Lonnie and Sue - Traveling North America

2005 Return through Western Canada from Alaska

You can read it through or select specific locations below.

My campground rating system is on a scale of 5/5 with the first number being the levelness of the site and the second being the appearance.  A 3/3 would be an average site.  

09-03-05SatDay 156Out at:  10:05 AM - Trip meter:   161

Driving directions:  At Tol AK1 intersected with AK 2 – the Alaska Highway.  We took AK 2 east toward the Canadian border.  At the border it became the 1.

Crossed into Yukon at 1:46 PM but there is a time change so make that 2:46 PM.  Canada customs is 20 miles inside the border at Beaver Creek, YK so did not get there until 3:11 PM.  The customs officer only wanted to know:  

  • where we were from,
  • where we were going,
  • how many in the coach,
  • did we have any firearms,
  • did we have any liquor,
  • and did we have any cigarettes. 
  • The agent stamped our passports. 

Then we had to pull over to the side where a couple of ladies were taking a survey about our trio in Alaska.  It was 6 pages long and took a little over 10 minutes.  We were told that the thrust of the survey was to determine why tourist traffic has fallen off in Fairbanks.  We gave Fairbanks a glowing recommendation.   

  • Campsite:  Lake Creek Yukon Government Campground at MP 1118.8, YT - overnight - site #20 – gravel pad - pull thru – no services.  Rating 5/5.  Table, fire ring, and free firewood.  Got setup at 5:35 PM.  Another beautiful campground.

The free firewood is in large pieces.  I got several and split them and started a fire.  Sue and I sit by the fire and read. 

09-04-05SunDay 157Out at:   9:20 AM - Trip meter:   236

Driving directions:  Got back on the 1 east.

At Burwash Landing we stopped and went to the Kluane Museum of Natural History.  It was a great display of native animals.  We both agreed it was the best display we have ever seen – not the largest but the best.  Each exhibit was displayed with a mural depicting the landscape with the animals lived set up in a natural looking base which included an assortment of trees, simulated snow and ice, and other assorted ground cover.   

Also discovered some facts we did not know.  Moose are strong swimmers and can dive to depths of 20 feet to retrieve vegetation off the bottom.  The black bear range in colors from black, brown, to blond and hibernates up to 8 months a year.   

There was a huge gold pan in front of the museum.  It was advertised as the largest gold pan in the world.  There was a mural painted on it.  The museum was a pleasant surprise out in the middle of nowhere.   

  • Campsite:  Pioneer RV Park, Whitehorse, YT - 2 nights - site #62 - gravel - pull thru – water, 30 amp, sewer, cable, WiFi.  Rating 5/1.  Got setup at 5:05 PM. 

09-05-05MonDay 158LABOR DAY.  Just drove around town and rested.  Drove the jeep 17 miles this stop. 

09-06-05TueDay 159Out at:  10:55 AM - Trip meter:   104

Driving directions:  Got back on the 1 east.  At the junction of the 2 took it south, aka South Klondike Highway.  

        Crossed into BC at 12:22 PM.  

        Crossed back into Alaska at 1:40 PM.  With the time change that makes it 12:40 PM now.  It is 8 miles to the customs checkpoint. 


Spent 3 nights in Skagway, AK, then returned to Canada.

09-09-05FriDay 162Out at:  9:15 AM - Trip meter:   166

Driving directions:  Took the highway out north.  At Carcross turned east on the 8.  At the Alaska highway turned east.

        Crossed into BC at 10:25 AM.  It is now 11:25 AM.

Standard questions at customs.  In and out in about one minute.

Beautiful view of the mountains at Carcross.  The tops were void of snow when we came in but the tips have a light covering now, like a light dusting of powered sugar.  Looks like it is starting to get white here.   

        Crossed in Yukon at 12:12 PM. 

