About Me

Lee Creek, North Shuswap near Chase, B.C, Canada
We went full-time Rving in October of 2005! We retired from full time to part-time as of the end of 2015. Our present "small but comfortable" Wagon is a 2008 Camper trailer(TravelAir Rustler), pulled by a 2008 Dodge Dakota, 4X4.l. Our home is now a Gated Community Park, in Oliver, British-Columbia, Canada. I retired in 2005 and my Life Companion, Valerie, retired October 1, 2006 from nursing. We invite you to follow and share our new adventures and mishaps. Life is but an adventure full of dreams yet to be fulfilled!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 29 to 31, 2009; sightseeing in Carlsbad

OCT. 29, Thursday, Carlsbad Caves
After lunch we drove to the Carlsbad Cave, a National Park. We first stop at a road side Apache Trading Post and looked around but didn’t buy anything then went on to White City, a small outpost at the turn off to the park. It was really neat place and as Val said, we just LOVE the adobe houses and the color of them; very picturesque! We continued on up the Park and were immediately surrounded by mountains. The road curved around and up to 4400 feet where we found the Reception Hall and info centre for the caves. We paid our $6. each then walked down to the entrance of the caves. It is a HUGE hole descending over 1000 feet in the bowels of the Earth. There was a path that we followed and zigzagged down 800 feet. At one point we reached what is called the twilight zone where the sunlight stopped reaching in and lighting our way and entered a total darkness; thank goodness for artificial lighting!
All I can is that it was AWSOME, FANTASTIC, BEAUTIFUL and BREATHTAKING! I loved the fact that we were able to walk down. We walked around and under huge rocks. It also became very humid and warm....90% humidity and 53*F was a steady fact in these depth. I found myself overdressed and had to peel off jacket and sweater.
We finally reached the rest area, a wide, flat area where the park built a little coffee shop with seating area and bathrooms.
From here, one can either go up via the elevator or walked down further into the “Grand Chamber”. We chose to go up and come back another day for the Chamber.
I have been very impressed with this tour and recommend it to anyone driving this way. Well worth it!
We came back home, had dinner and relaxed. I UPLOADED PICTURES in Folder # 49!

OCT 30, Friday, Carlsbad Caverns
I paid for another two days and made reservation for our next site in Silver City on Monday. We went back to Carlsbad Caverns, took the elevator down 800 feet and visited the “Grand Chamber”, a HUGE area full of fallen rocks, stalactite and stalagmites and all other forms of salt, frozen ice and gypsum formations (our tickets are good for 3 days). It was IMPRESSIVE!! It took us almost two hours to walk around the chamber. It was HUGE! The artificial lighting was better here too so my pictures turned out a bit better although with the flash, it doesn’t do it justice.
We came back to our site and after dinner, we went to the club house for ice cream and a social evening. We met the owners and a couple from Surrey, B.C.

OCT 31, Saturday, Carlsbad Nature Walk
We drove to the State Living Desert Park near here. We paid $5 each and followed a path with explanations as we went along. It was very well done and there also were big fenced in area where animals were kept such as Mexican wolves, cougars, wild cats, elks, buffalos, snakes and birds of prey. There was also an area where we entered a caged area and birds were flying free within trees and shrubs. We even saw a couple of different kind of Road Runners.
It took us an hour to see it all then we drove back to town and found a beautiful park near the Pecos River.
It was a good day and tonight we have a party to attend at the lodge. I uploaded pictures of the place in the latest Folder named New Mexico.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October 25 to 28, Amarillo, Texas to Carlsbad, New Mexico

OCT 25, Sunday, Amarillo
The temperature is up and down in this part of the country. Cloudy, windy and cool was the day....50*F! We went for brunch at IHOP then walked through the mall nearby. After returning to our motel, we went across the street to “Spotty Pony” and watched football. I sure hope our rig is ready tomorrow!

