Friday, July 11, 2014

Alaska Adventure—Day 5

Shelby MT to Vulcan AB

Yesterday we knew that the RV park we choose was across the street from the rail yard but little did we realize that the rail yard had 9 tracks and trains passed through about every 10 minutes all night long.  Apparently Shelby is a major Intermodal Hub for BNSF.  Lesson learned!


In planning this trip, we have spent countless hours discussing and researching the requirements for crossing the border, even going as far as calling the Canadian border control office.  After all that, the border crossing was a non-event.  As we approached the border this morning there were about 20 cars ahead of us but they soon opened another lane and we were on our way in about 15 minutes.  At the crossing, the border agent scanned our passports and asked us if we had any firearms, pepper spray, tasers, fireworks, or fire wood.  We answered no to all and he then asked where we were headed and how long we would be there.  Satisfied with our answers he said “see you”.  Even though their website makes a big deal about taking food across the border there was not a single question relating to that. 

Approaching the border. 


At the visitor center a few kilometers into Canada…friendly neighbors!


Good words!


After we reached Lethbridge, we decided to head north on some of the secondary roads instead of taking the 4-lane highway through Calgary.  As we proceeded toward Vulcan, we drove by field after field of canola.  Most of it was a bright yellow which was really pretty against the nearby fields of green wheat.  We also identified several fields of peas.

Driving on Canada’s roads takes a little getting used to, as they have slightly different signage and the road markings are somewhat different from ours.  They use the metric system, so seeing speed limit signs that read 110 looks a little strange at first.

Canola fields in southern Alberta



We are staying in a city park tonight in Vulcan.  This is an interesting little town that has built a tourist industry around the Star Trek show and Spock in particular.  All through the town, street signs relate to Star Trek, along with museums and other Star Trek related attractions.  They even have a two-day celebration in June called “Star Trek Days”.  The town is a little strange but very similar to Roswell, NM.

The visitor’s center in Vulcan was made to look like a space ship. 


Need a shuttle craft?


Some wacky signs around Vulcan



Went for a walk around town this evening and found a city park with a WWI and WWII memorial and found it interesting that the dominate flag flying at the memorial was British.  Guess there is still a strong British connection even today.


This evening we bought our first tank of Canadian gas…Ouch!  The price after making the liter to gallon conversion and accounting for the exchange rate was $4.51 per gallon.  At about 9.5 mpg that is painful, but well worth it.  Looks like they have a little over a dollar per gallon tax. 

Tomorrow we will continue north on the secondary roads and plan to boondock in a friend’s yard in Edmonton tomorrow night.

Live long and prosper as Spock would say…


Todays Stats:

Miles driven: 163 miles
Hours on road: 4 hours, 30 minutes
Gas prices: $3.59, $4.51



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