Stopped at MP 53 and looked at parts of an old gold mining claim.  It is in the Windy Arm of the Tagish Lake.  The claims were staked around 1904.  The structure we looked at appears to be part of a crusher.  There was still a lot of equipment in it.  It starts at the shore of the lake and raised to the elevation of the road.  It looks like it went further up the mountain but part of it was dismantled when the road was built.  There were structures higher up on the side of the mountain above us.  It looked like mine shafts and ore hoppers. There was a house built out over the water a couple of hundred feet south.  It is a beautiful lake – not an emerald green but a pretty shade of green and very clear.   

Stopped at a scenic pullout at MP 59.5 and Sue took pictures of Bove Island.  It is in Windy Arm of the Tagish Lake.  SEE "Photos 2005" - "2005 Western Canada RTN" TAB.

Carcross is located in the smallest desert in the world.  It has large sand dunes and covers about 4 square miles.

The southern caribou herd crosses here every year and the town was originally called “Caribou Crossing”.  No idea when they changed the name.

The Carcross Mountains in BC.  Notice the snow on the tops.  The tops were clear when we passed them 3 days ago going to Skagway.

 

At Carcross we went about 2 miles north of town to Caribou Crossing, a tourist stop.  There were 7 tour busses there.  It is a lunch stop for them and a place to lighten the travelers pockets.  We ate lunch there but they had to check and see if enough food had been prepared for the tours before they would serve us.  We each had 2 barbecue legs and thighs, half a baked potato, cold slaw, bread, and a donut.   

As noted it is a tourist trap.  For $25.00 you can ride a 4-wheeler in the desert for 15 minutes.  For $25.00 you can get a dog sled ride for 15 minutes (sled probably on wheels).  For a fee you can see the worlds largest polar bear (probably stuffed, we didn’t ask).  In addition, there are numerous shops for jewelry, souvenirs, and other junk.   

The Milepost book listed the 8 east as 22 miles of paved road and 12 miles of gravel.  However, the entire road was paved and has been one of the best section of road we have been on.  I was able to drive it at 50 mph and never saw a frost heave, bump, or hole.   

  • Campsite:  Yukon Motel and RV Park, Teslin, YT - overnight - site #15 – gravel pad - pull thru – water and 30 amp.  Rating 2/4.  Nothing special about the campground except it is setting right on a nice lake.  The park is clean and well maintained.  Each site has a table and a real small spot of grass.  The tallest tree is about 5 feet.  Got setup at 4 PM.

Did not unhook the jeep. 

09-10-05SatDay 163Out at:  8:55 AM - Trip meter:   256

Driving directions:  Back on the Alaska going east.  At junction of the 37 took it south.  

The border was 2 miles south of the junction so we crossed into BC at 12:35 PM.  Stopped there and had lunch.  

 

  • Campsite:  Dease River Crossing RV & Campground, MP J-345.6, BC – overnight – no site # - grassy - pull thru - no services.  Cost $14.00 CN per night.  Rating 3/4.  Got setup at 4:50 PM.  Sets on a small lake.  Canoe and boat rental.  Many tall pine trees, table, fire ring, and firewood.   

There is a charge for firewood but I was told to just take what I wanted that there was plenty.  It was sprinkling but I build a fire anyway and grilled steaks.  Set under the awning and read and watched the lake. 

This place was so pretty we agreed we would like to spend time here if we come back through.  Did not unhook the jeep. 

09-11-05SunDay 164Out at:  9:50 AM - Trip meter:   251

Driving directions:  Got back on the 37 south. 

Saw a black bear on the side of the road but it turned and ran back into the woods before we could get there.  A little further on we saw 2 black cubs setting next to the road.  They stayed there while a car ahead of us went by but ran off when we pulled up next to them.   

  • Campsite:  Meziadin Junction, MP J-97.5, BC - 2 nights - site #6 – gravel pad – back in – water, sewer, 15 amp.  Cost $17.00 per night.  Rating 2/1.  Sets in a truck parking lot.  Power is furnished by generator and it is turned off at 9 PM and back on at 6:15 AM.  Water pressure is about 5 pounds.  Had to hook up the transformer because of low voltage.   
Our campsite at Dease River Crossing RV & Campground, MP J-345.6, BC.
09-12-05MonDay 165Drove to Hyder, Alaska for the day to view the bears and the Salmon Glacier.  Log is in the Alaska 2005 Tab .

