May 15th

        Didn’t get as cold last night as they expected – maybe into the upper thirties. Got up at 7 and prepared to leave. The campground let us refill our water tank from a water tap on their building. We hooked on the Jeep and left the park nearly taking down a tree branch with the right mirror. No damage done. We drove the 93 miles north to the border without incident. The weather looked threatening but held off. The traffic was extremely light. The border crossing was the longest we have had. We had to park the rig and go into the office. The first person checked over our Drivers Licenses and Birth Certificates with a fine tooth comb. Then the second person grilled us on the cats and various paper work. After about 30 minutes we were on our way again. No more than 10 minutes into Canada a rock slammed the windshield and left a chip. The roads were generally rough but the travel was without much excitement. We found the campground without trouble. Check in was smooth and the rates were low – 18 dollars Canadian after the Good Sam discount. The water is also not on at this campground but they have internet access via a Cat5 cable in the office. They said the only person to ever get the cable to work had been the guy that installed it. I took that as challenge. They indicated they also had wireless access available in the motel that was part of the campground. After we got setup at our campsite – with satellite access – I fired up the wireless adapter on the laptop from within the camper. Sure as hell it found the network and I was able to get on. You have to buy time on the network but so what – wireless internet inside the camper!! After collecting and sending email and a little website work we headed out to see what was in town. About 33,000 people in Moose Jaw so there was a lot to see. We ended up at Bugsby’s Bar and Grill. Good burgers and cold beer. Gravy on french fries?? Back to the camper to watch a bit of TV and have a couple more beers.  

 

May 16th

        Lunch today was at Boston Pizza. Good pizza and a very wide ranging menu. A friendly lady at the SILO bar across the parking lot suggested that we not buy ‘Off Sale’ beer at her location as it was over priced. After taking our left over pizza back to the camper we headed downtown to see what was to be seen. Beer was acquired at an “Off Sale” location at the end of Main St. Thirty cans of Bud Light set us back just $46.50 Canadian. After locking the beer in the Jeep and putting the Jeep somewhere we thought it would not get a ticket we headed off to walk around on Main St. We would have parked in one of the metered stalls but we still have not exchanged any of our US money for Canadian currency. The first place we stopped was the Tunnels of Moose Jaw. Their claim to fame is that Al Capone would come to Moose Jaw to escape the ‘heat’ in Chicago from time to time. The SOO rail line runs from Chicago through MN and ends in Moose Jaw. Al Capone supposedly had a series of tunnels under some building near the rail station where he organized boot-leg activities. The tour of the tunnels was manned by several actors that helped bring the story to life. A little waking around let us  discover that most of the stores were closed – it was Sunday, after all. After a quick stop at a Canadian Superstore we headed back to the camper with a quick detour through the fuel station next to the campground. I was reconnoitering the location of the diesel pumps so I could get the camper filled in the morning. After feeding the cats, we watched some tape, HBO and more tape while having a couple of beers. Moving day in the morning!!

 

May 17th

        Up early. We got fuel just outside the campground. The road to Medicine Hat was divided and in reasonably good condition. The terrain was extremely flat during the first half of the trip. We measured from the point that we first saw a building in the distance to the point we actually drove by it and found it to be over 8 miles. A restaurant parking lot at about the half way point provided a place for us to pull over for lunch in the camper. Had a little problem finding the campground but we eventually arrived at the office – what a dump! Cramped and tree shrouded there was no chance of getting the satellite TV working from our site. We even had to back into our ‘pull through’ site it was so covered by trees. No internet access here. I asked the guy at the office about it, his response was “Internet? You have to have phone lines for that – right? We aint got no phone lines here”.  After setting up we ventured out to see the town. The ‘Historic Downtown’ was not much to see. After we walked around for about 30 minutes – did manage to convert some currency at a local bank – we took the Jeep back to the campgrounds. We found a place called Waldo’s just outside the campground and decided we had to try it out after laundry was done. The beer at Waldo’s was fresh and cold. I recommend the ‘schooner’ of beer as the best value – 5.50cn for what looks to be at least 40oz of beer. Their food menu is typical for a bar & grill but the quality is far above par. Rita had the MSM Burger – basically a mushroom swiss burger - but declined the offer of a side of gravy for her fries. The burger was like ground extremely lean steak. It was fantastic. I had the Philly Steak. It was huge and every bit as tasty as Rita’s burger. After a couple of schooners we headed back to the camper for the usual – a couple of beers and some TV. We only get three channels and one of them is in French. The one we watched seemed to pick and choose what to show as we saw shows from three different US networks all on the same channel. A little news and off to bed.

 

May 18th

        A shopping day was planned and we left the camper looking for lunch. The ‘Taco Time’ at the Medicine Hat Mall was picked as the location for lunch so off we went. Walked through the mall and found the Taco Time – not bad food for a mall food court. Walked the rest of the mall and ended up making the major purchase of a suction cup to fix the remote temperature sensor on the Jeep. We left there and headed for Staples to look for some metal racks to cure a problem with our VHS storage. No suitable items were found so we were off to Wal-Mart to continue the hunt. Passing by a Pet-cetra we felt we owed it to OZZY to look for a new toy. No sparkle balls – his favorite – but they did have an interesting cat tree. They claimed it originally sold for $199.99CN and was on sale for $49.99CN. OK, cat trees are always over priced but this thing was cool and it came out to about $35US so a red one found it’s way to the Jeep. Wal-mart had just the item Rita wanted for the VHS area so we left there with our problem solved. After touring a fuel station near the campground to plan our route to get fuel in the morning we returned to the camper. After a brief reunion with the cats it was off to Waldo’s for some cold beer and supper. Good food and cold beer once again. Back to the camper to watch Idol and SVU and then off to bed. The morning brings yet another moving day and I need my sleep.

 

May 19th

        Up at 6:00 and out of the campground at 7:15. We were on the road after getting fuel by about 7:30. A divided highway took us out of town and on our way to Edmonton. The terrain was extremely flat again today. The distance to an object on the horizon measured over 13 miles. After a couple of hours of easy traveling we started to think about stopping for lunch. It was decided we would get past Calgary before we stopped. Calgary went by and we started to look for a ‘turn out’. They don’t seem to have ‘rest stops’ but they do have wide spots in the road with trash barrels that they call ‘turn outs’. These are generally most visible when you pass by them (too late to stop) as they are not well marked. After a long while we spotted a vehicle in the distance that seemed to be parked off to the side of the road. This had to be a turn out! Slowing down in anticipation we were able stop at the turn out. After fours hours of driving, two Diet Cokes and half of a bottle of water I had developed a need which I immediately serviced. Lunch consisted of the last servings of the lasagna we had brought from home. Back on the road 30 minutes later we reached the campground in just over 2 more hours. Seems like a nice place and we backed easily into our site. Even though the sky was not blocked by trees we were unable to get our satellite to work. We must be too far north for Direct TV. Grabbing what little we had for local maps we headed out to find supper. A couple of missed turns later we ended up at a Kelsy’s . Not a great place but OK I guess. We both had burgers and fries with gravy. After much consideration the gravy has been deemed as unnecessary – you must have to be Canadian. Back to the camper to watch the five channels we could get on our regular antenna. Luckily Idol was on one of them! Goodbye to Jasmine. News at 11:00 and off to bed. Tomorrow we go to the Edmonton Mall!

Pictures