Tagged with " Calgary"
May 8, 2011 -

Dinosaur Country!

Today was another road trip day with Gary and Jody! We headed into dinosaur country!!!!!!!

Before we could do that, though, there were some errands to be run in the Calgary area, including picking up a part for their trailer, and stopping at three RV dealerships to ask if I could leave some promotional cards for Full-Time RVing in Canada (all said yes, certainly).

Jody asked each dealership if they had toy hauler motorhomes and one had a Newmar Canyon Star. The salesman, who just happened to have been a Glendale Royal Classic seller back in the day, was really eager to get me into this rig! It was a nice rig, of course, being a Newmar, but it wouldn’t have worked for me since the garage was too small.

In between the dealerships, the Roving Deli opened for business. Gary had BBQed some really nice chicken breasts (among other things) last night, and they became very delicious sandwiches!

Mid-afternoon, we finally headed out to Drumheller. I’m saying finally only because we had left Lethbridge at 8:30! It ended up taking us about six and a half hours to do a drive that would have only taken an hour and a half or two as the crow flies. We could have gotten to Edmonton in that time! Ah, that’s what happens when RV enthusiasts start looking at rigs.

Shortly before Drumheller Jody turned to Horseshoe Canyon, an amazing place where the prairie literally drops away. It’s like my beloved Chasm, you wonder where the heck this hole comes from!

We arrived in Drumheller in very late afternoon, much too late see any attractions, but I made my list for when we come back later in the summer! The town is surprisingly seedy-looking, very rough and worn down. I imagine it looks better in the height of the tourist season when everything is open. We made a stop at the tourist info centre which is home to the biggest dinosaur in the world. We paid the $3 to climb the one hundred or so stairs to the top so we could see the view from the mouth.

After, I suggested we do the route to Wayne that takes you through eleven bridges in four miles (just over six kilometres). It’s a neat circuit since each bridge is different and the scenery is beautiful. There’s nothing after Wayne, though. This route is suitable for all but the largest RVs since the height clearances on the bridges is at least five metres (16.4 feet) and there is space to turn around tightly after the last one when the road widens and turns to dirt.

Next stop was the Star (coal) Mine Suspension Bridge. It’s not very high up over the river; I’ve actually jumped off of a taller bridge into a river. Needless to say, this one wasn’t hard for me to get across at all.

Following that, Jody took me to see the hoodoos, which are neat sandstone columns with a cap on them, all naturally sculpted of course.

We came back to the van and I put in an order at the deli for sandwich fixings without the bun since I’d overdosed on potato chips and I got a nice plate of chicken, cheese, and cruditรฉs. Aren’t I spoiled, what with a driver AND a personal chef? I should also add that in the morning I got a nice container of honeydew melon and my supper dessert was some of the best oranges I’ve had in ages. I only say this because Jody’s invitation to come today was about a paragraph long. They really don’t need to sell me on a road trip! ๐Ÿ˜€

It was getting really late by this point, with our at home ETA being 9PM, but there was still one more detour to do: Dinosaur Provincial Park so I could see the fabled Badlands! This is an area where more dinosaur remains have been found, and more species, than anywhere else in the world! It’s a World Heritage Site. Between that and Horseshoe Canyon I have to say that I continue to be astounded by the variety of landscapes in my country and how many treasures it holds. RVing is the only way to travel in this country and do it justice.

We descended into the campground and Jody followed a road that does a circuit behind it that really takes you out into the scenery, including a few places where a structure was built around dinosaur remains. What a great way to show off the fossils in situ. The campground is in a fantastic location; I’d love to spend a weekend there.