 

09-13-05TueDay 166Out at:  11:10 AM - Trip meter:   170

Driving directions:  Got back on the Cassiar headed south.  At the 16 took it east.  The 16 is part of the Trans Canada Highway system and is aka Yellow Head Highway.

As noted the campground and businesses run on generator.  There were power lines across the road from the gas station.  I inquired as to why they were on generator when the lines were so close.  Was told that when the power lines went in 2 years ago they were ran to Stewart.  The people along the route were told that for a surcharge they could connect.  It seems the surcharge was the regular fee plus an addition 3 times the bill.  It seems the generator is a lot cheaper.  Note - This campground closed in 2007.

Thirty-seven miles out of camp there was a bird setting in my lane.  Just before I got there it flew straight up into the grill.  I was going 55 mpg – the bird committed suicide.  It was a fat looking bird so would be a good meal for anyone needing a bird for the pot tonight.   

The road was in excellent condition all the way to Cranberry Bridge #1, 59 miles with 2 to 3 feet shoulders.  The remaining 40 miles was the older road with a few frost heaves but not bad but with no shoulders.  The entire Cassiar Highway corridor was narrow with trees and brush growing right up next to the road.  At times it seemed we were driving through long tunnels without tops. 

Stopped at MP PG-238 and went to the Tobaggan Creek Fish Hatchery.  It was not open but we did get to view 4 tanks.  There were a lot of fish 2-3 inches long but don’t know if they were salmon or trout.    

  • Campsite:  Smithers Municipal Campground, Smithers, BC – overnight - site #15 – gravel pad – back in – did not use any services.  There was water, 30 amp, and sewer with a $3.00 charge for electric and $3.00 for sewer.  The water was part of the site fee but I did not want to add weight to the coach so we used the water in the tank.  Rating 5/5.  Beautiful park setting right on the river.  Got setup at 4 PM.  Each site had a table and fire ring with free firewood.  At least 40 feet of manicured grass between sites

Went to the visitors center and got a map for a driving tour.  It covered about 55 miles and was a real nice drive.  On the route we saw a farm that raises miniature horses and there were several in the lot.  Most of the landscape was pasture, hay fields, and grazing cattle.   SEE "Photos 2005" - "2005 Western Canada RTN" TAB.

Talked to the camp host.  He is retired US Navy and lives in a house that overlooks the campground.  He has a construction company and just does the hosting duty in the evenings.  His wife is Canadian.    

I built a fire and we had grilled pork chops for dinner.  Drove the jeep 60 miles this stop .

09-14-05WedDay 167Out at:  9:10 AM - Trip meter:   242

Driving directions:  Got back on the 16 going east.  In Prince George turn on 97 south to the campground.

Went to Safeway last night and bought groceries.  This is the first grocery store we have seen that is over a 100 square feet in the last 8 days.  Bought some cooked barbecue ribs for dinner tonight.  Really looks good.   

The drive today has been through wide-open areas with rolling plains, hay fields, cattle, and a lot of timber.  As we got closer to Prince George we started seeing a lot of log trucks.  

Went by a sawmill at Vanderhoof.  There were logs stacks, very close together, and appeared to cover about 100 acres.  The stacks were several hundred feet long, 15-20 feet high, and 30-40 feet wide.  They are hauling very long logs around here.  In other parts of Canada they cut them into 16 foot lengths but here they are sometimes exceeding 50 feet.  Then there were several acres of milled lumber. 

Stopped in Smithers, BC for the day.  Stopped early enough that we took an auto tour of the area.  This is Moricetown Canyon.  First Nations People are using nets to catch salmon as they come over the falls.
  • Campsite:  South Park RV Park, Prince George, BC - 3 nights - site #11 – gravel pad - pull thru – water, 30 amp, sewer, cable with 5 stations.  Rating 4/4.  A lot of nice tall pine trees in the park.  There are 5 to 10 at each site.  Got setup at 4:30 PM.

