Saturday, May 21, 2011

Domestic Day in Hinton, Alberta

Whew, I’m glad this day is over.  I guess we didn’t realize just how much we had to do today.  One of my primary goals was to get on the internet to do my own blog posting, catch up on the blogs I read, take care of email, and do some research on upcoming points of interest.

We walked over to McDonalds for our breakfast this morning with my computer in hand.   I was hoping they had WiFi and they did.  While I sipped coffee and ate my egg mcmuffin, I got my backlog of stories and photos posted for the past three days.  It’s a good thing we decided to go to McDonalds because the internet I was counting on at the KOA is less than optimal.  Not only is it slow, but we can’t get it at our site.  After dinner I went up and sat in the laundry room to check email and research the next few towns along the way.  I never got as far as catching up on the blogs I read.  I feel like I’m out of the loop with what’s happening with my friends.

After breakfast, Gene set about the business of replacing the windshield wipers on the motor home.  It sounded like an easy task, but it turned into some monstrous project.  He walked over to Canadian Tire.  Canadian Tire is like a giant Ace Hardware with auto supplies.  The salesman helped him select wipers that would fit the truck.  Gene worked and worked to get the new wipers installed without any luck.  He finally drove down the street a couple blocks to the Ford dealership.  The service tech couldn’t get them installed either, and finally determined that they just wouldn’t fit.  The service department was actually closed and the guy helping Gene was really off, but he spent several minutes trying to help.  Since the service department was closed, he wasn’t able to just grab a wiper set from stock.  However, he called across the street to the NAPA store and then walked across with Gene to get wipers from them.  When we finally had wipers that fit, they went on in a snap.  Gene made another trip to Canadian Tire to return the original wipers.  That 5 minute job took about an hour.

Gene’s next project for today was to fix the hot water tank.  After talking with a service tech at an RV dealership in Grande Prairie, he was convinced it was a fuse.  He removed the fuse that was in the water heater.  It’s one of those tiny 2 amp auto fuses.  Another trip to Canadian Tire and he was soon home with a box of tiny fuses.  It turned out that the box of tiny fuses were not as tiny as they should have been to fit our water heater.  Back to Canadian Tire for a box of mini fuses.  With the new fuse installed, the water heater still doesn’t work.  Gene has decided he has done all he knows how to do and will take it to a dealership somewhere next week.

That was our morning from the Walmart parking lot.  After that we moved to the KOA.

This is a nice park.  The sites are long and level and the grass between sites is lush and green.  The bathrooms, showers, and laundry are all immaculately clean.  We got showers, did laundry, and all the other usual housekeeping chores.  The only complaint we have about the park is the WiFi.  It’s a little pricey, but we think all KOAs are.  They did give us the 10 percent discount even though our membership has expired.  That made the price for the night a little more reasonable, but still right at $40.

We have neighbors tonight from Texas who are also on their way to Alaska.  While I was  on the internet in the laundry room, Gene was having a glass of wine with them.  I’m sure we’ll see them again along the way.

Many who travel to Alaska use The Milepost as their highway guide.  The Milepost is very similar to the interstate exit guides in that it lists the services all along the road.  But The Milepost is much more detailed than the exit guides.  It lists almost every thing along the highway--every pull-out, every view point, every sign post.  It’s a great resource for a trip like this, but you have to read carefully.  The Milepost also sells advertisement space.  An entry for a campground, for example, may be written by the campground owner and not an impartial editor of the Milepost.  Still, we like it and it’s just full of all kinds of information and historical tidbits.

This weekend is Canada’s May 3-day holiday weekend.  They’re celebrating Victoria Day on Monday.  Officially, it is the celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday, but, like in the USA, it unofficially opens the summer season.  There’ll be parades and fireworks, but mostly folks are out enjoying the long weekend.  Our campground is almost full with young families out for a little fun in the sun.

GAS REPORT:  We filled up this morning at the Husky station.  We paid $5.00 US.  (I haven’t checked the exchange rate this week, so this is based on the 4 percent of last week.)  Diesel was $4.33 per gallon.

Tomorrow, it’s off to Grande Prairie for one night, then on to Dawson Creek on Monday.  Dawson Creek is the start of the Alaska Highway.

I think I’ve just about covered it for today.  Thanks for tagging along.

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