OCT 26, Monday, One last night in Amarillo
We got up around 8 this morning, showered and slowly packed. We went for breakfast at IHOP then headed to the garage. We learned that “Bear” will be ready today but it is best to stay overnight to let the sealant dry up. So we left them to finish the work and went for a drive to the village of GROOM, about 30 miles from here. There is a huge cross there, the biggest and tallest in the Western Hemisphere (190 feet). The surrounding grounds were really well done. Please see the pictures in folder # 48. It is worth it! We had seen the cross two years ago but had never stopped.
Afterwards, we drove through the village, population of 350 people then came back to town where we found another very nice park with a dog run for Tucker. The park was kind of empty as it was a bit cool. We sat and read and let Tucker sniff his surroundings. At 4 p.m., after a poop and a couple dozen “lift the leg”, we went back to the garage where we sat for about an hour before they pulled Bear out to the yard. We now have 50 amps service and water and are locked in the yard. They gave us a key to the gate so we were able to go out for dinner.
It’s nice to be back in our own house!

OCT 27, Tuesday onwards to New Mexico
Well, it’s been 7 days coming but we are finally on our way. We had to get more sealant on so had to wait until 11 a.m. for it to be warm enough to work on then we had lunch with them and after chasing the insurance adjusters, we were on our way by 12:15 p.m.
We took I-40W then I-27 south to Lubbock. The drive was very monotonous and boring. If anyone thinks that Saskatchewan is flat, they should drive Kansas and the Panhandle of Texas. You can see for miles for days and days! And of course, we had a strong wind on the nose all the way which made for very poor fuel consumption.
In Lubbock we turned South-West on Hwy 62 then West at Seminole. The scenery changed to desert like Arizona with little rolling hills. Vegetation changed from cultivated fields to small shrubs, short mesquite trees and rock and sand. We stopped in Hobbs, New Mexico, for fuel @ 2.55 then arrived in Carlsbad around 7 p.m. (6 p.m. local time)
“Carlsbad RV Resort” is a passport member so we paid $19/day (with tax) and booked 4 days for now. We may stay over the week-end but will see.
We had dinner, walked Tucker and relaxed. We have cable TV and WIFI; life is good once again.
We gained one hour when coming into New Mexico. We are now on Mountain Time Zone.

We travelled 314 miles (501KM) in 7 hours at an average speed of 39 MPH due to strong winds.
N 32* 22’ 08”
W 104* 14’ 09”
Alt: 3201 feet

OCT. 28, Wednesday, Carlsbad, New Mexico
Today was shopping and laundry day. As part of our fee to our site we get a free video so we got one while doing the laundry. We went into town afterwards and looked around. We stopped at the info centre and got information on what to see around beside the caves and we got a map of the region.
We came back home and relaxed. Had dinner then watched a movie. It is cold again and very windy, gusting to 35 MPH. But we did get to wear our shorts for a while in the afternoon!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

October 21 to 24, 2009: Waiting for repairs in Amarillo, Texas

OCT 21, Wednesday, repairs
It is pouring rain! We packed and were at the garage by 8:30 a.m. and by this time, it had stopped raining. We left the rig there after signing all the papers and went for a drive to find a motel as we can’t stay in the trailer when they are working on it. We found one about 5 blocks away so paid for two nights. We went for breakfast at McDonald then we went for a drive to downtown. There wasn’t much there so we followed the Old “66” and then headed to a town called “Claude”, about 25 miles from here. It was a small village but kind of rustic and quaint. I found this little hole in the wall restaurant that advertised Chilli Renello and Tacos so we went in. It was a small place but clean and run by Mexicans. We had lunch there then came back to our motel. The sky is still overcast but at least it’s not raining. We mailed a couple of cards and stopped at Wal-Mart to get some cough medicine for Val.

OCT 22, Thursday, Amarillo
A cold morning...36*F (3*C), I got a call from the Insurance Adjuster and made final arrangements with the repairs. I went over and signed a release paper allowing the Insurance to Pay Custom RV Repair shop direct. I checked the rig and they have most of all the hardware off in preparation of removing the rubber roof so that’s good to see. We went back to our motel and stayed in as it is cold and windy.