09-15-05ThurDay 168 There are a couple of tours available here that we would like to take.  One is a brewery and the other is of a sawmill.  We went to the visitors center to get the schedule.  Found that the brewery never offered their tour this year and the sawmill closed theirs after Labor Day.   

Went to the Exploration Place.  It is listed as a museum but in reality is just a hands on for children with a bit of discovery projects.  It cost $7.43 CN for me and $9.58 CN for Sue.  Was not worth over $2.00 apiece to us.   

09-16-05FriDay 169Went to the Railroad and Timber Museum.  We have seen some that has had more equipment and some that have been better restored, but saw several items we had not seen before.  One was a railroad car that was set up with a counter like an old café.  Another was a very exclusive car for business travel what was plush.  Then there was a lot of equipment used in the timber industry.  There was a band saw for squaring up logs that was about 12 feet tall.  It was an interesting museum. 

The museum was across the street from a sawmill and there were more logs stacked in the yard than we saw in the one in Vanderhoof.  The log trucks have to go through town to get there.  Saw in the news that one truck had turned over in town this morning and the driver died.  Drove the jeep 83 miles this stop.

09-17-05SatDay 170Out at:  9:35 AM - Trip meter:   251

Driving directions:  Got back on 97 north and in Prince George turned east on the 16.  In Jasper took the 93 south, aka Icefield Parkway.

Prince George sets in a valley and all roads leading out are up steep grades.  This is also a timber town with 3 large sawmills.  The sawmills are all situated so that the log trucks have to go through town.  I don’t believe I would want to live and drive here.  In addition to the log trucks it is a very difficult town to get around in.  Many of the streets are circular, a lot of them are one-way, and there are many with esplanades.  I don’t believe I have ever driven in a town as difficult to drive in as Prince George.  However, Prince George is a real pretty town with lots of murals on the sides of the buildings.  

At MP E-186 we came up on an accident.  There was a 22 wheeler on its side - it had hit a concrete retaining wall.  The cab was in the right hand shoulder and the trailer was blocking the right lane and half of the left lane.  The load was plastic containers that had been pressed into bales for recycling.  Debris was scattered for several hundred feet past the trailer.  There were a few bales on the road, that was intact, but most of the debris was from bales that had broken.  We were able to get by on the left shoulder.  One of the flag people stopped us and asked if our cell phone worked.  A truck driver had called in for them on a satellite phone but it had been some time ago and they were getting concerned.  They had requested a RCMP and an ambulance.  We tried our cell but could not get a signal.  We met a RCMP about 5 miles past the accident.  Never did see an ambulance between the accident and Jasper.

        Crossed into Alberta at 3:50 PM.   Time zone change so the new time is 4:50 PM.

At MP E-229.4 is the west entrance to Jasper National Park.  The highway goes through Jasper National Park and Banff National Park.  There is a daily charge per person for park admission.  Since Jasper is in the Park, if you stay overnight you have to pay the admission.  There are no commercial campgrounds in the park. 

Drove into Jasper and bought groceries.  Jasper is just a tourist town.  The town is completely surrounded by mountains.  There is a light layer of fresh power on the tops.  

  • Campsite:  Whistlers Campground, MP C-241.1, Jasper National Park, AB – overnight - site #29H – gravel pad – back in – no utilities.  Rating 2/5.  There are hundreds and hundreds of tall pine trees surrounding our site.  Setup at 6:20 PM.  Have a table only.

There is a charge of $7.00 to have a fire.  That includes the fire ring and the firewood.  We did not have a fire.  The campground has 780 sites.  It looks to be about 5 miles around the perimeter of the grounds.  There are numerous signs posted to watch the elk because it is rutting season.  Did not see or hear any.  Had to unhook the jeep but did not drive it . 

09-18-05SunDay 171Out at:  11:00 AM - Trip meter:   129

Driving directions:  Got back on the 93 south. 

On this drive we have a beautiful view of the mountains but the trees are so close to the road that in most sections people in cars will not see them.  Setting up high in the coach certainly has its advantages.  

