Ruth, with our friend Andrei at the Orheiul Vechi Historical Complex at Trebujeni, Moldova. Photo taken December 2, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Boondocking night #1 complete...into the U.S....

We left Wendy and Phil in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada at around 1:00pm. We had a plan to get across the U.S. border and into North Dakota so we wanted to get going right away. We don't drive any faster than 55 mph (90 km/h) unless we're going downhill with a tailwind, so we needed to get some miles done or we wouldn't make it across the border that evening.

We stopped in the little town of Wilcox, SK (where the Canadian TV series Corner Gas was filmed) for a late lunch and that was pretty much the last time we would be on the internet for the day.

It had rained a lot in these parts while we were gone for our long weekend in Ottawa. And it was overcast all day yesterday.

The old "Corner Gas" film set. Still lots of puddles around from the rain.

We made it to the border at around 4:30pm, but as we crossed the border it became 5:30pm. Saskatchewan doesn't do daylight savings time, but North Dakota does. We were the only ones at the border, and we saw only one border guard...a lone female. She was nice enough and processed everything quickly and sent us on our way. Kinda funny when we told her we were on our way to Mexico for the winter...and with a side trip to Colombia. I think I saw an eyebrow or two raised, but she didn't question it.

Entering the border. The Canadian side has a little shack, while the American saide has a multi-million dollar facility.

And, we're in!

I had scoped out a possible overnight spot by a small lake. I found it on www.ultimatecampgrounds.com and then looked at it on google maps satellite view. Then, I input the GPS coordinates into our Garmin, and when we arrived at the spot it was close to 6:30pm. I pulled into the entranceway, but the road in was in bad shape and with the recent rain there was no way we were going down there. We may have gotten down, but not back out the next morning!

So...we carried on without much of a plan but knowing that time was running short.

I stopped to check out another dirt path, but there was nowhere suitable to park. Still, it was worth the stop to get this pic of Sherman!

Sherman, lit up by the setting sun.

We had passed by a fresh water fill station for heavy trucks. There was a parking area set quite far off the road, and the sun was getting low in the sky. Not a great spot, but we figured we'd be fine for the night and we were feeling a little limited by our late start and the recent rains. This would have to do...

Our overnight spot. Not great...but free. (GPS 48.597009, -103.626256)

Slept like a rock. The highway nearby was for the most part quiet until sunrise and then the truck traffic started. Lots of oilfield work going on in this area.

We drove into the city of Williston this morning and did some grocery and booze shopping. Man, that 35% exchage rate addition sure hurts on the final bill. Other than booze and gasoline, most everything else is now more expensive in the U.S than it is in Canada.

We have to average about 140 miles (225 kms) per day for the next 13 days to get to Laredo, Texas by October 19th.

Yesterday's drive, 175 miles (283 kms).

Hoping to dry camp in Little Missouri National Grassland this evening. Check in tomorrow to see how we do!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We bought our grandson Cameron a "Stomp Rocket" junior. What a great toy! If you never seen one, I took a video for you all...


There is a huge selection of Stomp Rocket kits available on Amazon, and there are some good deals just now...


And in Canada...




36 comments:

  1. Awesome!
    Do you guys use Garmin's Basecamp software to plan your routes offline?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, but we should be...I'm going to look into it. Thanks!

      Delete
    2. You might call me a Garmin Basecamp power user. If you have any questions let me know.

      Delete
    3. Thank you Daryl, we will definitely keep you in mind if we have any questions.

      Delete
  2. We're heading south next week from northern Saskatchewan. Are you using Bell for your internet stick connection?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had been up until the border. We have a Verizon mi-fi for the states, but they want too much money. $60 USD for 3 GB and two weeks is too pricey for us. We'll stick with unsecured connections along the way.

      Delete
    2. Not sure if http://www.verizonwireless.com/prepaid/data-plans will work with your device, but the prices there are a bit more reasonable.

      Delete
  3. Looks like you are making progress. We like free too, but Walmarts, rest areas and flying J's is the way my wife wants go. Plus our membership camping from free to $15.00 a night for our $1,000. annual fee, worthwhile for 12 months of the year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everyone has their own level on comfort so you have to do what is best for you. For us it isn't just about the money, we just don't like being in regular campgrounds for the most part, so the membership that you have just wouldn't work for us but we are happy that this works for you and for many others.

