Alaska - 2007

Minneapolis, MN -
Edmonton, Alberta

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 Second Stage:  Day 4 - Day 5 - Day 6 - Day 7

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Day 4, June 30: Minneapolis, MN - Winnipeg, Manitoba


Today's Mileage: 461  Total Mileage: 1,736  Start: 8:10 am Stop: 4:30 pm

Weather: Another nice day; sunny most of the day; 75 - 85 degrees

Via: MN - I-94W to North Dakota (Fargo)
       ND - I-29N to Canada (Manitoba)
       MB - MB-75 to Winnipeg      

Hotel: Comfort Inn - South; older hotel, but it appears to be in good shape - no elevator!

Breakfast: At Hotel Lunch: Taco Bell Dinner: Santa Lucia

Comments: Mostly a driving day. Stopped in Moorhead, MN (right next to Fargo, ND) at the Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center.

The star of the center is a replica Hjemkomst Viking Ship finished in 1980 and sailed to Norway in 1982. They showed a documentary of the building of the ship and the people who sailed it to Norway. Very interesting, especially since we had not heard the story before.

Also on the ground was a replica of a Stave Church. These churches were built in Scandinavia in the 1100 and 1200s.

After all this culture it was time for lunch in Fargo at Taco Bell. Another excellent choice by our food
committee :-).

On to the Canadian Border. Thanks to Arnie's excellent handling of the questions the custom/immigration agent threw at us we sailed through without any problems. We saw many cars which were stopped for further inspection. They probably knew right way that it would have been a waste of their time to go through our dirty laundry! We are going to be in Canada for the next 10 days.

Had dinner at Santa Lucia near the hotel. Santa Lucia is one of my all-time favorite songs - but there was no music in the restaurant - too bad; on the other hand, the food was excellent.

The Mets won today. We listened to the game on XM on the road and finished it in the hotel since they were on FOX today. You are probably wondering how we can keep track of when the Mets are playing, considering we are in a different time zone. Well, we have a clock in the van that will stay on Mets Time (EDT). This is not exactly fool-proof, we already stopped for lunch based on this clock instead of the local time. We are trying!

Tomorrow Saskatoon!

Click to see a larger Picture

- - - - - - - - - - Heritage Center - - - - - - - - - -  
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - Hjemkomst Viking Ship - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - Stave Church - - - - - - - - - - - -  
USA/Canada Border Comfort Inn      

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Day 5 - July 1: Winnipeg, Manitoba - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan




Canada Day!

Today's Mileage: 539  Total Mileage: 2,275  Start: 8:10 am Stop: 6 pm

Weather: Rain showers early am, then sunny, about 85 degrees; hot for here.

Hotel: Comfort Inn - again an older hotel, but in good shape

Breakfast: At Hotel Lunch: The Red Barn Dinner: Tony Roma's

Via: MB - Trans-Canada Highway (#1) to Saskatchewan
       SK - Trans-Canada Highway (#1) to Regina; CA-#11 to Saskatoon     

Comments: We had stayed in the suburbs of Winnipeg, so we started the day by driving into Winnipeg so that we can at least say we saw it. Then drove the Trans-Canada Highway (#1) to Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan. 

Being it was Sunday, and Canada Day, traffic was light, although I suspect there isn't all that much traffic most days. TC#1 is a divided highway except for one section at the western end of Manitoba & eastern Saskatchewan. They are working on it and some day it will all be divided - not next year, though!

Speed limits were 100km & 110km (about 62 - 68 mph), except when going through towns. It is not a freeway or like an Interstate - there are many crossroads. With few exceptions, most drivers stayed close to the speed limit.

Gas is about $4 per gallon. But, of course, it is sold in "liters" and the prices are like "109.9 per liter" - that is, 109 cents. The effect of this is that unless you give it some thought, you really don't know what you are paying and the high prices don't really bother me. At least not until I get my credit card bill.

In Regina we made a short stop at the Royal Mounted Police Heritage Center. Arnie had hoped to see the chapel there, but it was not open today. Nevertheless, it was a shopping opportunity at the gift shop

Then we drove north on CA#11 to Saskatoon. This is also a divided highway.

The landscape was mainly flat - what you would expect from the plains. Saw many canola fields, easily noticed because they are yellow.

I should mention that a more direct route would have been to take the Yellowhead Highway #16 from Winnipeg to Saskatoon, however this highway is not divided and would have taken about the same time, I think. The Trans-Canada Highway was easier driving.