  • Stopped at a pullout at MP J-15.5 and Sue took pictures of Athabasca Pass.  There are beautiful snow covered mountains. 
  • At MP J-18.3 pulled into a parking area and Sue walked up to Athabascan Falls and took some pictures.
  • At MP J-49 pulled off and Sue to pictures of the river and mountains. 
  • At MP J-52.3 stopped at viewpoint for Mount Kitchener.  Sue took pictures.
  • At MP J-53.3 stopped and Sue took pictures of a waterfall.
  • At MP J-53.9, the summit, stopped and Sue took pictures of Sunwapta Canyon, river, waterfalls, and mountains.
  • As we started down from the summit, within the next half mile there was a mountain goat in the road.  We stopped and watched it until it wandered off.  I took some pictures. 
  • At MP J-58 we drove down to the foot of the Columbia Icefield Glacier.  Sue wanted to walk out on the glacier but the parking lot was small and already full.  We went across the highway to the visitors center.  It was a long walk from the parking lot to the center so Sue went in and I stayed in the coach.

Sue took a lot of pictures of the glacier.  There were people walking on it and buses driving on it.  There are special busses that take people on a tour of the surface of the glacier.  I took a picture of one of the busses.  However, we learned that some of the highway tour busses are equipped to drive on the glacier.  We saw some of them leaving the highway and going directly onto the glacier service. 

  • Stopped at MP 80.1, a viewpoint of Mount Amery, Mount Saskatchewan, and Cleopatra’s Needle.  Sue took some pictures.
  • Campsite:  Lake Louise National Park Campground, MP J-137.3, Lake Louise AB - overnight - site #171 – gravel pad - pull thru – 30 amp.  Rating 4/5.  Table only.  Got setup at 4:30 PM.

There are thousands of tall pines in the campground.  The worst part is the roads.  They are worse than any of the unimproved roads we have ever traveled on.  The park system operators should be ashamed to charge for the sites considering the condition of the roads.  If we had known this we probably would not have stopped but after we got in it there was no way to turn around and get out.  However, we did find a less rough route out than in.  Apparently not a penny of the fee has gone into road maintenance in several years.

Unhooked the jeep and drove out to Lake Louise.  Had to walk a couple hundred yards to the lake.  There is a huge hotel at the edge and the lake has been developed with rip rap, wooden walkways, benches, and telescopes.  There is a glacier as the far end of the lake.  Sue took pictures.

Drove out to Moraine Lake.  It is not nearly as developed as Lake Louise and is about 8 miles further from town.  There is a small lodge at the edge and 2 glaciers at the end of the lake.  The water was a turquoise blue and much prettier than the water in Lake Louise.  Drove the jeep 26 miles this stop.   SEE "Photos 2005" - "2005 Western Canada RTN" TAB for lots of pictures .

09-19-05MonDay 172Out at:  11:00 AM - Trip meter:   46

Driving directions:  At Lake Louise the 93 merged with the 1, aka Yellowhead Highway.  Since the 93 branches off within a few miles will use the 1 designation.  Got on the 1 east.

Had to break camp in the rain.  Dumped grey water in the rain.  There are 189 sites in this campground with 6 dump stations.  Three of the dump stations were blocked off and we had to wait in line quite a while to dump.  One reason for the delay was because this is the only site for fresh water and you have to be in the dump lane to get the water.  Then the water is 50 feet from the dump.  Therefore, a rig stops for water, then has to pull up to dump.  There is no way to do both at the same time.  This campground is a definite NO for future visits

The highway inside the National Park, in my opinion, should be considered a national disgrace.  In addition to the camping fee there is the daily $8.00 fee per person and none of it appears to be spend on the roads.  The drive had been a steady bouncing and bumping all the way from the north entrance to Lake Louise.  It is without a doubt the worst stretch of highway we have ever been on. 

About 20 miles south of Lake Louise the road went to a good divided 4-lane.  None of the roadway has been fenced but a fence started when the 4-lane started.  In the next 20 miles we went under 2 animal overpasses.  These are huge arched structures that allow the animals to cross the road.  

