During today’s voyage from Banff to Medicine Hat, the biggest decision was how to get passed Calgary – go round it or go through it. Without having a Wi-Fi connection for the last 3 days, Andy had been unable to complete his usual voyage planning on Google, so we are relying on the GPS, map book and road signs.
Tuesday 22nd July
Temps – 15C increasing to 30C approaching Medicine Hat
Weather – High overcast until shortly after arrival when it changed to stormy
Wind – Strong SSE to S’ly across the Prairie
Distance Today – 275 miles
Total Distance – 784 miles
We departed Banff shortly after 09:00 and enjoyed a pleasant and relaxing drive down the wide valley towards to foothills. Traffic was light until approaching Calgary. As we traversed the foothills we started discussing how to go around or through Calgary. When planning the trip Andy reviewed the North ring road and also read that they were constructing a South ring road, but was it completed?
The GPS wanted to take us through the city centre and the 2014 map book showed a North ring road, but no South route. We were leaning on taking the North ring road, when we spotted a sign for Medicine Hat right on the outskirts of the city. So decision made – we took the North ring road, an extra 11 miles, but probably worth it, as it was plain sailing all the way around.
Once we got back on the Trans-Canada we quickly got to Prairie like conditions, straight roads and lots of crops and grazing. We went for about another hour until we saw the first rest stop, where we pulled in for lunch and walking the dogs. First thing I noted was wind, lots of it. Being predominantly a head wind, or at best on the bow, it sure knocked back the fuel economy. We probably used more fuel today than we did in the mountains.
The campground is to the East of Medicine Hat and while the best we could find, it can best be described as basic. Only a short distance from the Trans-Canada it also is adjacent to the Canadian Pacific mainline. Although not a problem, noise is constant.
We were assigned a pull through which was easy to get into, but as soon as I stopped, I knew it wouldn’t work. All services were at the edge of the road and our power connection is at the rear, at least 42′ away and we only have a 35′ cable. We looked at alternatives and found a back-in that would work, but no sewer. Next problem is how to get there, as the owner didn’t want me to back out, as I would go over the grass. To pull out he would have to move a number of vehicles, so he got that organised. Once the vehicles were clear, it was easy to skirt around the service pole and onto the road. Lots of room to back into the new site and was quickly levelled, hooked up, slides out, etc. No sooner than we finished than the wind came up and heavy rain.
Isn’t timing everything!