Sunday, May 13, 2007

Alberta, Canada Eh!

The border crossing was uneventful and pleasant enough. Marilyn used to carry a pepper spray in her pocket book and so when they asked us if we had that, we weren’t really sure. Evidently we didn’t have it with us, so on we went. All of the insurance documents that we jumped through hoops to get were not requested. Neither were the dog records that we spent hours trying to figure out the requirements for. NOT A PROBLEM! Happy to say hello, how are you? Eh? And cruise on through. It was a cold and rainy day for entering Canada, one of the milestones of our trip, and a short run to the first campground which was very respectable and our first impression of Canadian facilities. We know that, being a larger coach, there will be many provincial parks we cannot fit into…or if we do fit in, will probably not be able to get out of- but that is the game of life- seeing where you fit in.
We used our time to download and print metric conversion tables so that we know how fast to go, how cold it will be at night, etc. Even the weather band on the satellite radio reports in metric, and sometimes in French as well. We printed out our charts, laminated them and have them ready for the next day’s journey to Calgary. We reprogrammed the Garmin 7200 GPS to metric as well so tomorrow it will be reading kilometers per hour rather than miles per hour and our risk of inadvertent speeding should be eliminated. I’ve never been a metric kind of guy. It has always confused me…and as a result I have more or less refused to absorb it, or even really acknowledge it. Now I hope to leave that attitude behind and learn it and “feel” it as much as possible. There is a time when you stop fighting that there are some things you don’t want to learn just because you don’t want to learn them, and accept that you will learn them because the time has come that you must! This is that time.
Last night in the “Last Resort” before crossing over into Canada, we met Gary and Judy. We will introduce you to them later- properly. What a wonderfully pleasant, knowledgeable, and well traveled couple they are! They are Alaskan residents, gold mine operators, RVers (full timers). Talk about our kind of people! They were outwardly friendly, generous with their time and expertise in areas that we have only scratched the surface on, and sociable to the point that we turned in later than usual on a night before leaving one country and entering another. They graciously offered to hook up with us when we get to Anchorage and show us the ropes for panning and prospecting for gold. When we came back to our coach after a full evening with them, enjoying their stories and video of Alaska and their camaraderie we looked at each other and the word that came to mind (not "mine") was “fortuitous”. Simply put, we could not have met someone more knowledgeable in things we are interested in if we had looked high and low, put an ad in a paper, advertised on the internet, researched the chamber of commerce for all Alaska. Like just a few others we have met on the road before them, we suspect we have met some real friends- and ain’t that grand!

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