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Diary Last Updated: Jun 16th, 2015 - 16:51:13


Stage 1 - Day 7
By Dick & Pip Smith
May 14, 2006, 15:35

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Another late start, getting going at 9.45 am which the locals told Dick was actually 10.45am because they were on daylight saving.  A magnificent warm and sunny day.  Shortly, south of Edmonton we stopped for fuel using an automatic credit card bowser - just slide in your Amex and you are on your way.  The diesel cost 89.9 cents per litre which we considered a bit of a bargain.  Could this be because Canada is self sufficient in oil and gas?

The multi lane freeway to Calgary was packed with large V8 pick-ups with one person on board.
A great multi laned highway heading for Calgary
We noticed that petrol sells for C$1.02 per litre, at least 20% cheaper than in Australia.

We realize we are in the Commonwealth because the freeway is called the Queen Elizabeth II Highway with many prominent signs.  There is intensive agriculture on either side of the freeway with lots of silver silos as the stock have to be fed throughout the winter months.
We passed many farms which obviously produce a huge amount of grain by the number of Silos we saw
For lunch we simply pulled off the highway onto a dirt road, heated up some soup in our microwave (powered through the inverter) so no noisy generator required.  Amazingly enough the satellite TV burst into action with the TCM channel showing an old movie – Dick got very excited.
We pulled up on a dirt road to make our lunch and spend some time on our web site

We worked on this diary together. Dick dictates from Pip’s notes that she writes as we travel and Pip types them into the laptop. We then email to Phil in our office at Terrey Hills with selected photos and he puts them on our web.  

It became quite hot outside so we tried the air conditioner, which also runs from the battery.  The countryside is postcard green and it is hard to believe that it is covered in snow for many months of the year.
we are travelling across very fertile green pastures

We are on the road again.  Canadians must love rules and regulations - just like Australians.  There are hundreds of signs that cover just about everything. There is even a mandatory requirement with a heavy fine if you don’t drive with your headlights on. We noticed a few big signs reminding motorists that motorbikes are back on the roads now winter has gone, asking everyone to share the road.
Now winter has gone we noticed these signs flashing across the highway

As we reached the outskirts of Calgary the traffic increased, possibly children out to visit their Mothers as it is Mothers Day.
Looking ahead through the windscreen at the traffic building up as we drove into Calgary

We diverted east of the highway to the Calgary airport and parked outside Ken Borek Air Ltd.’s hanger.
Dick standing in front of Ken Borek Air's hanger at Calgary Airport
When Dick flew the twin otter around the world in 1988/89 Ken Borek Air assisted with skis and maintenance.  It was quite nostalgic to be back at their old hanger.  We then visited Eagle helicopters who had supplied a heater and bear paws for Dick’s helicopter for his 1986 attempt on the North Pole.  Pip remembered Eagle Helicopters because it was her first experience of providing ground support for Dick. 

After an hour of reminiscing we headed south on the Deerfoot Trail freeway, following directions of the ‘find function’ in the Garmin GPS, to the River Bend RV Park.  Twenty minutes later we ended up at a house in a suburban street - most likely the registered office of the RV Park - not its actual location.
The suburban house which must be the registered office of the RV we were looking for
Such are the problems of modern technology!  We only wanted the RV Park so we could do some clothes washing but this can always wait a day or two.  We headed another 20kms south, drove onto a dirt country road to the west of the highway
A farm along the dirt road we followed off the highway
and met a lady on her horse who offered us her paddock to stay the night.
Dick met Vera out riding her horse and she invited us to stay in her paddock
Parked at Vera's farm next to her horse stables
In the distance as night fell we could see the lights of Calgary.

340km for today – 3612km total

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