OCT 23, Friday, Amarillo
We booked out of our motel and went to find another one that is a bit cleaner and not so smoky. We had some coupons and checked a couple motel and settled on “TRAVEL LODGE” @ 34$/night. We went for a drive to a local park and walked Tucker. We found a dog park and Tucker got to play with other dogs for a while. He had a ball and we read our books. We came back to our motel and saw a little bar across the street call “The Spotted Pony” so we went in, had a beer and played a couple games of pool.
After checking in, we went for dinner in a little family restaurant and then came back and watched tv

OCT 24, Saturday, Amarillo

I called the garage this morning and checked on the progress. They have the rubber roof glued on but it has to dry for a full day so we won’t be getting until Monday, at least. I booked our motel for another two nights!
We went for breakfast then we took Tucker to the park. We spent the afternoon there and met some very nice people. Afterwards we took a drive to “route 66” (6th Ave) and went into a funky little cafe and had a burger and beer. It was a warm today, 74*F (22*C)
I have posted new pictures.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October 19 and 20, 2009; to Amarillo, Texas

OCT 19, Monday, To Texas
We left Dodge just before 10 a.m. and headed south on 283 then southwest on 54. We crossed into Oklahoma about 2 hours later and we stopped for fuel @ 2.52/gal. Country side still the same, flat! We turned south on 83 and entered Texas. We gradually began climbing to over 3000 feet. We stopped at a Historic site in “Canadian” Texas where a bridge had been built for the pioneer and DISASTER struck! A low branch from an Oak tree struck the roof and ripped the rubber in 4 places. DAMN, that bloody LITTLE BLACK CLOUD has caught up to me!?
Anyway, I patched it with duct tape, called our insurance and we went on to Amarillo. We arrived at Amarillo around 4:30 p.m. and I stopped at an RV place where I got an estimate to have the roof repair. The whole roof has to be replaced at a tune of $6000. WOW!
From here we went on I-40 to our campsite for the night, a Passport America member, Amarillo Ranch RV Resort(16$). We had stopped here 2 years ago on our way to Quebec.
We decided to go to the BIG TEXAN Restaurant near here so a free limousine picked us up and drove us there and back. They have it advertise that you can eat FREE a 72 oz steak. We saw two guys try it and they never finished it so it cost them $72 each (That’s the catch, you have to eat it all or you pay) we had a 21 oz sirloin for two @ $30. with all the trimmings. We came home around 9 p.m.
It is very warm here, 91*F (28*C) when we arrived at 5 p.m.

We travelled 278 miles (447KM) today at an average speed of 49 MPH.
N 35* 11’ 44”
W 101* 46’ 24”
Alt: 3650 feet

OCT 20, Tuesday, Amarillo
Sunny, warm and windy. Our first day in short! Yiiiippppeeee! We left our campsite and went to the garage hoping to hear from the insurance but no luck. We unhooked and went to fuel @ 2.68/gal then went back to Amarillo Ranch Park and asked if we could come back under Camp USA membership and to my surprise, they accepted. We went back to the garage, hook-up and went back to our site. After setting up once more, we took a drive to PALO DURO CANYON about 30 minutes south of here. It was very beautiful and quite strange to find such a place amongst wide open plains. There is a State Campsite here with hook-ups so worth exploring under different circumstances.
We drove back home to our park just in time to close the windows as a rain storm came through...so much for shorts weather. I called our insurance broker and after losing my temper, we finally heard from an adjuster about 20 minutes later. We can now proceed with our repairs so tomorrow it’s back to the garage.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October 16 to 18, Nebraska to Kansas

