|Monday, June 30
It was a cold, windy and wet introduction to Canada! Tom fought gale force winds and rain all day to get us safely to Regina by 6:30 PM.. The hostess at the Saskatchewan Visitors' Center told us parts of Regina were flooded and closed by the weekend rains. Arriving at the campground we were told a spot was available. However when we tried to pull into the spot it was flooded on both side so we couldn't even get out of the RV without stepping in water. Looking around Tom found that the electrical & water connections were several feet from the pad and in a foot of water. We were refunded our fee and were on our way after using their shower rooms. New experience for us - 2 looneys for 8 minutes of glorious hot water. All other campgrounds were in the same situation with one even handing us a boil water advisory notice as we were about to register. Needless to say we didn't stay there either. We were able to join about 20 others campers at the Walmart Campground tonight.
Stopped at a bank in Estevan, the first town across the border, to exchange for Canadian money. The exchange rate is $1.00 US to about $1.10 Canadian so we came out a bit ahead. Received bills, looneys, and Quarters. Canada is phasing out the Penny. Prices/change ending in .01-.04 are rounded to .05. Prices ending in .06-.09 rounded to nearest .10.
Tuesday, July 1
Happy Canada Day! Today dawned cool, bright and sunny. Definitely jeans & jacket to start and end the day. Went into the Walmart to replenish breakfast supplies and met two
Walmart employees who started our day with a smile. Kuljit is a beautiful Asian Indian working the service desk. I asked her about any Canada Day activities. She explained all entertainment had been moved to WasCana Center because of the flooding. She also invited us to come hear her sing at 7 PM. We asked for directions and she called on Fred who was so enthused about giving us directions and telling us about the fireworks. He was excited to be helping set off the fireworks that evening. He told us the best place to watch from and offered to take us to the island with him to watch them set off. He also made sure we had all directions needed for the day and directions to Saskatoon for Wednesday.
After our Walmart morning we headed to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Heritage Center on the grounds of the Depot, the RCMP Training Academy. Spent the afternoon learning about the history of the RCMP. It is a very well thought out and hands-on museum. This was followed by a shuttle tour of the Depot grounds and the Chapel. At 6:45 PM we attended the Sunset Ceremony on the Depot Parade Square. The Mounties no longer use horses in the day to day service but there were two taking part in the program. The RCMP marching band and the pipe & drum corp entertained us with their music and precision marching. The cannon brigade livened things up with the firing of the cannon and rifles,not once but three times! Then the Marching Cadets put on quite an exhibition for their part of the program . They performed their precision drills for over 20 minutes. This was followed by the retiring of the colors.
After the full day at the Heritage Center we headed downtown to the WasCana Center for fireworks. Luckily we found a parking spot on the grounds and just had to walk about the length of 2 football fields to get lakeside. Fred told us to stand on the bridge for the best view but we were quite happy sitting on the shore in our camp chairs. Total darkness did not come until 10:30 and the show was worth the wait. The firework were set to music and began with their National Anthem, O Canada. What a start! Red, gold and white filled the sky for about 5 minutes keeping pace with a rising crescendo. 15 more minutes of sparkling fireworks ended with a finale that had everyone clapping. It was a program of oohs and aahs from 100,000 people. Surprisingly it only took us about a half hour to get out of the parking lot and 15 minutes more to the campground. We broke down and rented a campsite for the night. We needed to dump the holding tanks, take on fresh water and plug into electric to save the house battery. Unfortunately the site had not completely dried from the weekend rains so muddy shoes and jeans were the result of hooking up utilities. We had a really peaceful night's sleep.