Sorry to leave you all thinking I was still in Manitoba, but I actually rolled in to home two weeks ago now. I don’t mind driving across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, but just didn’t take many photos, and if I don’t have photos, I often can think of nothing to post here …
So … With the goal of often taking new and different routes to where I am headed, while avoiding main routes whenever possible, I left Riding Mountain National Park to the north, through Dauphin. From there, I followed the boundary northward and went through Duck Mountain Provincial Parks in both Mb and Sk. The Sask one is much smaller, but I have never been there before, and I had always wanted to see it as a number of my friends had worked there in the past.
We entered Sask for real on the road to Hudson Bay (the town), then visited with friends and relatives in my home town of Tisdale and area before continuing east. I didn’t give much warning of my impending arrival to a friend and former classmate north of Saskatoon, so they didn’t have time to leave and bolt the doors! Instead I was put to work for a day – staining a fence in the back yard. Hailey was hard at work as well, hunting the bugs and grasshoppers in the yard, and perhaps terrorizing the resident dog – that was smaller than her! It was almost like work, but the food and beverages made it worthwhile. I had many other friends and relatives in the area, but was running a bit behind, so did not manage to meet up with any more as we headed on westward towards Alberta.
Somewhere east of Stettler we encountered a virtual forest of new windmills in various stages of construction. Unlike many I have seen in southern Alberta and California, these ones did not seem to be arranged in neat rows close together. They appeared to be distributed almost haphazardly over a number of square miles. They were not turned on though, so it was not windy .
Along the way there were some relatively recent innovations in farming technology on display. I always wondered how they got the plastic covering on those long lines of round bales. Now I know!
When farmers do not have enough storage capacity to store all the harvested grain in proper bins they used to sometimes just pile in on the ground. Now they have these huge plastic bags that protect the grain from the weather!
It took a couple of days being at home before the clues became obvious that my house had been hit by lightning while I was gone. Fortunately, the only real damage was to a fake chimney on the roof, and possibly the cause of a now dead desktop computer, even though it had been unplugged and disconnected.
Hailey didn’t seem to mind getting home, to keep the mouse population on it’s toes, then to rest up in front of the fireplace.
So, this road trip has come to an end. We departed on the 16th of July and returned on the 21st of September.
Total distance traveled by truck (excluding ferries and sailboats) was 17,508km or 10,881 miles. Diesel fuel costs: too scary to add up – I don’t want to know! I think the highest price was $1.42/l in Newfoundland, and the lowest was $1.08 in Swift Current, Sk. Just before I departed, I found diesel at a discount station in Calgary for $0.99/l, and now back in Sundre the price is $1.09.
Camping costs: $0. as far as I can recall, though I may have stayed in a real campground for a night or two? I like that cost! Boondocking is the way to go!And the truck camper makes that easy.
We visited 9 provinces during the trip, and the tenth one briefly last week. Perhaps next summer we will drive to Inuvik, NT and get two of the three territories, and Alaska? The distance would be much less than half of what this trip was, but the fuel prices would likely be even higher!
I don’t have a definite date set to head south yet, and it will likely depend largely on how soon it gets really cold here. The trailer is winterized, so as soon as I get chilled and the road to the coast is bare, Hailey and I will be off for another winter’s adventures.
But sooner or later we’ll be on the road south to meet up with the Bayfield Bunch, John & Brenda, Wandering Willy, and a cast of many others lucky enough to spend the winters in the sunny south. Don’t expect another post till we are on the move again – or if lightning strikes twice!