Day 56, Tuesday, August 21, 2007
We got a bit of a late start today but only had a few hours to Calgary so there was no panic to get away. When we left the campsite in Edmonton it was cloudy and windy out of, I thought, the southwest or east. We hit the #2 highway and the wind is out of the northwest which is good because it’s hitting the passenger side rear corner so not too bad but it is a strong wind. This tends to toss us around a little but not too bad and the good news is it does push us also. With a wind at the back, it is a lot quieter up front, less wind noise. As the road bends and twists on the way to Calgary the wind tends to catch us sometimes at the side and sometimes at the rear. From the rear, the vacuum gage goes from about 9-10 inches to 15 plus. If from the front the vacuum has dropped to as low as 3-4 inches. 10 to 12 inches is about normal. The higher the inches of vacuum the better the gas mileage. Now the side wind is good and bad. The good new is that it is not a head wind. The bad news if it is a side wind and throws us around something fierce. Not that you move across the whole road, but you use every bit of your own lane and can give the drivers in the other lanes a bit of a start when suddenly you are right on the line. Also with a side wind you are steering into the wind so when something blocks the wind like a row of trees or a big truck you tend to do the Highway Dance, “The Two Foot.” It’s two feet this way and two feet that way and back to the middle and then two feet back again and two feet to the middle. Well you get the idea. This dance can be done to any tune on the radio or the tune the passenger happens to be screaming when the dance starts. The wind must have been 50-65 k/h and maybe gusting higher. Not for the novice driver and needless to say Tegan was not driving. Closer to Calgary I noticed a 5th wheel on the side of the road dealing with his awning, I think it must have come loose and they were having quite a time putting it back up, if they were even able to. I would think if it had come loose it would have done damage to the arms or the track the awning slides into. He had some help so I didn’t stop and it would have been tricky to try and stop with traffic and the limited space on the shoulder of the road. Speaking of shoulders, a few of the highways have no shoulder at all. I wouldn’t want (knock wood) to have a reason to have to stop on one of those roads. Other than the wind the this segment of the trip was good and we rolled straight to Calgary and found a campsite on the NW corner of Calgary and only $30.00 per night. Met some nice people on either side and across the road. The couple on the passenger side are a younger couple with twin girls 3 years old and they have one of those decorative metal signs hanging in the window that says “Gamblers and loose women may frequent this establishment”. We found it quite humorous. The couple on the other side, he is helping his son in construction for a few months and the couple across the street are from Smithers, BC and they are just finishing their cross Canada trip. They had left in May.
We did get a hold of Jonathan and he came out to the campsite and had supper with us. He was on call but had no calls until later in the evening. Jonathan works for NCR (National Cash Register) Company. He is on loan for a few week hears from the Vancouver office. He has stored his car at our house while he is away. May do some cruising. He bought a 2001 Ford Mustang Cobra, convertible, candy apple red. Very nice car and in real good shape with low mileage. He’s very proud of it and has a right to be. Well it is 7:00 in the morning of the 22nd and we are on the last leg of our Cross Canada Trip. Tonight we stay at Keith and Lillian Bennetts which is in Salmon Arm, BC. We could just see the mountains on the horizon coming into Calgary and after almost 2 months they did look good. Should be well into them by noon if I can get Willa and Tegan moving soon. I just looked over at Tegan sleeping and I find it interesting where people put there arms when sleeping. Tegan has one arm under her head with the hand holding her head and the other in front of her face with the hand holding her forehead. Interesting position. Another time when mom came camping with us to a Kraft reunion about 4 years ago. She was sleeping in the motor home she had her hands under her head in such a way that it reminded me of a little girl sleeping and she was 89 at the time. Bit of Trivia. Ok now to start the day……………………”WILLA, TEGAN GET UP. IT’S TIME TO HIT THE ROAD, WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS ANY HOW, YOU ARE WASTING THE DAY AWAY, COME ON GET UP”…………………………………………”yes dear I’ll be quiet, you want to sleep longer, that’s ok dear, yes I am sorry I yelled, I was just trying to impress some people but it was a bad judgment call on my part, you have a nice sleep. Lillian can wait.” (Willa couldn’t get up because Melvin snored all night!!)