      Delete
    2. That's why there is so many options we do have a lot of choices and options thats for sure.

      Delete
  4. Glad to see the first leg went well. Drive safe!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Couldn't really have asked to have it go any better other than the fact that the road down to the original boondocking spot was not accessible for us so we had to gone with another spot that wasn't as nice as that one would have been.

      Delete
  5. That exchange rate surely is a killer. We're paying for our trip to Maui and it's brutal. Worse when we lived in Puerto Rico (and the pay went into our bank here) it was close to 40%.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, it sure is! We will be spending as little as possible going through the States this time round.

      Delete
  6. Wow! My head is spinning trying to keep up with your travels in the past week. And your planned travels in the next 2 weeks! Have a great time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your head is spinning, imagine what ours is doing, especially with all the time changes! :-) We can now finally start to relax a little bit, although the real relaxation won't start until we get into Mexico where we can take a little time to rest rather than travel every day. Thankfully our driving days aren't too long each day.

      Delete
  7. I didn't know we were more expensive than Canada. Sorry about that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One US dollar is costing us Canadians $1.35 :((

      Delete
    2. Not only is the exchange rate hurting us but we have noticed that the prices without the exchange are about the same as Canada if not more on some items. I can't believe how much eggs have gone up! We were able to buy eggs in Saskatchewan at $2.29 to $2.49 CAN most times and here I am not sure if I saw eggs under $3 US when we were in Walmart yesterday.

      Delete
  8. I'll be following you along your journey. Thanks for the info.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, we hope you enjoy the ride. :-)

      Delete
  9. Congrats on making it across the border with no hassles. I think that's a great little overnight boondocking spots. You did good! Love the rocket launcher... great exercise! Cameron is such a cutie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Grace! It wasn't a bad spot but a little close to the highway for our liking and not as scenic as the one that we would like to have stayed at just down the road but it served us well and we were happy.

      That rocket launcher is a great little toy and really such a basic concept, no batteries or electronics involved.

      Delete
  10. I have learned to offer the minimal amount of info at the border:) They probaly made a note that you will be returning to Canada from Columbia:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we do the same. Only answered the questions we were asked.

      Delete
  11. I don't think there are but a handful of countries that aren't suffering with the dollar. Americans seem to be happy though going to Canada and Mexico.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You just gave me an idea for a birthday gift for my six year old great-grandson, thanks! Following along on your border to border marathon, be safe and have fun!
    KLO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He will love it!

      Thanks for following along with us.

      Delete
  13. I just recently found that Diesel in the US in places is more expensive than Canada. Planning on going to New York State this weekend. Diesel here in east Ottawa where I live is 95.5 a litre. In upper NY state it is 2.79 a US gallon. Doing the calculations with the exchange then I am looking at 99.6 a litre if I get it in the US. I will fill up here before I leave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Canada Dollar has climbed several cents in the past few days to 0.77 USD. That currently places NY just a half cent per liter more than Ottawa. So recalculate just before you leave with the latest rate and fuel prices.

      Here in Yuma diesel is just $2.149 = 73.7¢ a liter ;)

      Delete
    2. Yes, you really have to do the calculations to find out which is best and always remember to use www.gasbuddy.com to find the best prices in the area that you will be.

      Delete
  14. Surprised that you had no trouble at the border. Every time we've gone into Canada, the Canadians are lovely and when we come back the American border folks are crabby and nasty and just plain mean. Tried to take a look at ultimate campgrounds but got a "not authorized" page. I was surprised since I didn't think you guys would use something that you had to pay for. Can't figure out why else I would be rejected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a really quiet border crossing at least at the time that we went through so that may have helped. The odd time we have issues crossing but most of the time it is a fairly good experience on both sides of the border.

      If you go to Ultimate Campgrounds from the computer it should be free and you shouldn't have any problems but if you go through your phone then you need their app and yes that will cost some money.

      Delete
    2. There's also a third option, you can pay for a download of a POI file from their web site. This file contains all the waypoints for the campgrounds which can be imported into Garmin Basecamp for offline route planning.

      Delete
    3. Daryl that is a good point and it is well worth the money. We find that Ultimate Campgrounds is our main go to source so far.

      Delete

We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...