  • Campsite:  Tunnel Mountain National Park Campground, MP J-170.7, Banff, AB - 2 nights - site #B-81 - asphalt - pull thru – 30 amp.  Rating 3/5.  Got setup at 1:35 PM.  Had satellite.  First time in months

This campground is setup in 2 sections.  One with full hookups and one with electric only.  The full hookups were the older campground.  There were a lot of trees with gravel pads and most sites with pull through.  We were in the newer campground with electric only.  The entire campground was located on the side of the mountain.  Our section had very few trees but we were out on the edge of the mountain with a wonderful view of Mount Rundle.  There were no developed sites, just a really wide asphalt road.  The edge was marked off for sites like parallel parking.  Each site had a table.  It was not bad.

09-20-05TueDay 173Banff is a pretty town but is strictly for tourist.  Our first impression was that it has a Swiss look.  We found out later that this is the only town in Canada that was built strictly as a tourist town.  In 1900 the railroad brought in people from Switzerland to help set up their tourist attractions.  That would probably account for the Swiss look we first noticed.  The reason for this was because in 1885 the Cave at Banff was the first National Park that was established in Canada.

Drove out to Lake Minnewanka.  This lake was created with a dam, not like all of the other lakes we have seen.  We drove over the dam and the water is really deep here.  The water in this lake is a beautiful emerald green.  

There are all kinds of side roads going off into interesting places and have been throughout the park but have all had gates across them.  They don’t want you to go off and have fun; just stop and spend money.  

  • Stopped at Two Jack Lake and Sue took a picture. 
  • Drove out to Johnson Lake.
  • Stopped at Cascade Pond.  Nothing unusual except it was a small pond with 2 islands.  One of them had 2 walking bridges connecting them to opposite shores.  The other had no bridges.
  • Drove up to Banff Mount Norquay.  There were several switchbacks.  It is a ski resort and the mountain is 8,249 feet.  On the way up it started snowing again at 1:48 PM.  Three miles up there is an overlook for the town.  Sue took a picture.  Arrived at the lodge – it was a 3½ mile drive.  The snow flurries were fairly heavy when we got there.  We could see another large building at the top of the ski area – looks like another lodge.  We could see 1 ski lift and 3 trails but a map of the area indicated 5 lifts and about 18 trails.  It stopped snowing as we started back down the mountain.
  • Going down we saw 4 big horn sheep emerging from the woods.  They stopped in the middle of the road and started grazing on the asphalt – don’t know on what.  There were 2 mamas and 2 babies.  Cars went by and did not seem to bother them.  We followed them up and down the road for about 20 minutes until they finally went back into the wooded area.  If we had been 30 seconds earlier we would not have seen them emerge from the woods.  Sue took pictures.
  • A couple of turns later we saw some elk in the woods so we stopped.  There were 3 female and 1 bull with a large rack.  There was another female on the other side of the road.  We tried to take pictures but the woods were too dense.  They eventually wandered down to the next switchback and crossed over into the woods.  We went down there but the woods were still too dense for pictures.  I decided that if they were traveling down we should go to the next switchback and get them coming down.  We went down and I wandered through the woods but could not find them.  Decided they must have gone back up.  So we went back up 2 switchbacks and found them.  By now there were 4 female, 1 baby, and the bull.  We got some good pictures.  It was great.
  • Drove out to the Vermilion Lakes.  It is a series of 3 lakes attached by small canals.  Looks like stomachs attached.  They were very shallow and appear to be for waterfowl.  They were not very pretty but would probably be great when the birds are in.  We saw a couple of ducks and some cattails and the road was in bad condition. 
  • As we reentered Banff there was a large bull elk with huge racks grazing next to the city street.  We stopped and took pictures.  Eventually the elk crossed the road right behind the jeep.  Its right front leg was injured and it was limping. 
  • Drove up to the Hot Springs.  There was a small sulfur waterfalls. 
  • Drove up to the Banff Springs Hotel.  It is a huge building.  Sue got out and walked through the lobby.  I drove out to the golf course while she was touring the hotel.  She took pictures of the lobby and the building. 
  • Drove out to Bow Falls.  It is not really a falls but a set of rapids setting at about a 45 degree angle.  Sue took pictures.