The Mets lost today - the first loss since we started the trip. It seemed odd to be listening to the Mets on the radio in Canada.

Tomorrow onto Edmonton, where we will stay 2 days.

Click to see a larger Picture

Lunch Canola "Flat" Saskatoon  
- -   Royal Canadian Mounted Police  - -    
- - - - - - - - - - - - -       At a Rest Area       - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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Day 6 -  July 2: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - Edmonton, Alberta


Today's Mileage: 375  Total Mileage: 2,650  Start: 8 am Stop: 6 pm

Weather: Excellent. mostly sunny, high 80 degrees

Via: SK - Yellowhead Highway #16 to Alberta
        AB - Yellowhead Highway #16 to Edmonton

Hotel: Comfort Inn - West; similar to the last two. None of them had an elevator, but this time we are on the first floor.

Breakfast: At Hotel Lunch: KFC Dinner: Moon Garden (Vietnamese)

Comments: Driving was easy today - we were just on one road: Yellowhead Highway #16. It is divided, except as it goes through some towns. Traffic again was light - but this was the official Canada Day, with many people not working.

The van is getting hit by bugs all day and it is a mess! See picture. When I got gas this morning I found a dead bird on the front bumper.

I was surprised to find Wal-Mart even in some of the smaller towns. We still have not stopped in one - we will have to remedy that soon!

The morning was devoted to driving, but in the afternoon we had some interesting sightseeing opportunities, most of them related to the fact that the area east of Edmonton was heavily populated by Ukrainians. You can learn more about this by going to the links

Vegreville: the largest Easter egg in the world. It was constructed in 1975 to commemorate early Ukrainian settlements in an area. It's a Pysanka in Ukrainian. Also in the park was a caboose.

Mundare: worlds largest Sausage . A sight not to miss, especially with Arnie in the middle of it.

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village: about 30 miles east of Edmonton. We didn't have time to visit all the buildings and some of them weren't open. Our visit included the St. Vladimir's Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church,  Bellis Railway Station, Demchuk Blacksmith Shop, Grain Elevator, Hilliard Hotel, Wostok Hardware Store,  Andrew Alberta Provincial Police Post. Each building was staffed with people in costume and they talked to us in as they would have in the past. None of them knew about digital cameras :-). Very well done.

Elk Island National Park: this turned out to be a $17 donation to the park system. None of wildlife wanted to see us, even though there is fence around the park. Perhaps they know it was Canada Day and they decided to take the day off.

After all these visits it was time to head to the hotel. We are staying less than a mile away from the West Edmonton Mall - the largest mall in the world.

The Mets lost tonight. We listened to part of the game on the Internet.

Tomorrow the Mall!

Click to see a larger Picture

 - - - - -   Egg   - - - - - - - - -  Caboose  - - - -    
 - - - - - - - - - - -         Vegreville         - - - - - - - - - -    
    - - - - - -   Sausage  - - - - - -      
Entrance Lumber Co. Police - - - -   Blacksmith   - - - -
- - - - -           Ukrainian Heritage Village       - - - - -
- - -   Hardware Store  - - -         - - - Railroad Station - - -     Shopping  
- - - - -           Ukrainian Heritage Village       - - - - -  
 St. Vladimir's Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church   Dirty Van Comfort Inn
Ukrainian Heritage Village      

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Day 7 -  July 3: Edmonton, Alberta

Today's Mileage: 12  Total Mileage: 2,662  Start: 9:30 am Stop:

Weather: Sunny; in the 80's

Hotel: Comfort Inn - West (second night)

Breakfast: At Hotel Lunch: Arby's (Mall) Dinner: Jungle Jims (Mall)

Comments: This was an easy day, if you call shopping easy. We were in West Edmonton Mall from 9:45 until 2:30. Then went back for dinner, since we are so close.

This mall is what I expected when we saw the Mall of America. I think I had seen pictures of Edmonton and confused the malls. It's a much larger mall here, very bright inside; a big amusement park with several roller coasters; a water park; an ice rink and more. Very impressive.

Arnie & I gave the van a clean-up at a car wash in the afternoon.

The Mets lost again today. That's three losses in a row.

Tomorrow we are off to Dawson Creek - the start of the Alaska Highway.

Click to see a larger Picture

At the Mall  

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