OCT 16, Friday, to Dodge City, Kansas
This was another long day but worth it and we never found anything worth stopping at. We left around 9:15 a.m. and drove on Hwy 30 to North Platte where I took a couple pictures and went for breakfast at McDonald only to find out we had moved an hour ahead (Central Time) so we kept going and turned south on Hwy 83.
Nebraska was interesting; hilly in the West and flat in the East and South. Hectares of corn field, wheat, rye and hay.
Two hours after leaving, we entered in Kansas and more corn and wheat field but also Millet (Maize) and lots of it. We stopped in Hill City for fuel ( 2.699) then headed East on Hwy 9 to Hwy 283 where we turned south again. It is so flat that we saw Dodge City 10 miles BEFORE we got there.
We arrived at our campsite, WaterSport RV Park, a Good Sam member at $18/night and set up. It is sunny and warm...19*C ( 68*F). We are here for three nights
This is the final States to complete our map. We have now travelled and stayed in ALL the lower 48th; all that’s left is Alaska!

We travelled 344 miles in 8 hours @ an average speed of 53MPH
N 37* 44’ 35”
W 100* 00’ 46”
Alt: 2485 feet

OCT 17, Saturday, to Dodge City, Kansas
Val got up with a sore throat and runny nose. It’s been going on for the past two days and she says she is feeling better. After lunch, we went into town and visited Booth Hill and the replica of Dodge’s City front street as it was back in 1886. It was really interesting and laid out as a museum. We began with a movie then walked through the cemetery and from here to the Long Branch Saloon. It is laid out in a way that you go from building to building without going outside. Each building represents a business of some kind or the daily life of the citizens at that time. We went back outside at the end and visited a house of that era that had been moved here and kept up. It was really educational to go through each building. We went back to the saloon and had a beer and listen to live music but unfortunately the show with dancing girls are only in the summer.
From here, we drove on Hwy 400 to the Coronado Cross, a memorial to General Coronado from Mexico who had come this far looking for the “illusive gold Cities”. We took some pictures and went back home.

OCT 18, Sunday, Dodge, Kansas
This was a relaxing day of sort. We did laundry and updated the blog and pictures and went for walks. It is very windy coming from the south so glad we didn’t travel today. There is one other Canadian here form Alberta but haven’t seen much of them.
I made a couple calls and made reservation in Amarillo, Texas and Carlsbad, New Mexico. Our plans are to travel south and west again visiting places we haven’t seen before while the warm temperature last. Val is feeling better although her voice is quite coarse. I thought I got it for a while but it seemed to have passed...touch wood!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 15, 2009, Ogallala, Nebraska

OCT. 15, Thursday, Ogallala
We had decided last night to stay another day here to visit the town. Temperature went down to +1*C but today, we had a pleasant surprise of mid 60’s F (16*C) which meant I was able to wash the truck and “Bear” as they were both filthy from our ride yesterday.
In the afternoon, we went to town and looked around and visited the museum (free) and the historic saloon. (SEE PICTURES IN FOLDER # 46). Ogallala was known in the mid 1880 as the “Gomorrah of the cattle trail”. It was a major town for cattle receiving and distribution centre to the East from Texas and Oklahoma. It was a rough city during the summer but a sleepy town in the winter. This is where the trail ended for the movie “Lonesome Dove” and Robert Duval also filmed “The Rain People”.
We had a beer in the saloon, of course, then visited a neat little store displaying petrified wood from all over the U.S. The two brothers who owned the place were on hand to answer all our questions. It was very interesting; they’ve been at this for 40 years!
We came home after filing the truck at $2.599/gallon and picking up propane at $22/bottle. Val watched Oprah while I took Tucker for his evening walk.
Tomorrow we head south to Kansas. I also uploaded pictures of Custer and Crazy Horse memorial in folder # 45.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October 11 to 14, 2009, Sturgis SD to Ogallala, Nebraska

OCT 11, Sunday, Sturgis
We had a new neighbour overnight but he left early this morning. I guess this weather is not for them!? It is a bit warmer today...-4*C and there is a light snow falling but nothing major as yet.
We spent the day here at home. We just didn’t feel like going out which was a good thing because it started to snow more in the afternoon. Val made Italian spaghetti for dinner then we watched TV.

