Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Edson, Alberta

This morning we got up and ventured over to the West Edmonton Mall again.  It wasn't nearly as crowded as last night.  We walked around and stopped at a few shops.  I was so excited to find Croc sandals.  I've never seen a Croc store in Utah.  As we were walking around we ran into this section of the mall.  I liked the way they had made it look like an old villa.

We even took time to watch some hockey.  You can't have the full Canada experience without hockey, now AYE?

The mall really is quite spectacular as a tourist destination.  It has so many fun things to do in addition to shopping. Many people come for the entertainment and then do the shopping along the way. It really is quite a smart business idea. From Edmonton we headed toward Edson, about halfway between Edmonton and Jasper.  Our intent was to go golfing again.  However, when we got over here we found the green fees to be a bit outrageous.  The cost was going to be about $80 (American) for us to golf.  We could go twice in the States for that.  As a result, we ended up not going.  If only we had stopped along the way to check prices.  We had to have seen a dozen golf courses along the way.

Edson is an interesting place.  There isn't a lot here.  Lots and lots of motels.  We asked someone why that was.  Turns out there is a lot of logging, oil and other things that brings people in for temporary employment so as a result lots of hotels have sprung up to provide the temporary lodging.

Here are some sights from around Edson.

I was impressed that such a small town had
water bottle filling stations. 

Now on to Jasper for real tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Ann’s Amazing Alberta Adventure

It’s been crazy at camp the whole month of June.  We've been full to the point of bursting on some days. I've been soooo looking forward to getting away and just taking a break. It’s kind of ironic that we are traveling to Canada leaving on June 30th so we’ll be in the U.S. on Canada Day and then in Canada for the 4th of July. Timing is everything!

The first day we drove to Butte, Montana. Let me just say, I’m glad I don’t live in Butte, Montana. I’m sure there are great things about this town, but in the short time we spent here we didn’t see them. We probably just need to spend more time here.  I do think Montana itself is very pretty.  It's much greener than I expected.  Apparently, they've gotten a lot of rain lately.

The second day - Happy Canada Day!,  we drove through Glacier National Park.

About an hour outside of the park our car gave us a scare. All of a sudden it lost power. We were literally in the middle of nowhere. We were going through all the scenarios of who do we call? Where’s the nearest Ford dealer? and other things along this line. We decided we needed to pull over and let it rest and see what happens after that. We did and thank goodness, it started and didn’t have any issues. No idea what happened. We just hope we can make it home without other incidents and then get it looked at.

Just before the park we came across Swan Lake.  It's a beautiful, large lake with lots of tall green trees.  The perfect place to camp.  The weather is not great, rainy and overcast.  Still it's beautiful.

Glacier National Park was gorgeous. It surprised me that it was as busy as it was. There was a ton of people there. It’s hard to enjoy it when it’s this busy. We did get some great pictures.

After the park, we drove to the border, crossing at Carway. The border guard asked where we were staying.  I think he was taken back a bit when we said Fort Macleod.  Apparently, not many people stay there.  We did because the motels were so inexpensive compared to Cardston.

This area of Canada is much like the area we saw when we crossed in New England and went to Quebec.  Lots and lots of farms.  It's quite beautiful really.  Miles and miles of farms, dotted here and there with homes and barns.

Cardston is a smaller town than I thought it would be.  Like all the other towns in this area, it's surrounded by beautiful farmland. We stopped by the temple (unfortunately, it was closed).
The following morning we met some local farmers at the town's Tim Horton restaurant. They were telling us that many of the large farms and ranches that have been in families for generations have been bought out by the Hudderites. I had never heard of this group. I had to look them up.  Apparently, they are a religious group of very successful farmers (at least in this area).

We were a day late but Tim Horton's still had Canada Day pastries so of course we had to try it.  It was amazing, raspberry filled, very tasty.

Monday, we went golfing in Fort Macleod. It was a nice course. Apparently, it’s the oldest course in Western Canada. Matt was pretty excited. I was excited because I did okay (as far as scores go). I’m glad I’m remembering things from my golf class. The weather was horrible. I really thought we were going to get struck by lightning.  After the second hole I thought we were going to go back. Matt wanted to forge on. The weather slowly improved and we were able to finish.

After golfing, we drove over to Leftbridge and went to the mall. We thought with the weather a movie made sense. We watched Incredibles 2. It was okay. A girl sitting by us left her phone. We tried to find her but had no luck. We ended up giving it to management. I’m sure she’ll be back. What teenager can live without her phone for more than an hour?

Leftbridge has an executive-type golf course so before heading back to Cardston we went for another 9 holes. I love the executive courses because they’re short. You can get in 9 holes but it doesn’t take 2+ hours. In this instance, our timing was good, just as we were leaving the course, the clouds opened up again. It was a real downpour.  Five minutes later and we would have gotten drenched.

Today, Tuesday, we got up and drove to Edmonton. For some reason the day just dragged on. It was a really long 5 hour drive. I think it’s partly because the book we’re listening to (The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer) is dragging….we want the main character to get on with things. Were at that crossroads where you’ve invested enough time you don’t want to give it up but at the same time do you really want to invest more time?

After what seemed like an eternity on the road, we finally made it to Edmonton, checked into our hotel which was right across the street from the mall. We needed a nap, Matt more than me. After a nice nap we walked acroos to the mall to get something to eat and take in the sights. This mall is known to be one of the largest in North America. It has a miniature golf course, animal shows, water park, amusement park, hockey rink and lots of other things in addition to the stores.

We ended up eating at The Old Spaghetti Factory. It was SO LOUD! I felt like I was having sensory overload issue. My mind couldn’t process all the noise. Matt said we were just getting old. Turns out there were 70 youth soccer players and their chaperones in the restaurant and they were all trying to out talk each other. Once they left the decibel level dropped significantly. We walked around the mall a little more, bought a Canada patch and then headed back to the hotel. I’m looking forward to a good nights sleep, tomorrow we’re heading towards Jasper!