park Campground near Maple Creek. Jean sat on the sofa to stabilize the slideout.  We drove 299 km..
The campground was not busy; we could pick our own site. Wi-Fi was only available at the bar, a deafening experience the music was so LOUD. We wondered at the name of the campground as we saw no eagles and there was a definite Hawaiian theme to the décor.
The wind subsided even more; I was able to BBQ hamburgers for dinner.
At the end of the day, I thanked Jean for not remarking that my hair looked like an abandon bird's nest when I went in to the office and later the bar.
 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

An "Active Weather" Day


The winds picked up during the night which unsettled the children
even more. Hunter and Shadow were very restless.
Shadow and I got in a few good walks including one at sunrise. The heavy rain never materialized, just a few brief showers but the  SW winds did blow and  gusted as high as 72 k.p.h. according to the news. It  did reach 25º.
 It was a mostly inactive day for us, which included a little nap/quiet time. Jean finished her picture editing.



The winds are to shift to NW overnight and the temperature will drop. The rain is expected tomorrow.




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Back Into Canada

We were up early again, thanks to the children, and on our way at 8:45, northwest on hwy 2. It was mostly sunny and warmed up quickly. There was a lot of truck traffic.
We made a comfort stop in Kenmare and saw the Danish Mill, built in 1902 and in operation until 1918. It was restored in 1959.


We crossed back into Canada at North Portal, Saskatchewan.  We were the only vehicle. The customs officer was very friendly,asked a few questions and we were on our way at 9:35 Saskatchewan time. (Saskatchewan does not practise daylight savings time.) We gained an hour. We stopped in Estevan for a few groceries and topped up the gas tank @  $.99.9 which we thought was a good deal until we saw gas farther north @ $.96.9. We made a brief roadside stop for lunch in Weyburn and arrived at Prairie Oasis Campground outside of Moose Jaw around 2:30. We drove 415 km..
As forecast, the winds picked up significantly after lunch. Alberta and Saskatchewan are under a "special weather advisory" for the next two days.  A low pressure system with heavy rain and  strong winds gusting  up to 90 k.p.h..
It was a very pleasant 25º and hazy. We let Hunter outside on his harness and leash, a first for him. I bbq'ed pork chops for supper. I can take Shadow for long walks outside the campground.


Monday, May 22, 2017

The Roughrider State


          
The rain returned overnight and stayed with us intermittently as we continued west through Minnesota into North Dakota.  The winds were gusting, broadsiding us from the north in the afternoon. It was not pleasant. Jean was very busy taking pictures. We saw many interesting sights, so typical of rural Minnesota and North Dakota.
 
We stopped in Rugby N. D. to see the stone cairn marking the Geographical Center of North America. It was erected in 1931.
                     





We motored 532 km as far as Minot, our longest day to date. We filled up at a Flying J station before arriving at Roughrider Campground, another Good Sam campground. It has a very western theme.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Foggy Drive

The rain ended overnight and the fog rolled in as it warmed to 6º by morning. We made use of our full hookups site (you know what I mean)  before leaving the campground at 8:45. We continued west on hwy 28 through patchy fog and drove back into  rain within the hour. We followed hwy 53 to Superior and by-passed Duluth as we crossed into Minnesota.
There was more traffic, much of it vehicles towing fishing boats. We  made a comfort stop in the quaint town of Floodwood, "Catfish Capital of the World."

We arrived in Grand Rapids around noon, too early to stop for the day as we had planned originally and continued on  after stopping for gas @ $2.29.9 / gal..
We stopped to have lunch at the Pokegama Dam Recreation Area on the Mississippi River. The dam
is a headwaters lakes project.


We arrived at Royal Oaks RV Park, a Good Sam campground  in Bemidji at 2:15. It was nice to stop early after motoring  367 km. We needed the furnace again as it reached only 9º. The rain ended. There was  just a scotch mist which didn't stop us from taking a good walk outside the campground.