Posts From Alberta


Below the 60th parallel (Meander River, Alberta)

Journal entry for Friday 29th May, 2009 (day 77, miles 13162)

During the morning we took a side trip to the town of Hay River, a prosperous little town near the southern end of great slave lake and on the Hay River. It is a transportation and service center particularly for the summer water traffic on Slave Lake. The town boasts the Purple High School. The town was moved to its current location when the original town located on the river flats was flooded in 1963.

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Farmland and high wind (Winagami Lake, Alberta)

Journal entry for Saturday 30th May, 2009 (day 78, miles 13492)

We stopped in the town of High Level this morning to get fuel, groceries and to see what the local visitor information center could tell us. The visitors center contained a small but interesting museum displaying relics of the past. As with a lot of these types of displays we both learned things - for example that washing day was the same day as pasta making day so that the starch from the pasta could be used to starch shirt collars - and saw things that we recognized from our own childhood - another hand operated cream separator.

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Back into traffic, a mall, and a movie (Edmonton, Alberta)

Journal entry for Sunday 31st May, 2009 (day 79, miles 13744)

Our route today followed a series of increasingly busy secondary rural roads through farm country. The wind of the past few days was still blowing strongly and occasionally small dust storms assaulted us.

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The Rockies, they really are something special! (Jasper (Pocahontas Campground), Alberta)

Journal entry for Monday 1st Jun, 2009 (day 80, miles 13984)

We spent much of the morning and early afternoon exploring downtown Edmonton. Certainly not enough time for what appeared to be a wonderfully positioned city on the high northern banks of the Saskatchewan River. We did get a chance to walk along the river through Victoria Park. A lot of people were out walking, jogging and cycling. I guess the local citizens like to enjoy the limited sunny, warm weather when ever they can.

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A hike in the forest, lots of tourists with rented RVs (Jonas Creek Campground, Alberta)

Journal entry for Wednesday 3rd Jun, 2009 (day 82, miles 14118)

After a leisurely start to the day we drove back into Jasper and spent some time in an internet cafe catching up on emails, our journal and various researches. Jasper was picturesque, with another bright sunny day really showing the mountains and the town at its best. It was with more than a little regret that we headed south down the Icefield Hwy out of Jasper. A little way south we stopped at a hiking trail around the five lakes and spent a couple of hours strolling through the pine forests and admiring the lakes; what a wonderful setting for some well needed exercise.

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Smoke haze on the Icefield Hwy, visiting Ninas cousin in Calgary (Calgary, Alberta)

Journal entry for Thursday 4th Jun, 2009 (day 83, miles 14349)

Our goal for today was to get to Calgary for a visit with Nina's cousin, so we got an uncharacteristically early start.

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A day in Calgary - a FEDEX parcel problem!! (Calgary, Alberta)

Journal entry for Friday 5th Jun, 2009 (day 84, miles 14362)

We spent the today in and around Calgary with Nina's cousin Yvonne. It could have been a rest day with time to do washing, catch up on emails, catch up on family doings and relax; but for Nina and Yvonne it wasn't. There was a FedEx parcel from Richard for us and it had to be cleared through Canadian customs; a task that proved surprisingly difficult and complex.

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Good bye to the Canadian Rockies (Bow Valley Provincial Park, Alberta)

Journal entry for Thursday 12th Jul, 2012 (day 8, miles 881)

Today we said goodbye to the Canadian Rockies with, yet one more picture of Lake Louise (it never looses its appeal or its crowds), a walk down the streets of Banff and then that drive out of the mountains.

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Beers with Bernie (Calgary, Alberta)

Journal entry for Friday 13th Jul, 2012 (day 9, miles 941)

From last nights camp we had only a short drive of some 80kms into Calgary and our friend Bernie's house. We spent a hot afternoon drinking some beer and late in the afternoon finished the day off with a BBQ. Along the way Bernie took the yellow beast for a spin around the block.

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Canola (Bow Valley Provincial Park, Alberta)

Journal entry for Saturday 14th Jul, 2012 (day 10, miles 1155)

Today the prairies started for real. Oceans of green and yellow (canola crops), rolling country side and roads that go straight for miles at a time. The mix of green (wheat and other crops) and the yellow canola fields was the visual highlight of the day.

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First snows (Willow Rock CG, Alberta)

Journal entry for Thursday 8th Sep, 2016 (day 45, miles 4735)

It rained a bit overnight and was overcast this morning and the road was wet and hence muddy as we continued north of 940. Late morning we connected with Highway 40 (also called the Kananaskis Trail), a spectacular drive surrounded by mountains that eventually connected with Highway 1 just east of the town of Canmore. Highway 40 provided a herd of mountain sheep for our entertainment and the first snow falls of the trip.