OCT 12, Monday, to Hot Springs, South Dakota
I got up early and went to Sturgis to get an oil & lube done on the truck. I was a bit overdue. I came home after getting us a McDonald breakfast and we packed to leave.
We left around 11 a.m. and by the time we got to Rapid City, the temperature was at a “balmy” -2*C ( 29*F); we turned south on Hwy 79 and headed for Hot Springs. It was a 4 lane highway all the way to our turn-off and the country side was rolling hills with the Black Hills on our right. We turned West and North on Hwy 385 and arrived in Hot Springs around 12:30 p.m. We found our campsite, KEMO SABAY Campground just outside of town, paid our dues (a Passport America member) and set up. There is one other rig here from Washington. We have power and sewer but no water however our tank is full.
We drove back to town to do our laundry then did some sightseeing and picture taking. We stopped at a local pub for a beer and learned that they close at 9 p.m. every day! WOW!! All the restaurants that we saw were mostly all closed. We were told that not much is open on Mondays! NO KIDDING!!!! It is however a neat and clean town and most of the buildings are built with Clay Rock which makes them all look reddish/brownish Kind of unique in a way!
We went back to our site and got dinner ready and relaxed. Tomorrow we will explore Custer Park and city and Crazy Horse statue built in the mountain. It is still -1*C

We travelled 81 miles in 1.5 hours at 49MPH average
N 43* 27’ 03”
W 103* 28’ 23”
Alt: 3651 feet

OCT 13, Tuesday, Sightseeing
We left around 11:30 a.m. to go explore Wind Cave Park and Custer National Park. We followed 385 then headed north on 87 which took us through Custer Park. We climbed to 6400 feet via a winding road with lots of switch backs and at one point, the road rode over itself then made a circle and we drove under. Quite neat! We saw lots of wild buffalos, deer, one elk and wild turkeys. We zigzagged down to Hwy 16a (5300’) then tried Hwy 87 through the Needles but it was closed so we drove on 89 which took us through the back way and up to 87 but again 87 was closed on that side too so we gave up and came back on 385. We had just climbed to 6800 feet on 89 and the snow was not all that deep and the roads were bared but a bit icy at places.
We headed south to Crazy Horse Memorial, paid $5 each and visited the Interpretive Centre which was VERY IMPRESSIVE. It consisted of 5 buildings inter-connected and representing different display. There was an observatory deck, a movie theatre showing the history of the carving of the mountain, lots of Indian clothing and paraphilia, the living room of the builder, Mr Korczak Ziolkowski and his family, another room was the Native Cultural Centre where sculptors and artist could work (there was two when we visited) and a restaurant. Unfortunately, the main attraction, the carving of the mountain, was all fogged in and we never saw it but we did see the model that is being use for measurement purposes. It has been in progress since 1948 and the sculptor died but his wife and family are keeping the project going.
Our drive back was in the fog until almost our campsite. In the town of Custer, everything was closed due to late season.
It was cloudy all day and the temperature went up to +2*C (34*F) at our site by the end of the day.

OCT 14, Wednesday, to Nebraska
We got up at 8 a.m. and were on the road by 9:30. I dumped before leaving as it was above freezing...+1*C (33*F). We headed back to 385 via 18 and went south. It was cloudy and raining but we could see quite far. The land was rolling hills full of wild prairie grass and wheat field. At one point we climbed to 4500’ and into the fog and for the next 2 hours, we never saw anything around us. The temperature felt to -2*C! We crossed into Nebraska under these conditions.
Eventually, we descended into Alliance and the sky cleared enough to see again and the temperature went back up to +5*C. We continued south to Bridgeport and turned West on Hwy 26 for 14 miles to visit the Chimney Rock, a National Historic Site. This is a prominent landmark that indicated the place where the prairies ended and closing in on the Rockies as the immigrants headed west on the Oregon Trail via Wyoming. We had lunch here and visited the Interpretive Centre and watched a movie on the Oregon Trail and the significance of the Chimney. The sun came out, the sky cleared and the temperature climbed to 15*C but as we headed East again, we caught to the clouds and the temperature dropped to 5*C. We arrived in Ogallala around 4 p.m. and we will spend a couple days here. We are camped at a CAMP USA resort called Country View Campground.