This was only a taste of dinosaur country and I can’t wait to explore it in greater depth! Thank you once again to my local guide and chef! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Alberta, Canada, Nice Folks, Social, Travel    3 Comments
Apr 30, 2011 -

The Roving Delicatessen

Fraserway RV in Airdrie, just north of Calgary, was having an open house today with good sales, including 25% off all parts under $300! Gary and Jody go every year and invited me along. I’ve been desperately needing a new pigtail for my propane system (ie. a hose that goes from my auxiliary tank to the Extend-a-Stay tee), but have been procrastinating since the one I bought in Osoyoos in the fall of ’08 was so expensive. I decided that this was the day to pick one up, so that gave me an excuse to go. ๐Ÿ™‚

We started our day at Willow Creek municipal campground because Jody wanted to see if the prairie crocuses (Anemone patens) were in bloom, which they were:

prairie crocus (actually not a crocus but rather a member of the buttercup family)

We headed out after towards Calgary and Gary started to rustle around in the back seat. I turned to discover that a delicatessen had sprung up back there!

Gary's Roving Delicatessen

This is how they travel; Jody drives, Gary makes sandwiches! And delicious ones at that!

We got to Airdrie and stopped at another RV place so we’d be able to compare prices at Fraserway, then headed for the open house. Turns out Fraserway had better prices, even without the 25% discount!

Between both dealerships, we must have toured close to a hundred rigs. I discovered another type of fiver that I really like. It has a proper bedroom at the front, a bunk room at the back, and a loft above the bunk room. I could see going with something similar in a toyhauler motorhome, with the bunk room of course being a garage and the bedroom being my office.

den and loft with ladder (Starcraft Lexion)

I found the pigtail I needed in the parts department (with no help from the very rude salesgal) and it came to only $13 after my discount and tax!

Having had our fill of RVs for the day, I was then whisked away to Bass Pro Shops, which is more of a museum than a store! They allow photographs, so I tried to capture the feel of the place.

front end of the cariboo herd

We ended the day by making a very quick stop in Mossleigh to visit with Ken and Donna.

Another awesome day with my local guides! Thank you!

More pictures below.

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Alberta, Buying Miranda, Canada, Nice Folks, Propane, Social, Technical, Travel    4 Comments
Apr 20, 2011 -

Friends and RVs

Jody needed to run an errand in Calgary today so I came along for the ride. We stopped in Mossleigh to visit Donna. She is working at Aspen Crossing this summer and gave us a tour of the place. It combines a campground, a superb gift shop, a restaurant (great Sunday brunch apparently), cabins, and more. I was particularly impressed by the tour of the caboose that was converted into a luxury cabin that would be a great motorhome layout! Donna is very enthusiastic about camphosting in the nearly new campground (this year will be the second in operation). It was so, so, so good to see her and Ken, but I didn’t get to visit with Midnight.

Our visit done, Jody and I pushed on to the town of High River where we spent hours climbing into and out of travel trailers, fifth wheels, and a few motorhomes. I’d never spent so much time in a bumper pull trailer before and was astounded by some of the layouts!

Before I get into my discovery of the day, I have to say that I have finally decided on what my next rig is going to be. I’ve vacillated between getting excited about fifth wheels and considering a B+, but I finally came down to earth and made a decision. I want to downsize and I can do that two ways: going smaller or going bigger. So, my next rig would be one of two choices.

The first choice, going smaller would mean going down to a B and seriously reducing my cargo. I’d have to be in the mode that this is my only vehicle and that everything has to be prepped for travel.

The second choice, going bigger would actually be going smaller in terms of over-all rig length without sacrificing my current lifestyle of having an apartment with a car: a toy hauler super C motorhome, such as those made by Haulmark, with a Smart Car in the garage.

So, all that to say that if I’m going down to a B, then I’ve found it. It’s a Libero by Leisure Travel. It has a bed in the back, full bath and kitchen, and the dinette in the front is definitely usable as a desk, plus it has the solid construction of a high-end unit.

One thing I find neat when I look at RVs is that I see ways in which I could improve Miranda but I don’t get a burning desire to replace her yet. What can I say, the old gal is home!


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Alberta, Buying Miranda, Campgrounds, Canada, Nice Folks, Social, Technical, Travel    6 Comments