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The Stewart River in between Stewart Crossing and Mayo, Yukon! Photo taken Saturday afternoon.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Keno City, Yukon!

Where are they going next? Dawson City, Yukon.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Well, that was a different day!

Up and on the road early yesterday. We were trying to beat the moderate winds that were in the forecast, and we were trying to make it to Edmonton by 11:00am or so.

We were not successful in either endeavor.

Once again, there was a strong head/cross wind. Not fun to drive in, but not bad enough to stop driving either, other than a couple more breaks than we usually do.

No traffic until we got closer to Edmonton.

We stopped for gas at the town of Viking, and I threw another $100 CAD ($78 USD) into the tank at $1.329 CAD per liter ($3.90 USD per gallon). Again, it doesn't go very far, but I guess I'm doing okay at averaging out the cost.

Yep, that's a oversized load!
Wonder what it is....?

Scenery along the way.

Nice day for a motorcycle ride.

As I mentioned yesterday, the city of Edmonton has some very strict RV parking rules...


So essentially, you cannot overnight in an RV in the city of Edmonton unless it's in an RV park. Nope, you can't even have it on your own property unless it's to "reasonably load or unload the RV".

And they have also enacted bylaws to prevent you from parking at big box stores, which we don't like doing anyhow, but we might have if it meant we could visit the city.

Understandably, the three RV parks in the city are very expensive. Starting at $35 CAD for a parking spot at the municipal campground, with no hookups. No thanks!

Anyhow, because the city is obviously not RV friendly, we decided to drive right through Edmonton, with the exception of stopping for a couple of hours at the world famous West Edmonton Mall, the largest shopping center in North America.

And, we had received an email from long time blog reader Brigitte Crawley (you've seen her name in the comments section here) asking if we would like to get together, and of course we love meeting you all! I asked if we could meet up at the mall, and she offered to buy us lunch!

Well, it would have been rude to turn that down!

So Brigitte and her husband Rick met us at the RV parking area. (No overnight parking allowed!)

At Mr. Mikes Steakhouse for lunch in the West Edmonton Mall.

 Rick, Brigitte, Kevin, and Ruth.

I mentioned what a neat mug the beer came in. Rick asked the waitress if he could buy one, and sure enough she brought him one over. Which he proceeded to hand over to me! He said that whenever I use it, we'll be able to think of our visit with them here at the West Edmonton Mall.

Big Horn Lager.
It's one horny beer!

Rick and Brigitte are semi retired and also thinking of selling their home here and buying an RV. Hopefully we gave them the kick start they need and they can do it sooner rather than later. There will always be lots of work, but there may not always be lots of time!

We had a good chat during lunch, and then they took us for a tour of the mall.

Bourbon Street, with all the restaurants.

The Ice Palace.

The World's largest indoor water park is located here!

Wow.
What a great place this would be to enjoy a day at the beach during a cold Edmonton winter!

There's a full size replica of the Christopher Columbus ship Santa Maria.

And, it also has the world's largest indoor amusement park.

 People enjoying the swing.

The Mindbender.

The worlds largest indoor roller coaster is located here. The Mindbender!

Now, Ruth and I love a good rollercoaster and we haven't been on one since we were in San Diego two years ago.

But I checked the price of The Mindbender, and it was $12 per person. I simply couldn't justify it, even though it looked like a super cool ride. Ruth and I wandered up the stairs to get a better view of it, and when we went back down, Rick and Brigitte handed us two tickets! 

Wow!

Almost ready to go!

That's us, heading uphill!

What a ride! Once you get to the top, the thing just drops! What a rush. One section of the ride gives you 5.5 gs of force, then you do three loops and reach a speed of 60 mph. Crazy stuff!

At the end.

What a good time we had with Rick and Brigitte. Definitely a different day for us as they spoiled us rotten. Thanks guys! We hope we meet up on the road sometime!

By the time we said goodbyes and see ya laters, it was about 3:30pm and we still had to get out of the city and find somewhere for an overnight spot. But, as I said yesterday it's light until almost 10pm now.

We headed out west of the city, and then took the road leading towards Grand Prairie.

Some road construction for about 20 kms, but the highway after that had been recently repaved.

There are no inexpensive campgrounds on this side of Edmonton. All the sites that I normally use to find them came up empty. Oh, there are lots of campgrounds... if you want to pay between $25 to $45!

Just before the town of Sangudo, there's a huge highway rest stop. It would have been just okay, but with lots of trucks coming and going throughout the night. We almost stayed put, but I knew we could do better.

I saw a small airport on my maps.me app located near the town of Mayerthorpe. It was 3 kms (1.8 miles) off the main highway.

We drove the dirt road to get there, and the airport itself wasn't ideal... not much of a parking area, and it kind of looked like someone might live there in a run down looking house, but there was nobody around. Four or five small planes, and a couple of out buildings.

But, we had both spotted a grassy area beside the airport entrance that would be easy to tuck ourselves into and out of the way. So that's what we did! 

Sherman, parked at GPS 53.937807, -115.173051

Another view.

Yesterday's drive, 338 kms (210 miles).