We travelled 422 KM (262 miles) in 7 hours at an average speed of 48 MPH
N 41* 06’ 18”
W 101* 42’ 51”
Alt: 3263 feet

I downloaded more pictures in folder 44

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October 7 to 10, 2009; Olds Alta to Sturgis South Dakota

OCT 7, Wednesday, to Havre, Montana
We got up at 7 a.m. and found Audrey back from dropping Marcel at the airport (he had to go back to work). We said our goodbyes and drove to the local park where there was a dump station. It was snowing when we left but cleared as we headed east on hwy 27. We turned south on 21 then east on Hwy 1. The country side is sure brown, I guess from the cold and time of the season. We stopped for brunch in Basscano and again in Medicine Hat for fuel: 88L @ .879. From here, we headed south on 41; the country side was hilly and when we reached Cypress Park, we climbed quickly to 4000 feet where we entered a forest of pine and fir and came upon this big lake and a beautiful scenery. This is where all the camping takes place in the summer and there were also a lot of cabins and houses. We continued climbing to nearly 5000 feet then exited the forest onto huge field of grass and cultivated land. We slowly descended to approx. 2800 feet where we reached the US border at 4:45 p.m. Now there is an isolated post! It was in the middle of nowhere with the Canadian border consisting of two houses, a shed and garage and the actual border building, the US side was exactly the same, nothing else. The guys were very friendly and after answering a couple questions and presenting our passport, we were on our way. The country side was the same and we continued to descend to 2300 feet and finally reached Havre, Montana, our stopped for the night in Wal-Mart parking lot. The town is very quaint and would be worth exploring but another time. Lots of Casinos in Montana, Terry and Glenda! We counted 12 in the town on the main drag! It was +7*C when we parked for the night and clear sky.

We travelled 599 KM in 8 ¼ hours at an average speed of 54 MPH

N 48* 33’ 20”
W 109* 44’ 05”
Alt: 2531 feet

As a foot note, I got a pack of 30 beers for $17. while Val paid $29 for 15 in Olds. Goes to show you how much we are being ripped off in Canada.

OCT. 8, Thursday, to Glendive Montana
We got up this morning to very cold temperature outside: -6*C (22*F), BRRrrrrr!
We finally hit the road, Hwy 2, by 10:30 a.m. after shopping for groceries at Wal-Mart and having breakfast at McDonald. We travelled in a valley between high hills much like the Kamloops region back home. Again, very desolate, with huge cultivated fields of hay, wheat and whatever else they grow. We would see a patch of trees like an oasis and this is when we would find a village or town. We stopped in Glasgow where I took on fuel, 15 gal @ 2.799 and we had lunch here inside our rig. Temperature outside was a balmy 6*C (42*F).
At Wolf Point, we turned south on 25 then 13 to Glendive where it changed to 200S. We had rolling hills and lots of up & down and down & up. We saw a few wild animals, mainly coyotes, deer and antelopes. We finally reached I-94 and Glendive where we spent the night @ Green Valley Campground and paid $16.50 for full hook-ups.

We travelled 500 Km (311 miles) in 6 hrs @ 57 MPH average. (With the wind behind us, it was easy travelling at 65 MPH!)