Some of the towns we have been in have had very few restaurants but this town is full of them.  We went to dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory. 

This is one of the best days we have had for wildlife viewing.   Drove the jeep 71 miles this stop.  SEE "Photos 2005" - "2005 Western Canada RTN" TAB for lots of pictures.

09-21-05WedDay 174Out at:  10:05 AM - Trip meter:   89

Driving directions:  Got back on the 1 east.

The remainder of the highway into Calgary is 4-lane and in good condition.  After we left the park we entered rolling countryside that reminded both of us of Wyoming.  In Calgary we stopped at the Olympic Village visitors center and got a city map.  Decided to stay at a different campground because the one we had selected was about 40 miles, roundtrip, in the wrong direction. 

The 1 east goes through downtown Calgary but it is not a through highway – it is a city street.  There was 10 miles of stop and go traffic.

  • Campsite:  Mountain View Farm Camping, Calagary, AB - 3 nights - site #49A – gravel pad - pull thru – water, 30 amp, sewer.  Rating 3/3.  Have a table, a small grass spot in front of the door, and a small 10 foot tree.  Got setup at 12:55 PM.  Have satellite.  

The campground has a petting area with rabbits, chickens, birds, and goats.  There is also a miniature golf course.

09-22-05ThurDay 175 - Went downtown to go to the Devonian Gardens but all of the parking lots were full.  We decided that this is an attraction we will just have to miss.  Went out to the Calgary Stampede grounds and toured the Grain Academy.  Admission was free but parking was $8.00.  It was a wonderful exhibit and the guide gave a great explanation of the Alberta grain industry.  There was a working model of the wooden silos we see all over the country.  There was a large model train exhibit that included a scale model of the tracks from the Alberta prairies to the Vancouver docks.  It included the mountains and all of the tunnels on the rail line.  There is a harness race track on the grounds and there are races tomorrow night.  We have decided to go.  

09-23-05FriDay 176Stayed in today because we are going to the races tonight.  Departed camp at 5 PM for the races.  We watched the first 7 of the 11 races.  I cashed on 4 of them and won $30.70.  Sue cashed on 2 and lost $13.50.  Then we went to the casino and both lost a little bit.  Drove the jeep 73 miles this stop.  Did not get any good pictures.

09-24-05SatDay 177Out at:  9:15 AM - Trip meter:   311

Driving directions:  Got back on the 1 east.  At the junction of the 21 took it north.  At the junction of the 9 took it east.  When we crossed into Saskatchewan we stayed on the same road but the number changed to the 7.

We drove through Drumheller, AB.  It is situated in the bottom of a canyon and is the dinosaur capital of Canada.  There were dinosaurs all over town, just like the cows are in Plainview.  There is one dinosaur that is 85 feet tall and you can walk out in its mouth and look out over the town.  

Met our first RV 197 miles from Calgary.  It was a motor home that pulled up at the station in Oyen.

        Crossed into Saskatchewan at 3:03 PM.  

  • Campsite:  Little Banff Campground, Rosetown, SK - overnight – no site # - grassy - pull thru – 15 amp only.  Rating 4/3.  Got setup at 5 PM.  This is a city park.  Good for overnight only.  Have satellite.  Did not unhook the jeep.

09-25-05SunDay 178Out at:  11:10 AM - Trip meter:   82

Driving directions:  Got back on the 7 east.  At Saskatoon the 7 ended and became the 14.  At the intersection of the 11 aka Circle Drive took it north.  At the intersection of the 16 took it west to the campground.  

  • Campsite:  Saskatoon 16 West RV Park, Saskatoon, SK - 10 nights - site #47 – gravel with grassy area, picnic table, and grill - pull thru – water, 50 amp, sewer (50 amp for $1.50 per night).  Rating 5/4.  Have FREE WiFi.  Have satellite.

