Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Alaska trip - Day 5

It is Sunday morning and it continues to drizzle. Not enough to wear rain gear, but enough to get you a little wet if you stay outside too long. We awakened at 5:30 or so and could not get back to sleep; especially since Sammy was standing at the foot of the bed with that plaintive look that says "I gotta go pee". So I slipped on some sweats and we headed into the woods (about 10' away).

After a relaxed breakfast, we loaded up with a picnic lunch and headed down Canada Highway 1 towards Banff, taking pictures along the way. When you see the picture of the stone arches, you should know they are designed for wildlife to cross over the highway instead of walking across the highway. Cool idea, we think. Banff is very much like Aspen or Vail; with a quaint, touristy downtown. There is the usual high end hotel, priced the same as the one on Lake Louise. You will also see some pictures of a waterfall that is near the hotel. We did go to a natural history museum with hundreds of stuffed replicas of wildlife, including animals and birds.\par\parOn the way home, we took the alternative to Highway 1, which is the Bow Valley Parkway that runs parrallel to the main highway, but more in the woods and with a 45 MPH speed limit. We stopped at a roadside table for lunch. Other than a few deer and a couple of cow elk, we did not see much in the way of wildlife.

Stopped at a liquor store ($11.00 for a bottle of wine that costs $3.99 in Idaho Falls) and the local market for two grocery items and a bottle of shampoo. We did find out the reason for the high liquor prices. About 70% of the price of alcohol and tobacco products go to help finance the Universal Health Care in Canada. Maybe they should give international visitors a break since we don't get the benefit of the health care system.

By the time we got back to the camper, it was cocktail hour (hurrah). Soon after I lit up the grill (RVQ) for the traditional Sunday steak (for me) and salmon (for her) dinner. After dinner it was a little Canadian TV (we get 2 over the air channels at the site) followed by a DVD movie (chick flick with Diane Keaton called "Because I Said So"). I did a little more reading from the Milepost (book that details every mile on the way to Alaska) and hit the rack about 9:30. It is still daylight at 9:30; this will take some getting used to, especially as we get further north and the days get even longer.

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