N 47* 07’ 16”
W 104* 43’ 37”
Alt: 2084 feet

OCT. 9, Friday, to Sturgis, South Dakota
A cold morning; -6*C! We left in a hurry! We travelled East on I-94, crossed into North Dakota where the scenery became absolutely awesome as we entered the Badlands Region. The rock formation was incredibly scenic with sandstone and clay with colors grey, brown, and reddish making it a tableau to be seen. We reached Hwy 85 and turned south where the country side became rolling hills and a mixture of grassland and cultivated fields. We slowly climbed to 4800 feet and the temperature dropped some more as we went up. We finally reached Belle Fourche, South Dakota at 3800 feet then we went south east on I-90 to Sturgis.
As a side note, Belle Fourche is the geographical centre of the U.S.
We exited at #37 and arrived at our campsite, Rush-No-More Campground. We are surrounded by 2 rigs; one from Alaska and one full-timer whom work here and is leaving next week for Tempe, Arizona. It is -4*C and there is about 1.5 inch of snow on the ground. What makes it really cold is the wind which is constantly gusting. We are next to a mountain, part of the Black Hills. We’ve paid to Monday; this is a Passport America member. The forecast is for warmer temperature by Monday so if we haven’t frozen to death in the meantime, we should have “No Jacket” weather soon

We travelled 293 miles (471KM) at an average of 53 MPH in 6.5 hours

N 44* 20’ 25”
W 103* 27’ 41”
Alt: 3822 feet

OCT 10, Saturday, Rapid City and Deadwood
We had a slow morning as neither one of us wanted to go out in this cold (-7*C) so we took our time dressing and having breakfast. Tucker however had other ideas so I took for his morning walk then started the truck which sputter and protested from the cold but started up and I let it warmed up.
We left around 11:30 a.m. for Rapid City, 20 miles from here, and stopped at Wal-Mart as Val had to exchange her curling iron that she had bought in Havre. Rapid City has a population of approx 60,000 people and is spread on the east side of the Black Mountain within view of the prairies. It is 600 feet lower that where we stay and it was -4 with no snow.
We took Hwy 16 and 16a to Mt Rushmore. We drove through Keystone, population of 311, where “NORTH by NORTHWEST was filmed. We continued climbing to 5100 feet, paid $10 to get in and walked up to the view point where we took some picture of the figures in the granite rock but didn’t stick around outside too long as it was -8*C. We went inside where we looked at the exhibits and watched a movie on the making of the faces of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln. It was IMPRESSIVE!
From here, we went west and north on Hwy 244 and 385 to Deadwood. The drive was interesting with lots of tortuous curves, I can see why bikers love this country.
We stopped at the info centre in Deadwood, population 3100, got a map then went to explore a bit. We are at 4800 feet and it is cold, -5*C. We took a few pictures and went for a beer in Wild Bill Hotel, where Hickock was shot to death from behind. They even had the exact place set aside as a tourist attraction. Across the street were Calamity Hotel, the Gem, and the original sheriff BULLOCK Store and hotel now. We had a couple of beers and Nachos that Marcel would have been jealous of. We also learn that the movie Deadwood was actually filmed in California so no sets to look at.
We drove home via Hwy 14a east then I-90 and were home by 5 p.m. A very good day!


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

October 4 to 6, 2009, Olds, Alberta

OCT 4, Sunday, Olds
We got up to snow this morning, YES, SNOW!!! Fortunately it didn’t last and stopped late in the morning as the temperature warmed up a bit but only to 38*F (4*C). This was a quiet day. Audrey had to go to Calgary so we spent the day in the house (too bloody cold to go outside). Marcel cooked a turkey for dinner with mash potatoes, cream corn, gravy and a salad. IT was delicious and we had a guest for dinner, Eva; Ken, her husband, had left for work. They recently lost their daughter who was only 30 years old. After dinner, John and Bernice, friends of Marcel and Audrey, showed up so we had a very nice visit. We went to bed around 10:30 p.m.

OCT 5, Monday, Olds, Alberta
Audrey and Marcel went to Calgary this morning as he had a doctor’s appointment and a couple of errands to do; we stayed home. I didn’t want to leave Tucker by himself all day, the poor little guy has been neglected lately so today is His Day!
A bit warmer today, 48*F (9*c) and it is cloudy with sunny periods! We went to get some propane ($19) and I fuelled up at the same time; 48.9L @ .859. We went to take a look at the new mall. It was quite nice with lots of big name stores, we even went into Mark’s World Wear and Wal-Mart.
We met Audrey and Marcel at the local Boston Pizza, had lunch, a few beers and played pool. We came home and relaxed for a while and watched a movie in the evening.

