Sunday, May 13, 2012

May 13 – To Swift Current, Saskatchewan

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Today didn’t go at all to plan.

First, I forgot about the upcoming long weekend and that all the campgrounds will most likely be booked. Of course we will be right around Edmonton at that time so everything will be extra busy. I did manage to book this Wed and Thurs at a national park near Edmonton. I got the last site available for our size, even for those nights. Jennie will get at least one day at West Edmonton Mall.

Having to book that site put us under a bit of time pressure to get there.

Next, Jennie wanted to go out for a Mother’s Day brunch. In Glasgow, the only ones we could find started at 11 which would use up too much of the day, so off we went planning to have dinner out at our destination tonight.

The road north from Hwy 2 to the border was much narrower but still in good shape.

More huge vistas and some bluffs in the distance.


To infinity and beyond.


The border crossing was very easy. Just the usual questions. It is a very small crossing just with one lady officer and she walks out to the RV and we go outside to answer the questions. I was a little worried that this is such a small crossing they might be bored and search us just for something to do. Not that we had anything to hide.

After the border the road got very rough and narrow. I spent most of the time straddling the center line to get a somewhat smoother ride. I only had to get back in my lane twice for the two cars we saw.


I had planned to get to Grasslands National Park in southern Saskatchewan around noon. This is a relatively new and mostly undeveloped park. The visitors center is only open weekdays until the long weekend but there was a “Friends of …” center, whose website said they were open, where I thought I could get some info. We got to Val Marie but even the friends center was closed. The whole town looked empty. I guess we are just a few days too early.




The park has a 2 hour Ecotour dirt road loop drive with interpretive signs that I thought we would do in the CRV. On thinking about the lack of people, that we would probably be the only ones on it, that they said cell phone coverage is spotty and having no rangers around, we decided it was not worth the risk and gave the drive a pass. We just had lunch and moved on.

There was an open WIFI network at the visitors center so we Skype’d one of our daughters so that she could talk to Jennie on Mother’s day. I did the same to my mom last night.


This afternoon, when we pulled into the campground near Swift Current that I had picked, there was no one in the office. It just said pick a site and come back when someone is there. The guy at the next site said that the campground had recently been sold and the current manager just doesn’t care. He said two RV’s were here last night and no one ever came to the office last night or this morning. We’ll see. Maybe we will also get another night of free camping.


It is also quite hot here. The outside temp at 4 pm was 29C.

Given the size of Swift Current, the pickings for a dinner restaurant were quite slim. Lots of bars and Jennie didn’t want Chinese so we just ended up at an old standby of Pizza Hut.  We are such gourmets.

And to top off a perfect day, as I bit into a carrot that came with the wings, a chunk of one of my molars broke off. I think the tooth is already pretty filled because it doesn’t hurt but it is quite sharp. I haven’t decided what to do yet.

May we not have a lot more days like this.

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