Saturday, 18 May 2019

Moving fast... trying to stay warm

Mac the Moose (Moose Jaw, SK)

It has been cold and, at times, rainy. Four days and 2095 km on the road finds us in Brandon, Manitoba. 

First night, we ended up in Revelstoke in a hotel. Had hoped to camp but the rain was too heavy (never good for first night to be camping in a downpour). 

Second night, we planned to camp in either Yoho or Banff National Parks. Advice/info from Yoho info centre (as well as Parks Canada literature) made us decide to drive the extra 80+ km to camp at Lake Minewanka in Banff. Upon arrival, we find the campground "closed" (despite literature and office clearly saying it was "open"). Calls/complaints to Parks Canada gave no satisfaction... meanwhile, other hopeful campers (mostly Europeans in rental RVs) also drive up to gate, only to be disappointed. We decide to leave Banff and go 20 km to Canmore. Way to go Parks Canada... way to screwup peoples' plans. 

Municipal campground in Canmore is open and mostly empty. We pay our $27, setup and settle in. It is cold and rain/snow is forecast. New tent sets up fine; new campstove works great, and the wine and steak excellent. We head to bed as it begins to rain.  David's aged hips hurt all night. But no leaks (in tent). Next morning the rain stops enough to have breakfast while shivering in the cold (0° C overnight, and our new tent is clearly only a single-season, Summer, tent). We get packed up just as the rain starts again (new snow 300m above us). It is clearly "early season". David discovers sticky sap all over the bum of his pants. 

Day 3, we drive through torrential rain until Calgary. Skies start looking better but it is very windy. We make it to the small municipal campground right in the middle of the tiny town of Gull Lake, Saskatchewan (literally in the midde: houses surround us). We are the first campers. But it is cheap ($15), clean, and grassy (NO sap!), and showers are free. But the constant wind makes it uncomfortably cold. Clearly too early in season for camping. We consider turning back to home, then flying East.... 

Next day, we decide to continue on to Manitoba. Too cold and windy for breakfast outside. A hotel for the night is the plan. After a stop in Moose Jaw to check out "Mac the Moose" (formerly the world's tallest moose, now beaten by a Swedish all-metal upstart; soon to get new antlers so he will regain his former status), we continue to drive to Brandon, Manitoba.

It is freezing cold outside here in Brandon this morning!

Cold to us perhaps, but not cold enough to freeze these off...

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