Canmore, AB to Conrad, Montana
Jul 23, 2010
|Cannot believe it's Friday again already, don't know where the time goes; but then I am not sure where I am anymore either! We left Canmore ~8 AM (MT) after a stop for gas - it just keeps getting better: 94.9/litler = $74.86 - somehow it doesn't seem right that coffee costs more than gasoline!
About 1/2 hr out of Canmore we:
*left the mountains behind
*ran into road construction
Near Calgory the country side changed to large ranches (lots of cattle & horses) - this is cowboy country! We made it around Calgory (w/only a little difficulty) - it is a very spread out town, but as soon as we were out of town, we were in farm country again. Past many huge fields of canola plants - seeds are used to make canola oil.
Stopped in Nanton at a produce truck. A local farm family was there w/a huge semi truck - everyone was working - we were really impressed w/a couple of young kids, ~9/10, they were keeping the baskets full of fruit & boy were they working fast - it was good to see a family working together. Bought a basket of big raspberries - they were really yummy! About a pint was only $4.75! The sun is bright,but the wind was very strong & quite cold. The hills keep flattening out more & more.
Stopped for a minute in McCloud, Alberta, Canada - we stayed here a few years ago - really like this pretty laid back town. It hasn't changed much. We stayed at the Daisy Mae RV Park on the banks of the Oldman River. Today was just a drive thru, but we stopped at the Visitor Center to fix lunch. A family pulled in w/a large Class C motor home & out piled 7 kids - I think the oldest was about 10! They were a beautiful family & were fun to watch as the boys & oldest girl pulled out skate boards & started zipping around the deserted parkiing area. Some of the girls took turns carrying the baby (about 6 mo) around, & Dad got water for everyone to drink while Mom fixed lunch.
On our previous visit we really enjoyed the Fort & seeing some of the other places of interest. I think it would be a great place for a family to visit & wish my grandkids could have been with us. That would be pretty difficult, so. . .
For the grandkids:
1) What do you think happened at the Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump?
2) Do you think you would enjoy watching the Mounted Patrol Musical Ride? We sure did!
3) In Canada special police officers are called RCMP - can you find out what those letters stand for and what makes them so special?
We started seeing large fields of cut & baled hay - one thing we've noticed traveling around the west -- that we don't do at home - is the cutting & bailing of grass in the median & along the sides of the highways. What a great way to keep the roadsides neat & make use of the cuttings. It is still cloudy, but getting a lot warmer.
Went thru customs about 3 PM (MT) - we are in Montana, Ron is so happy - he is already looking for somewhere to buy a US paper! We stopped in the 1st town we came to: Sunburst, MT - there was only 1 gas station & it was different than any other we've stopped at. Had trouble getting it started, but finally got enough gas to be sure we didn't run out before getting to Shelby. Took ~25 mins to get $15 worth of gas!!! It was $2.90/gal - high, but not as bad as Canada!
Last time we were in this area they were in the 4th year of a drought - the lakes were dried up to a white, alkalyd-look. We are happy to see everything green & water. It is getting hot, but very windy. We are soon back on Hwy 15 south. Saw several Antalope.
Got gas in Shelby, MT - $2.79/gal = $? Ron decided that getting to Great Falls today wasn't going to happen, so we called ahead & found a campground ~20 mi S in the little town of Conrad. It isn't anything fancy, but they aren't busy & our 3 neighbors are road construction workers - who leave the area Thursday afternoon. So it's very quiet, the bathrooms are clean. The manager is quite something - Ron wanted to pay w/a credit card, she said she'd have to take him to her son's store (motorcycle) to use the credit card machine. They took off in her minivan (she'd just been telling us about how dizzy she was w/a bad sinus infection) - Ron also learned that she doesn't believe in using seat belts. Ron alsways tries to follow the law, he was surprised when she made a U turn on Main Street so she could show him where the restaurant was so we could go out to eat in the morning! He was pretty happy to get back in one piece! She is very nice & I think just very excited to have "guests". I walked a block to get some salad & clam chowder (very good) at the local bar & restaurant. There is also an IGA, A&W, & several other small stores in the same block. The internet connection is also very good! I am really getting spoiled! Because it's the weekend & we are finding a lot of county fairs going on, we have made reservations for our next 3 nites. 1 in Bozeman, MT & 2 in Island Park, Idaho. Once again the rate was $28 - makes Ron even happier!
This isn't complete - but will have to do for now - I didn't sleep at all last nite - have to try tonight. Still have some dishes to wash up - nite all!