Lost in Canada, somewhere
Time for a quick ‘catch-up’ so that when I do a brain-dump in the next few days, I’ll not have forgotten everything. This narrative will differ from most in that it’ll just be random bullet notes/impressions from the road! RV Nomading – Lost in Canada
Transporting an RV is Hard Work!
I suspect when you travel a few miles, set up camp and enjoy a few days in one location, it’s all cool. Driving a 26-foot beast 300-400 miles a day seems to be a fool’s errand. I drove the ALCAN in my BMW Z-3 once (2,400 miles in 3 days). It, too, was a foolish undertaking, but at least it was fun. I could zip around all the RVs lumbering up hills at 45-50 miles an hour. Man-handing this Beast in gale-force winds, with fellow fools on lousy roads, extracts a mental and physical toll. I thought when I left the Camino, I got over the ‘rush-rush-rush’ mentality of never stopping, always pushing on, and never enjoying my surroundings. Guess not. We’ll be in Alaska in excellent order.
Rapid City is a cool place to visit
Not sure I’d want to live there, but the good friends (former colleagues from Alaska – Retired Colonel and his Misses) are a great attraction. They took wonderful care of us from their beautiful home and gave us a personal tour of the sites of Western South Dakota.
Much to our surprise, there are amazing sites, and one could easily spend weeks there exploring. So, we have good reasons to return.
Our first journey was into Sturgis for the annual bike rally. Yeah – we hung out with Hell’s Angel at the infamous Buffalo Chip outdoor bar. Or, perhaps it was a dentist, dressed up like an Angle on his pristine Harley. I can’t really tell the difference. It was a blast. We stood out like sore thumbs, and nobody gave us a hard time. But, it was 2 in the afternoon – none of us thought it a good idea to hang-out after dark!
Then off the see the gold mining town of Deadwood where all the legendary lawmen and desperados lived and died. After a quick trip up to see our former presidents (and possibly the “Don” in the future) carved into Mt Rushmore, we ventured over to see Crazy Horses’ image chiseled out of another mountain. It was time for a serene walk around one of the mystical Black Hill’s lakes and a drive through the winding valleys and around the stone needles that make the Black Hills a wanderer’s delight.
A visit to Custer city then the icing on the cake was a visit to Rapid City’s ‘Old-fashioned’ (or well preserved) pubs. In two days of visiting, we were exhausted, and it was time to head north, to Alaska (sorry, had to get that in). I’ll miss the late nights of drinking and reminiscing with another Old Colonel, but it was time to move on. We look forward to our return to Rapid City so we can hike the Black Hills and visit the Bad Lands.
We drove through ND during their record heatwave – 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The day we pulled out of the RV camp, it was supposed to hit 106. North Dakota has vanishing horizons of flat farm fields, straight, straight roads, and heat. That’s all I really remember. Pulling into the only available overnight RV campground just shy of the Canadian Boarder was reminiscent of a tour in South West Asia. The RV camp was filled with full-timers living in trailers; they were mostly Oil-workers processing the crude from the decayed dinosaurs under North Dakota’s soil. The Camp was sparse, sandy, rudely efficient, windy and hot. Reflections of the dessert and operating in an oven kept surfacing in my mind. How I was glad to leave the Southwest Asia behind and just as glad when we woke up too early, and eager to move on from our North Dakotan RV Camp.
Crossing into Canada
The border crossing was anticlimactic. We had all our papers (cat passports and vaccinations records and all) and all the polite, efficient boarder crossing guard wanted to know was if we had guns. He politely reminded us that the road postings were in Kms not miles and 100 equaled 60, and then asked again if we had any firearms. Nope! We were off an running to see Saskatchewan. Unfortunately, there was no miracle as we crossed the Boarder. For hours and hours and miles and miles, the flat terrain swallowed us. We made good time.
As you read up on RVing and places to stay, books and magazines and blogs recommend everything. By now, I think we’ve tried everything.
Our first tentative foray into RV overnight parking was not very adventurous. We went with the safe KOA Campground (Kamping Over American), or something like that. They had ‘full Hook-ups,’ meaning, electricity, water, black-water disposal (toilet water) and cable TV, and WiFi. It was a conundrum figuring out for the first time how all this worked (thank you YouTube!).
Then we lived in Wall Mart’s parking lot one night running on our onboard generator. It wasn’t as bad as you might suspect. Very convenient, and the price was Right!
Next was the beautiful State Park at a local lake, filled with the boaters and swimmers and families making kids’ summer memories that will last a lifetime.
Then up to Canada for one of their quaint battlefield Province parks (almost full hook-up) then to the RV parking lot of an Indian (or is that First Nation?) Reservation Casino.
Tonight we stayed at an isolated RV park along the Sikanni River where the RVs were parked on top of each other. But, it was quiet and serene. We haven’t tried all the variants yet, such a ‘Boondocking’ in the wilderness, but our journey home is not yet complete.
RVing as a Couple
RVing, as a couple, takes talent. It takes maturity and a solid relationship. Being in each other’s company 24/7, without a break, is a test! It’s effortless to find each other
’s faults, they become apparent in quick order. It’s tougher to find ways to overlook shortcomings and make the best of the ‘tight quarters’ that RV living specializes in. If Ursula and I decide not to take our Winter Nomading trip throughout the lower 48, it’s because we haven’t figured out how to shut our traps and employ a little ‘God-Given’ decency and respect to allow the other to recover from small mistakes that new adventures offer in abundance. Being perfect is a hard business, it makes Asses out of most of us.
We have about four days to go to figure out how to be good RVers and better partners. Making this trip on the back-end of the ‘Year in Vorarlberg’ adventure was a gusty decision, perhaps not a good one. We’ll see.
PETs and RVs
The poor cats. I think they hate us.
At least they started off hating RVing. The noises and bumps and sways are very unaccustomed. When hitting a ‘dip in the road’ at 64 miles an hour, a 10-pound cat can find herself floating in the air for just a second or so….until the floor or bed comes slamming back just as fast. It must be terrifying for such little creatures whose lives were previously filled with hugs and warmth and very static living.
But, as resilient travelers as they are, they’re adjusting. Each has found their unique hiding place, and temptations of food and treats will only bring them forth after the RV’s been stationary for 15 minutes. Our cats will be happy when we return to Alaska. They have no idea what’s in store for them this winter!
OK, time to go, or this will never be posted. Internet connection at RV camps is just a myth, much like Sasquatch! You know it’s there, but it’s ever-elusive.
As we’re in Canada tonight, we have no telephone reception. So, standing outside the RV camp office with iPad in hand trying to catch that ‘whored-out’ internet wave is what one has to do if they want to blog.
Blogging on the road is not a good idea. After driving all day, then setting up Camp, all the driver wants is a cold beer, a chilled bed, and peace a quiet. The exercise program has gone to hell. It’s another thing to figure out…how to drive, be a nice person, excersise, set up Camp, and blog all in the same day. I guess the secret is not to move every day. That would be wondrous.
Tomorrow morning we’re off to Hot Springs. We’ve heard stories about how ‘awesome’ it is,,,, but we’re not sure they’ll have any RV spots for us. We’ll see. Another blog awaits then.
RV Nomading – Lost in Canada
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