Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Well, we made it to Calgary in one piece!

Oh my goodness, it's been a long couple of days. The wedding was great, we enjoyed ourselves entirely and it was so nice to see (just about) everyone that we love gathered together in one room! We spent the first night of our trip in Hope. It was quite nice and totally uneventful. I had some awesome pie at this diner that Kim told me about - great tip Kim, thanks! The next day took us over the Coquihalla...that was an experience. The first couple of hills we hit were pretty nerve-wracking as we slugged up them at 30 km/hr in first gear. But we made it up each and every one (thank goodness!) We don't care how slow we're going - as long as we're going forward!
In Kamloops at the gas station, Jai noticed that one of the trailer tires had a slow leak. We ended up calling BCAA and got the tire changed with the spare, then tripped over to Canadian tire where they found a new tube to fit. So after a 2-1/2 hr stop-over we were on the road again, and spent the night in Salmon Arm. Today we left fairly early, but blew another tire, on the opposite side of the trailer. This one we changed ourselves on the side of the road. Our jacks are both the wrong size to fit under the right place in the trailer, so we had to dig a hole for the jack to go in, and then a hole for the tire to fit in, so we were both pretty dirty and a little tired when we hit the road again, an hour later. We both felt pretty good about changing it ourselves, but tomorrow we will go to Canadian Tire and get some proper tire-changing tools, and a shovel.
We had been planning on spending tonight in Golden, but arrived there fairly early, so decided to press on to Banff. There is some beautiful scenery on this trip, but it is devastating to see the damage the mountain pine beetles have done already. A few more hairy spots on the road, and we pulled into Banff. Imagine our distress to find absolutely nowhere that had parking for a rig like ours. Banff looks cute, but not so practical for travellers like us. What to do? It's now seven o'clock at night but we decided to press on to Calgary. We pulled into Calgary well after dark, and found Aunty Janet's place with relatively few problems. We have a few errands to run (get a new tire, etc) tomorrow, but we're hoping to get on the road again some time soon. It's SO NICE to be in Aunty Janet's house. Hooray for houses!
The bunnies were relieved to arrive finally, too. They really don't like bumping around on the road, but perk up fairly quickly when we finally stop. After we pulled into Calgary and settled them in we closed up the truck and went back to grab our stuff out of the trailer. I loaded up and turned around only to see a bunny hopping quickly down the street. I threw everything down and ran to the truck to see Peanut happily munching on hay (whew!) - some other bunny. Apparently they are everywhere here, but even growing up near Uvic, I have never seen a bunny hopping down a residential street like that. It was a very strange moment! That's pretty much the only wildlife we've seen. We were pretty disappointed in the wildlife turnour through Banff National Park. I saw the back of one lonely deer. None of the bears, moose or caribou we were completely prepared to photograph. Oh well, got lots of nice mountain shots, and several shots of tires getting changed. Good times!

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