As mentioned when we were in Saskatoon on the way to Alaska, our daughter and her husband, who lived in Marshall, MN, was moving to Saskatoon.  They arrived in August so we stopped for 10 days and visited with them.  No entries will be made during this stop.  Drove the jeep 350 miles during this stop.


10-05-05 
 – WedDay 188Out at:  10:10 AM - Trip meter:   174

Driving directions:  From the campground I crossed the 16 west and took 71st street west aka Auction Road and also Secondary road 374.  At junction of 684 took it south.  At junction of the 14 did a jog of about half a mile east then doubled back on the 7 west.  At Rosetown took the 4 south.  At Swift Current took the 1 west to the campground. 

There has been a freeze the last 3 nights.  It was still 23 degrees at 9 AM this morning.  

  • Campsite:  Trail Campground, Swift Current, SK - overnight - site #A11 - gravel pad- pull thru – water, sewer, 30 amp.  Rating 3/3.  Small trees and grassy spot with a table.  Got setup at 2:30 PM.  Had to unhook the jeep but did not drive it.

10-06-05ThurDay 189Out at:  10:30 AM - Trip meter:   220

Driving directions:  Got back on the 1 west.  Crossed into Alberta at 12:50 PM.  At Medicine Hat took the 3 west. 

The wind blew really hard.  It was rocking the coach before we broke camp.  It was coming out of the south and all of our driving today was to be southwest to west with the last 50 miles being due south. 

We had planned to drive all the way to Milk River.  At Taber we were to turn south for Milk River.  When we got to Taber I decided I had fought the wind enough and did not want to drive directly into it, so we stopped.  Maybe tomorrow will not be as bad.  I had thought we had enough gas to get us to the US but after fighting the wind decided we would not have so add some.  Estimate the wind was blowing in excess of 30 mph.

During the drive today we saw antelope in several places, deer, and buffalo.  

  • Campsite:  M.D. of Taber Municipal Park, Taber, AB - overnight - site #79 – gravel pad – long pull thru – 15 amp only.  Rating 4/5.  Got setup at 4 PM.

This is a real pretty park set down in a valley with a river running next to it.  The most of the campsites are set in a large group of trees that look just like a deep south setting.  We camped in the group area so that we could get satellite.  Had a real nice view.

Drove around the town and went to dinner.  On the way out there were 2 very large mule deer standing on the hillside next to the road.  The majority of the town businesses appear to be farm and oil related.  There are 4 car dealerships and an extremely large International truck dealer.  We drove out to the sugar processing plant and there were huge stacks of sugar beets stacked all around.  Trucks were lined up at the scales waiting to get weighted to dump.  

On our return there was a mama deer and 2 babies grazing next to our campsite.  We watched them and the mama watched us.  They look just like mule deer but the ears were lined in dark black.  Is that a characteristic of mule deer?  All of the deer we saw were very healthy looking.  Drove the jeep 14 miles this trip.

10-07-05FriDay 190Out at:  3:30 PM - Trip meter:   54

Driving directions:  Took the 36 south.  At Warner took the 4 south.

It was calm this morning but the wind started blowing around noon.  It is out of the west and I estimate it is in excess of 30 mph.  

  • Campsite:  Under Eight Flags Campground, Milk River, AB - overnight - site #35 - asphalt - pull thru – water and 30 amp.  Rating 4/2.  Got setup at 4:45 PM.

The campground had some back in sites and pull thru sites but only a few of the sites had electric.  The sites had gravel pads, tables, and grills.  We parked on a large section of asphalt that had 2 long pull thru sites.  Did not unhook the jeep.

10-08-05SatDay 191Out at:  9:50 AM - Trip meter:   138

Driving directions:  Got back on the 4 south.  At the border it became I-15 south.  Crossed into Montana at 10:04 AM.   Got off at exit 278.



THIS COMPLETES OUR 2005 TRIP THROUGH CANADA AND ALASKA.

 

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