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New family members, new camera (Cochrane, Alberta)

Journal entry for Friday 9th Sep, 2016 (day 46, miles 4811)

This morning was bright, clear and cool, and we started the day with a short hike along a trail from the campground. The fall colors are really in evidence now. After our exercise we headed towards Calgary with the goal of shopping for a new camera for Nina before spending the night with Yvonne and Gary, some of Nina' Canadian family.

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Visit with friends (Calgary, Alberta)

Journal entry for Saturday 10th Sep, 2016 (day 47, miles 4841)

Another visit today, this time with Bernie (a friend we met in South America) and his partner Heather at their house in the south of Calgary. We spent a delightful afternoon and evening with B&H, reminiscing with Bernie about our South America experience and getting to know Heather a little better. They were kind enough to take us on a walk of the area around their house including a nice stroll through the Bow River Valley.

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Back to the mountains (Lake Louise, Alberta)

Journal entry for Monday 12th Sep, 2016 (day 49, miles 4982)

Yesterday we drove back up into the mountains and stayed at a campground in Lake Louise, but no photos as the day was a bit of a loss from the weather point of view. But today with better weather, bright sun, we backtracked a bit to visit Banff and generally absorb the spectacle of the mountains. This also gave Nina a chance to experiment with her new camera, and ask a zillion questions -- how do I &

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The Icefields Parkway (Jasper, Alberta)

Journal entry for Tuesday 13th Sep, 2016 (day 50, miles 5131)

Today I am going to mostly let the photos do the talking, they are more eloquent than I can be. As you might guess from those same photos we started the day with a visit to the lake and hotel at Lake Louise and then drove the Icefield Parkway to Jasper. We were blessed with glorious weather, bright sun and not a cloud in the sky. It was an opportunity to try out Nina's new camera that we could not resist.

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Last look (Kinky Lake, Alberta)

Journal entry for Wednesday 14th Sep, 2016 (day 51, miles 5206)

Another glorious day, though with a little cloud. We started the day with a drive on the Malign Lake Road and found a hike that took us to two lakes, Beaver Lake and Summit Lake. Again we used this as an opportunity to experiment with the new camera. This was obviously encouraged by the great light and spectacular scenery. You will note in photo 8 that with the use of the camera's panorama mode Nina was able to make 3 of me.

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To Edmonton (Spruce Grove CG Edmonton, Alberta)

Journal entry for Thursday 15th Sep, 2016 (day 52, miles 5390)

We spent today driving the road to Edmonton. We tried in the town of Hinton to get Nina a "nail job" but all the places we tried either did not do nails anymore or were booked out. Eventually she phoned a place in Edmonton (the value of the internet) for tomorrow.

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Nina gets her nails done (Long Lake Prov. Park, Alberta)

Journal entry for Friday 16th Sep, 2016 (day 53, miles 5498)

By the time the nail job was complete and we had stocked up on groceries it was after lunch. At that point we had not finally decided exactly where we would go but as the afternoon proceeded it became clear we wanted (over the coming couple of days) to go as far north as Fort McMurray.

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Busy highway and oversized loads (Crow Lake Prov. Park, Alberta)

Journal entry for Saturday 17th Sep, 2016 (day 53, miles 5498)

We started today with a nice long walk in the forest (and rain) near the campground and found a good example of a beaver felled tree. Once underway we made our way into the little village of Boyle for a fuel top-up before starting the stretch of road to Fort McMurray. Not far out of Boyle highway 63 turned from a rural road into a new 4 lane freeway/motorway/expressway (whatever you want to call it) clearly built to handle the demands of the energy industry, indeed we passed a number of oversized loads during the curse of the day as well as seeing many heavy transporters returning south. I was a bit captivated by the trailers and their many wheels, at one point we caught a photo of a returning combination with two prime-movers (at pulling and one pushing), 26 axles on the trailer and 8 wheels on each axle.

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Oil sands and wild fire (Engstrom Lake Prov Rec Area, Alberta)

Journal entry for Sunday 18th Sep, 2016 (day 55, miles 5614)

We were a bit surprised to see that there was less traffic this morning as we completed the drive into Fort McMurray. Sunday does seem to make some difference to the pace of activity in this energy boom-town area. The big interests today were oil sands and the wildfire that devastated Fort McMurray earlier in 2016.

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Boreal forest and beaver (Winston Churchill Prov. Park, Alberta)

Journal entry for Monday 19th Sep, 2016 (day 56, miles 5895)

I should have mentioned the boreal forest in a earlier entry a that is what we have been traveling through the last few day. Short skinny black spruce tree, birch and aspen now turning vivid yellow and the occasional stands of larch (tamarack) that look like pine tree that are turning with the fall. Around Fort McMurray the forest was obviously burned from the wildfire earlier in the year but even in these blacked tracks there were patches of yellow and green where some trees survived and in many places under the blacked spruce new grass could be seen.

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