Kilometers traveled: 5005
It’s been a while since we last posted so there is a lot to say. We’re trying to get in a groove. In total we spent four nights in Redcliff and Medicine Hat visiting my relatives. During that time we had some of the best home cooking. We also got a chance to do some biking around Redcliff. The trails here are what I would imagine Utah to be like - fast, flowy single track. When the dust settled we’d lost 3 tires to cactus but had huge smiles on our faces.
About an hour south of Redcliff is Red Rock Coulee, a valley filled with large red boulders that were rounded by glaciers from the last ice age. It is an awesome place to see. The prairie here is so flat you can see all the way to Montana.
My Uncle Alf invited us over for dinner and margaritas while we were in town. It was great catching up with him and my cousin Scott.
We also got the opportunity to have breakfast at my Uncle John’s farm outside of Medicine Hat in the South Saskatchewan River valley.
We had a great time in Redcliff and Medicine Hat and Sue got to finally meet my dad’s side of the family.
Our next destination was my cousin Torey’s place in Calgary. On the way there we took a side trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park for a quick look. The bugs were so bad we could only stay out of the car for a few minutes so we took our photos and jetted.
We stayed at my cousin Torey’s place for our last two nights of real beds before living full time in the bus. While we were in Calgary we headed out to Bragg Creek for some wet rainy riding at Moose Mountain. The first trail we ended up riding was actually a horse trail and it was a tough uphill grunt for the most part. When we got back to the car we met up with some other riders who gave us the low down on where to ride. That’s where we found the trail Race of Spades which we could shuttle with the bus up Moose Mountain. To this date, other then the rain, this is one of the best trails I have ever ridden (see vid).
On July 29 Sue’s mom flew in to Calgary to join us for a week. She has never seen the mountains and we thought this would be a good opportunity for her to check out the Rockies. The plane arrived late and we had a two hour drive in the dark to our first campsite at Chain Lakes Provincial Park.
From Chain Lakes we drove south into the Crowsnest Pass. We stopped at Frank Slide, a rock slide that occurred in 1903 and buried an entire town. It was humbling experience.
After Frank we crossed into BC where stopped at the town of Sparwood where they have the "largest truck in the world".
Our plan for the next night was to camp at Mount Fernie Provincial Park but it was full so we kept on driving along 93 until we hit Norbury Lake Provincial Park which had a hand full of sites left. One of which had a perfect view of the mountains. That night was had a crazy thunder storm and we sat and watched lightning hit the mountains near us.
From Norbury we backtracked a bit to Cranbrook BC to run some errands and find free wifi. We found a Starbucks and learned that they give you two hours of free wifi per day which was nice to know.
Our next destination was Whiteswan PP which was down a long, sketchy dirt road with sheer cliffs and no guard. We ended up in the overflow camping area because the park was full due to the August long weekend. It just happened that the overflow camping was right next to a rushing turquoise river with incredible mountain views. The water was cold but I still went for a dip – next best thing to a shower I suppose. On our way back to the main highway we stopped at the Lussier Hot Springs where we met some fellow Westy owners. We had a relaxing dip before heading out again.
From Whiteswan we were heading back into Alberta to Banff National Park through Kooteney NP. Our goal was to get a site at one of the campgrounds near the Banff town site but they were also booked solid. We ended up at the municipal campground in Canmore which was right next to the highway but had great (much needed) showers. We spent the evening in Canmore and were treated to dinner by Sue’s mom.
We’re currently heading north to Jasper National Park where Sue’s mom will be heading east to Edmonton to fly home and we’ll be heading north to catch the Alaskan highway in Dawson Creek BC. Other then a serious and very annoying front suspension creak (Todd: so much for those new bushings) the bus is running strong. I’m going to keep an eye on the suspension but I think it will be fine.
Check back soon for (hopefully more frequent) updates.