We drove the "Cowboy Highway" into Calgary and would highly recommend it over the more direct route. Along the way, we found a shop dedicated to the craft of making jerky. Brilliant! There must have been a dozen people working in this place - that's a series jerky business! And it was top-notch.
Our home in Calgary was located about a mile from the 1988 Olympic park. While in Calgary we spent one day visiting the downtown area, one day the Olympic park, and a 1/2 day visiting the Telus Spark museum.
One of us decided it would be a good idea to run to the top of the Olympic "hill" to get a picture of the sunrise. That person is lucky he was alive to take the picture. There is a reason they made chair lifts.
We spend a lot of time visiting public restrooms while out-and-about (TMI, we know). JAK blushed and expressed concern that this signage was inappropriate (his exact words were "not appropriate"). We said it must be a Canadian thing;)
The Olympic park has many activities for kids including the fastest zip-line in the world - only 120-140kph. Mommy was interested and Daddy had NO interest, so thankfully they were booked for the day. We stuck to more 'appropriate' events like the cart luge.
Downtown Calgary has a similar feel to Minneapolis, MN with a central mall that is closed to vehicle traffic and waterways with parks throughout. The evidence from the June floods is still very apparent but things are on the mend.
On the way out of Calgary to Drumheller, AB we decided to visit the Telus Spark museum which was on the opposite side of town. Daddy drove the RV solo with his two princesses while Mommy and JAK took the jeep to make a couple stops. We have two GPS units on board. One of which is supposed to warn about any routes with dangers to a large rig such as weight, height, and width restrictions. Well, on this trip, Daddy found out that it doesn't always mention said risks up front! After getting off the highway early in the drive, it was apparent that both GPS units were taking us on a direct route - through downtown! Gulp. With no copilot and two 6-year-olds assisting, it seemed the best thing to do was trust the technology. For obvious reasons, we don't have any pictures of this adventure, but we soon found ourselves in downtown Calgary stuck in the middle of a parade going down the previously mentioned mall! No problem, just go slow, right? Sadly, no. On the wonderfully bright iPad based RV GPS app a previously-never-seen screen splashed up: "WARNING: VEHICLE HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS AHEAD. FOLLOW ALL LOCAL RULES AND DIRECTIONAL POSTINGS"........WHAT!!!!!!
As we approach the series of enclosed walkways over the road (also similar to Minneapolis), they graciously posted the height of 5.1....meters. Dang. Quick...what is the conversion, we are 13' and 1"and had plugged 13'6" into RV app that was now not Daddy's friend. ...Ok plenty of room. Thankfully, whatever it was that triggered the alert was a false alarm.
We've been to many great museums in the past 3.5 weeks and the Telus Spark was the most hands-on yet.
JAK volunteered during a presentation on the nervous system. The point of the experiment was to show the impact of endorphins on human reflexes. In order to peak JAKs nervous system, she had him face forward, used props to make him nervous, and then popped a helium balloon behind him with a long match. Needless to say, the experiment proved the hypothesis.
Next stop - Dinosaur capital of the world, Drumheller, AB.
It was the Sunday before Labor Day and we had made no reservations so we were thankful when we snagged the last spot at the Hoodoo RV resort. It was very busy on Sunday, but by Monday afternoon, it was very quiet and our favorite campground thus far. We expect places to be more like the later now that school is started.
Drumheller has "Black Hills" similar to those in the Dakotas. In additional to dinos in every directions you turn, it also has the largest dinosaur in the world
And the smallest church (room for 6 parishioners)
We went searching for dinosaur remains in Horse Thief Canyon (that golden field in the background is Canola)
Took the jeep across a ferry
Visited the Hoodoos
And possibly one of the last standing coal "Tippples" in North America (For some reason they were not 100% sure). This is the structure that sorts the coal into sizes and assisted in loading.
On the coal train tour, Anna was given the job of being the "Brakie" (not even Google could help with the spelling of that one).
And the sunsets...
Off to the Banff area where we were excited to be able to meet up with a couple who have been mentors for our time in Canada. They extended their stay in Canmore so we could meet up and we were so thankful. We owe many of our amazing Canadian experiences thanks to their guidance. They treated us to a great dinner and an amazing musical performance. Even though we'd never met in person, it was like meeting long time friends.
We'd travelled just over 3000 miles in our first three weeks were excited that this was our first location were we would slow down and stay put for a bit. To add to our excitement, our RV spot could not be better. We received a spot on a creek with a view of the three sisters mountain out our window.
The area around Canmore and Kananaskis is unbelievably beautiful. Pictures again:
And when you are 1.6k away from the nearest road and amongst all the beauty you never know who you will run into
Ok, as mentioned, our location in Canmore is special. Not only is the view breathtaking, but it's like living in a circus zoo at times
To give you an idea of the power of the water that came down these mountains in June, here is a pic of what was a small creek river and grow 100x
They have signs in Canada that we are trying to understand. Melissa said this one means that "it's ok to slap your dog in the face on this trail"
And it's embarrassing that we missed a turn one time with a sign like this
The girls decided to have us take their class pictures this week
There is a large triathlon in Banff on Saturday and they hosted a fun run for kids on Friday. JAK has been getting excited about going on AM runs with Mom or Dad and we were so proud of his first race.
Friday was our first day with more than 20 minutes of rain in our first 3.5 weeks. Amazing.
God has blessed us and may he bless you this week!