Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Rock That Ran

We're finally in Canada! We're at the Buffalo Plains RV Park east of Ft. McLeod, Alberta.

We got up at 5. Why? It seems that the further north we are the longer the days are, and when the sun came up my body said it was time to get up. I'm going to have to do something about that.

We had plenty of time for coffee and French toast, and were hooked up and on the road by about 7:30.

It was strange to see that this is the same I-15 that we travel so much in Southern California. We're used to seeing it full of traffic, so having almost no one on the road except us is rather strange.

Let me explain how surprisingly pleasant our experience was at the border. First of all, two "old guys" (retired guys Don was talking about at the Malmstrom campground) told Don I was going to have problems with the meat in my freezer. I'd just gone to the commissary, and added 6 pounds of ground beef, some steak and cubes steak, 4 pounds of chicken breasts, and 5 pounds of sausages to the freezer. Don said that the old guys had horror stories of people getting their meats confiscated at the border, and that it had to be "in the original package." I already had the freezer half full of meats from home that I'd packaged and sealed with my FoodSaver, and had also put the ground beef in individual bags for the freezer. I had visions of having to give up all that meat. The old guys also had said that we'd have our trailer inspected, and that they'd go through the freezer, refrigerator, and cabinets. They had plenty of details in their stories, so I was worried. I'd done my research on the internet, and up until today, thought I'd be okay. I didn't have any produce, which was the one thing I'd been warned about.

So, here's what really happened: we pulled up to the short line of cars, and in 10 minutes were up to the window. The woman welcomed us to Canada, asked for our passports, and asked 5 questions: where did we live, where were we going, how long did we plan to stay in Canada, was this our first tie here, and did we have any alcohol or tobacco. She then said we needed to park and go inside and see the immigrations guy since it was our first time in Canada. He asked us a couple of questions, and then sent us on our way.

No inspection. No confiscation. Just a friendly welcome to Canada.

As we made the western turn after the border crossing, we had a good luck at the dark thunderstorms building in the west. As we continued northward, they got darker and darker, but it appeared we were going to escape them.

We made good time to Lethbridge, and then Ft. McLeod, where we stopped for gas and to get some Canadian money. I got on the phone with our bank (Chase), to remind them that we were now in Canada, and I didn't want to have any troubles using our debit cards. I had notified them 2 months ago via their website, but just wanted to make sure. As Don was fueling, I used the ATM with no problem, and withdrew the maximum cash it would let me withdraw. I then went to the register to pay for the gas--it was declined! Aaaarrrggghhh! Luckily, I had cash to pay with. I got back on the phone with Chase, and told them that i'd spoken with them about this only 10 minutes before. That made 2 notifications, and this one would be the third. The Chase rep was apologetic, and said she was making notes on the file, and that everything would be all right.

We then continued out of Ft. McLeod, turned north on the 2 and then west on the 785. 12 kilometers west was Buffalo Plains RV Park, where we are camped for tonight.

It's a small campground of 30 sites, but they're large and level, and we have a pull-through. The place is attractively landscaped, and has spotless restrooms and a nice laundry room.

The WiFi costs $3 extra, but it's fast and worth it.

Only 2 kilometers west of the campground is this interesting sight:

It's called The Rock That Ran. Here's the Native American story behind the rock, followed by the geological story: (click on the picture to make it larger)

Geologically speaking, this rock is an erratic--a rock carried by a glacier for many miles from the glacier's origin, and deposited out on the flat plains.

"During the formation of the Rocky Mountains between 150 and 50 million years ago, thick layers of quartzite rock were thrust upwards several thousand meters. Subsequent erosion has exposed these beds in the main ranges of the Rocky Mountains between Mount Robson and Lake Louise. Mount Edith Cavell, near Jasper, is composed almost entirely of quartzite.

Rockslides from the quartzite mountain peaks cascaded onto the surface of a valley glacier. Geologists generally believe that this took place during the last Ice age, about 18 thousand years ago. The glacier carrying the quartzite blocks moved out onto the plains, collided with other glacial ice, and travelled south as far as Montana. As the glaciers melted, the quartzite rocks were laid down in their present positions."

We're able to pick up 3 TV stations with the antenna, so there's no need to set up the satellite dish. We're watching hockey! One of those 3 stations is showing Game 7. Don and I are pulling for different teams; he likes underdogs so he's hoping the Bruins win. I started rooting for the Canucks during the playoffs, but if Boston wins I won't be too upset. it's not like my Kings or Ducks made it out of the first round!

This has been a long post, so I'll wrap it up.

Tomorrow: Bow Valley Provincial Park

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Diana of Diana Rambles said...

Hi Cyndi~ Just wanted to let you know that I am following along. We did our RV adventure to Alaska last summer: http://celebrating20.blogspot.com/

It's hard to believe it's nearly been a year but I will reminisce via you.

We had no issues crossing the border. I had lots of meat in the freezer and we sailed through...No problem with any of our crossings.

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Good story today. There should lots more fun ahead.