Alaska - 2007

Jasper, Alberta -
Minot, ND

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 Ninth Stage:  Day 35 - Day 36 - Day 37

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Day 35 - July 31: Jasper, AB - Calgary, AB

Today's Mileage: 260  Total Mileage: 8,601  Start: 7:45 am Stop: 3:45 pm

Weather: Sunny but cold (45 - 50) in the morning in the mountains; mostly cloudy in the pm; mid 60's

Via: BC-93 (Icefields Parkway) to Trans-Canada # 1 (near Lake Louise)
        Trans-Canada Highway # 1 to Calgary

Hotel: Hampton Inn - Northwest

Breakfast: At Juniper House Lunch: McDonalds (Banff) Dinner: Red Lobster

Comments: We left Jasper reluctantly this morning. We liked this little town and we also like our accommodations - but all good things must come to an end.

The Icefields Parkway runs south through both Jasper and Banff National Parks. Our first stop was Sunwapta Falls, our next stop was the Icefield Centre - you can stay there overnight and take tours of the glaciers, which we didn't do. You can also buy coffee at $2.49 for a small cup!

It was time for lunch when we got to Banff. We took a ride into town, which is undergoing some serious construction in the middle of town. But we were lucky to find a parking spot - except we weren't sure it was legal to park there. So we ate a quick lunch at McDonald's and got out of town as fast as we could.

The good news is that near Banff the Trans-Canada Highway turned into a divided freeway with a 70 mph (110 km) speed limit; the bad news is that soon after Banff we left the Canadian Rockies behind. We'll have to get used to the plains for a while.

We are in a Hampton Inn tonight. For some reason if felt like coming home after staying in so many different hotels, etc. This is a favorite chain of ours.

Tomorrow we are off to Medicine Hat, AB.

Click to see a larger Picture

Jasper - Calgary - - Sunwapta Falls - - - - - - - - - - - -  Glaciers  - - - - - - - - - -
What does
this say?
- - -  Hampton Inn  - - -      

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Day 36 - August 1: Calgary, AB - Medicine Hat, AB

Happy Birthday,
Today's Mileage: 275  Total Mileage: 8,876  Start: 8 am Stop: 4:30 pm

Weather: Not a cloud in the sky; high 70's

Via: AB-2 Calgary to AB-3 (Fort Macleod)
       AB-3 to Medicine Hat, AB

Hotel: Comfort Inn & Suites - nice hotel, better than any other Comfort Inn in Canada that we stayed in.

Breakfast: At Hotel Lunch: At Buffalo Jump Dinner: Montana Steakhouse

Comments: Our final destination was Medicine Hat, AB and we only had one stop in mind: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump , about 1.5 hours south of Calgary. As it says on their site:

"Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is known around the world as a remarkable testimony of prehistoric life. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump bears witness to a custom practiced by native people of the North American plains for nearly 6000 years.

Thanks to their excellent understanding of topography and of bison behavior, they killed bison by chasing them over a precipice and subsequently carving up the carcasses in the camp below."

Very interesting, and thanks to good planning (I'd like to think!) on Wednesdays they have native dancing which we were able to see.

Then it was non-stop to Medicine Hat. We saw a very large tepee on the way to the hotel in Medicine Hat, which we visited after dinner. It's made of steel and was exhibited at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic Games. It is called Saamis Tepee and just happens to be the world's largest tepee.

Today was Jeanne's birthday and even though she told us not to mention it, when we had dinner there was a sign in the restaurant that they "dare you to mentioned it's your birthday". Jeanne was willing to go for it! She shared the ice cream with all of us.

After dinner we also went to Wal-Mart and a mall next to the hotel.

The Mets won today - we were able to listen to some of the game on XM, we finished the game on the computer.

Tomorrow we spend the morning in Canada, then it's back to the US in North Dakota.

Click to see a larger Picture

Calgary -
Medicine Hat
- - - - - - - - - - - - -  Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump  - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Native Dancers  - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 - - -  Saamis Tepee  - - - Jeanne's
Comfort Inn    

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Day 37 -  August 2: Medicine Hat - Minot, ND

Today's Mileage: 515  Total Mileage: 9,341  Start: 8 am Stop: 7:15 pm

Weather: Still no cloud in the sky; mid 80's

Via: AB - Trans-Canada Highway (TC #1) to Saskatchewan
       SK - Trans-Canada Highway (TC #1) to SK-39 (near Moose Jaw); SK-39 to US Border
       ND - US-52 to Minot, ND

Hotel: Comfort Inn - nice hotel, within walking distance of many restaurants & mall

Breakfast: At Hotel Lunch: Tim Hortons Dinner: Applebee's

Comments: Today was mainly a driving day. We made only one major stop in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Not only did they have a Wal-Mart and a nice mall, they also had a Tim Hortons, where we had lunch. Probably the last time on this trip that we have a chance to eat there.

At the Visitor Center in Moose Jaw they had the world's biggest moose - which we just had to take pictures of!

Traffic was very light the whole day - I think this will change soon.

The big deal is that we are back in the US. Crossing the border was no problem, but the agent did ask some more questions and he wanted to see what was in the back of the van. Sure didn't take him long to check it out, though. And we lost an hour today.

For dinner at Applebee's we were able to order unsweetened ice tea - finally!

The Mets won today, we listened to the game on XM in the van.

Tomorrow will be a shorter day, we are going to Fargo, ND.

Click to see a larger Picture

Medicine Hat -
At Visitor Center At
 - - -  Comfort Inn  - - -

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