Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Things not to say at a border crossing and the interesting characters you meet along the way

Lake Louise
Despite the absolute breathtaking beauty of Lake Louise was, we were still happy to be on our way. It's quite the expensive Tourist trap. Everything is at ridiculous prices. If you want to eat out, you must eat in the expensive resort restaurants as there are no restaurants other than in the resorts. $23.00 for a three egg omelet ? And the one we liked the best was the canoe rental prices on Lake Louise. $90.00 for two people and one canoe for a half hour !!!!!! That's completely insane. We brought our own food so it's not an issue but this is not our type of place.

We are now camping by the Milk River in Alberta not too far from the border of the U.S. lower 48. This is quite different geography as it's mainly rolling grasslands for grazing cattle. On the way here we drove through Calgary and saw some of the areas used in the winter Olympics. Most notably were the ski jumps not far from the main highway.
Ski jumps in Calgary

As we were setting up camp today, an RV from Alabama pulled in and the man came over to ask how we pay for sites as the office was closed. I told him I just got there and we still haven't figured that out yet. And then he started telling me how they had just crossed the border and had a terrible time with Canadian customs. He also said his wife was quite upset and it was quite the ordeal.

Later after we set up our chairs and tables outside in the nice weather, Yvonne made a couple Bahama Mama drinks. 

After enjoying the nice weather and relaxing I wanted to hear more about the customs issues they had so we walked over to their campsite and asked the man what happened. He then relayed the story to us in his warm southern drawl. First of all, his wife was so furious with him that she left to sit by the river. He told us that when the Canadian customs officer asked if he had firearms, he said “no” but I sure wish I did. They then asked him if he carried firearms in the United States and he said in Alabama he always carries a firearm. Now one thing we know is you should just answer their questions and don't add any additional commentary to the answer. When they had him pull into the “search area” and said they were going to search his rig, he said “I said I don't have any firearms … and if you can find one in there, I'll kiss your ass”. Well things started deteriorating from there but they eventually got into Canada. His wife stopped talking to him after the crossing and even though they were on their way to Alaska, it was discussed to turn around and go home.

While we were talking with him, his wife came back from sitting by the river and couldn't even talk to us she was so upset. Yvonne said she was on the verge of tears and just went into the trailer without talking to us. So we wished him a good trip and I looked at him and gave him a nudge and wished him good luck with putting things back together with his wife. He was a funny guy and admitted he shouldn't have said any of that but added that it will make a funny story when talking with friends after he got home. He came over to our 5'er and sat with us awhile while we were having dinner. He came with a message from his wife apologizing that she wasn't able to talk earlier. I think they both learned a couple of lessons today.

The campground caretaker is a guy around our age from England and he spent some time talking with us. He was one of the most upbeat people and completely loved people and life. He's been in Canada for about 5 years and loves it here.

But by far the best part of this trip has been the interesting people we've met along the way. There's a lot of nice people in the world and Rv'ing is a great way to meet them.
We're not in the mountains any longer

One other noteworthy item is we are putting away our blackout curtains. In Northern Canada and Alaska it's sunny and bright at 11:00 at night and again at 3:30 or 4:00 am. Now we're getting into more normal light/darkness combinations. Our cat will probably appreciate being back on a more normal schedule of darkness to keep her napping schedule on track.

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