Slept great last night, and nobody ever did come around. We'll get out of here early and head into the town of Whitecourt, (pop 10,200) to do some exploring.

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A wide variety of Sunjoy Patio Gazebos are on deal of the day!


And in Canada, the new Jefferey Deaver novel is on sale for digital devices...








24 comments:

  1. What an interesting day! When did the Edmonton Mall open?

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    1. The first phase opened in 1981. I remember when I lived there in 1980 and they were building it.

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  2. I've heard of several strategies for dipping toes into RVing; rent first being one. We bought cheap first (18 years old, 30,000 miles). That worked out very well for us, but it works better if you have some diy skills. You take a big depreciation hit if you buy new and it doesn't work out...

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    1. Renting is also very expensive. Our suggestion would be the same as yours... buy something older at a good price and if it doesn't work out you can likely sell it for the same as what you paid for it.

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    2. Our first motorhome was an old '74 Dodge that they were asking $6,000 for and we got for $4,500. We used it for two years and sold it at a vehicle auction for $4,000. Beats renting any day.

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    3. Yep, that is definitely the way to do it Croft! I don't think we can do that with Sherman anymore but he also doesn't owe us for anything after all these years.

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    4. I was surprised. The auction guy in Kamlooks said there was a demand for these cheap old units as long as they did not leak and were driveable. Hunters bought them to park out in the bush to use as weekend cabins.

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  3. We sure do not have any malls like that in our area:)

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    1. Most areas don't have malls like this! :-)

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  4. Wow...what nice couple Rick and Brigitte to treat you to lunch, entertainment. Thank you for the tour of Edmonton Mall. I'll file that in my to see list. Also a beautiful drive except for the wind of coarse.

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    1. Yes, they are a very nice couple and it was a pleasure to meet up with them. They really did spoil us and we thank them very much for such a great afternoon. The West Edmonton Mall is really just another mall but it was pretty cool to see it all the same.

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  5. Sounds like a fun day! When we were in Italy my now adult stepson told us about how he rode the mindbender 14 times in a row when he was 15 - Sherwood Park and Edmonton Schools get special passes during slow times daytime in the year and his was the only school there at the time so there were zero lineups and the guys running it just let them stay on. I am not sure how we got onto that topic but it seems timely lol

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    1. Haha, that's too funny that you should be talking about it and here we are doing it! We hardly had to wait either for our turn, we had to wait on one ride ahead of us. I could definitely have done it again, not sure about 15 times though. Cool that the schools got special passes throughout the year during slow times.

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  6. Thanks guys great post! We enjoyed the afternoon as much as you did. We went home and started looking for older reasonably priced RVs we may be able to get in the near future. Our dream is back on thanks to your inspiration. This year we hope to make it come to life and maybe next year start our own travels. Stay safe and enjoy your travels. You are great people to know.

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    1. Be careful! We met with Kevin and Ruth last October when they were back in Ottawa for a visit. Since then we've bought a new (to us) RV, started downsizing our house and made plans to put it up for sale in February. We'll be living full time in our RV and travel across Canada because we will still be working (virtually). Kevin and Ruth gave us the nudge we needed to get going. For now we are practicing, our first weekend in the new rig is in a couple of weeks. Good luck! Judi & Ian

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    2. So glad to hear that the plan is back on! I hope everything goes well with getting the house ready for sale and I am sure you won't have a problem finding something a little older that you can give the lifestyle a try in and then know if the lifestyle will work for you or if the RV will work for you. It sometimes takes some people a few tries to find the right unit that works for them. Thank you once again for a lovely afternoon. We look forward to meeting up with you both again someday down the road.

      Hi Judith, so glad to hear that your dream is finally starting to take shape. We hope everything goes well for you and Ian as well. Have a great weekend out in your new rig. :-)

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  7. What a fun day! Hi, Brigitte and Rick, nice to put faces to names here. Kevin and Ruth are great people to know - so down to earth and fun. Once you meet them, you feel like you’ve known them all your life! Love seeing the towns, the scenery, and your bedtime out of the way spots.

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    1. Wow, thanks for all those kind words Connie and Barry, you are making us blush! ;-)

      Glad you are enjoying the posts. Can't wait until we can start showing you all the amazing wildlife that we will see, Barry will be so jealous!

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    2. He won't have long too wait! :-)

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  8. Looks like you found a decent place to park overnight. Enjoying your pictures along your trip north.

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    1. Yep, we sure did and it was so quiet and peaceful. Much better than the rest stop that we were thought of staying at.

      Glad that you are enjoying the pictures, we can't wait to get into the really beautiful scenery and seeing all the wildlife along the way that everyone say they see. :-)

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  9. Good grief -- that mall -- unbelievable. I'm glad you didn't stay in a city that wasn't kind to RV'ers.

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    1. The mall is pretty unbelievable although it is still just a mall with lots of shops which we aren't into but for some reason it was a place that I always wanted to see if we were every in the are. Seen it now and don't need to see it again.

      It is a shame that the city isn't very friendly to RVing because we would love to have spent an extra day or two there to check out the downtown area. :-(

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