OCT. 6, Tuesday, last day in Olds
I’ve been monitoring the weather for South Dakota and it doesn’t look very promising until at least next week-end. There’s even snow in the forecast!
Val and Audrey went shopping in Red Deer and Marcel and I went to Sundre to have the wheels torque as per warranty then we came back to Olds so that I could go to the bank and check on monthly charges; came away with a nice little saving! We went to the pub where we played pool and waited for the girls to come back from their shopping. When we came out, the temperature had dropped considerably and the wind was gusting to 60 KM/hour. It lasted until late in the evening, time to go before it gets worse.
We had dinner at the house then Val and Audrey and 2 other ladies went to a movie. Marcel watched hockey and fell asleep and I did some computing.
Tomorrow we head for Havre, Montana!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

October 1 to 3 On the road finally

OCT 1, Thursday, Doctor's visit and last minute prep.
I picked up our wine in Chase this morning and then loaded the kayaks on the truck and cleaned up the yard.
Val had to go to the doctor to have a cancerous (non-malignant) lump removed near her eye. The doctor had assured her that it was just a simple procedure and could be done in his office. Well, when we got there, he had a change of heart and recommended a plastic surgeon but there was no rush and if we wanted to wait until we got back, it probably would be OK so we decided to go. Afterward, we picked up our mail and deposited a refund on our glasses from BC Medical then came home.
I took out the battery out of the car, the plates off and put the covering tarp on the car. So THIS IS IT! We are driving out tomorrow. It’s been cloudy and cold most of the day. ( 55*F)

OCT 2, Friday, to Olds Alberta.
We left at 8:45 a.m. after turning off the power and water and locking everything. We stopped in Sorrento where I turned in the plates for the car and cancelled the insurance on it. We continued on Hwy 1 to Revelstoke where I fuelled up: 54L @ $0.979; the truck averaged approx 10 miles/gallon, not bad. The drive through Roger’s Pass was very drabbie as it was raining but we could see the fresh snow just above us. Temperature was a cool 38*F (4*C)! We stopped in Golden for lunch then proceeded to go through Kicking Horse Pass and over the new bridge which was finished last year; the hill is called “10 mile hill” and is well deserved but easy to climb. The drive through Banff and the park was uneventful except for construction for about 10 miles; they are widening the road to a 4 lanes highway up to the BC border and we even had wet snow shower.
We stopped again in Canmore for fuel, 75L @ .799 for an average of 9.8 miles/gallon. We hit rain again between Canmore and Olds but it did stop once we turned on Hwy 22 North.
We arrived at Audrey and Marcel’s house at 7:15 p.m. local time (We are now in Mountain Time zone). We visited with them until the wee hours of the morning. Marcel is off for the next 4 days.

We travelled a total of 644 KM @ an average speed of 50mph in 10.5 hours
N 51* 47’ 12”
W 114* 07’ 50”
Alt: 3427 feet

OCT 3, Saturday, Olds
The forecast was for snow but we woke up to clear sky and a mild 39*F ( 4*C). We had a lazy morning where everyone got up late. Audrey and Marcel cooked a nice breakfast consisting of pancakes and bacon then we got showered and ready.
We went to Red Deer where they shopped for a new motorhome and we just tag along as looky-looks. We did see a beautiful and tempting Safari Sahara but we resisted and didn’t buy it. After all that shopping, it was time for a beer and snack at a local pub where Marcel and I played a couple games of pool.
We drove to Inisfail where we had another drink then back to Olds at the Legion where we ended the evening. We got home at 10 p.m. and needless to say that Tucker was happy to see us. We finally went to bed around 11 p.m.