It was an easy 116 miles from Fort MacLeod to Calgary, Alberta. Again most of the trip was through farmland so not a whole lot to take windshield pictures of. We managed to give the Mothership a drink at 99.9/Liter or 3.78/gal Canadian which translated to 3.032/gal US after our credit card company (PenFed) gave us the current exchange rate. You got all that???
We are staying at the Calgary West Campground
just west of Calgary (imagine that). We have a 30 amp full hookup which is side by side with a unit going the opposite directions so that we share utility posts (water and electric). This makes the other unit about four feet from our living room slide, much closer than we like. This also means that the open area on your passenger side for the picnic table, etc. is also the same space used by the unit in the set of spaces next to yours that pulled in the opposite way. I have mentioned before how much we love side-by-side hook up sites! The site is in the open and we are still able to get a good lock on the satellite this far north. With any luck, it will still work when we get to Jasper. We have good reception for the cell phone which is on Bell wireless, so we can text at will and will limit phone calls to emergencies.
Immediately after getting set up we hunted and found the nearest Wal-Mart Supercentre to restock our fresh veggies and fruit since we had depleted them for entry into Canada. After getting back we purchased our shuttle tickets for the Stampede Parade on Friday. We reserved seating several months ago for the parade as well as tickets for four rodeos and one night-time show and accompanying chuckwagon races.
You may have noticed that we posted more than a few pictures. I might should have split this into two postings but the pictures actually came from multiple visits to the rodeo and I had to upload them the very few times we had good WiFi so it was hard to split them up. But you don't have to look at all of them in one sitting!!! It has been unseasonably hot here, like many other places, and the one air conditioner we can run because of limited 30 amps doesn't quite get the job done but we survived. We expect it to be the same for the next couple of weeks.
No campgrounds up here have 50 amp hookups so we are at their mercy. If this global warming continues many of these campgrounds may have to rethink their electric supply! For those that don't know a 30 amp hookup only supplies 3,600 watts whereas a 50 amp hookup allows 12,000 watts to be used as it gives you two 50 amp lines, so you get more than three times the electricity on 50 amps. Modern coaches are made to make use of 50 amps as they have more electrical appliances instead of everything running off propane and they are larger than the old units so require more air conditioners to keep cool. That's not a good mix when it gets hot and you only have 30 amps!
You definitely want to attend the last two days of the Stampede if possible. Saturday is called Wild Card Saturday. The aggregate scores for all events for the first 8 days of the rodeo are compiled and the top eight contestants qualify for the Sunday Finals where the winner of each event gets $100,000. The remaining eight in each event compete on Wild Card Saturday with the top two in each event also going into the Sunday Finals and a chance to get that $100,000 check!
In the Sunday Finals, the ten in each category compete in a semi-final and the top four go on to the finals. At least that is what happened in all events but the bull riding. Out of the ten riders in the semi-finals only three were able to ride their bull the full 8 seconds so that was all that made it into the final. Of those three this year, one was riding a bull in the finals that no one had ever ridden for eight seconds and he would have most likely won if he had done so, but alas, that bull has still not been ridden for eight seconds! They do have the best of the best animals here for the competition and the owner of the best animal in each event also gets a $100,000 check.
Once the Stampede was over Sunday we spent a little time playing tourist and visiting a few of the local sights Monday before preparing for our departure tomorrow. We pickup Misty at the airport tonight for her two-week stay with us. We will head for Banff National Park tomorrow for a one-week stay.