Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fort Steele, British Columbia

Today was a travel day with no detours for sightseeing.  Well, I guess that’s not really true.  We made a stop for groceries and found the world’s largest truck.

Our home last night

We left our cozy little campsite at the rest area early.  We wanted to get to Fort Steele as early as possible to take full advantage of electricity, free flowing water, and laundry facilities.  Since Fort Steele is a tiny community, we wanted to stop at one of the larger towns we would be passing through to do some grocery shopping.

By doing a little research in the huge mound of brochures he had picked up in Lethbridge, Gene was able to discover the world’s largest truck was sitting right next to Highway 3 in Sparwood.  Right next to the truck was the Visitor Center with RV parking and right across the street from the truck and Visitor Center was a supermarket.

We made our stop, viewed the truck, made pictures, and went to the grocery.  This seems like a good place to make a few remarks as a way of explanation for what I did regarding groceries.  I had the short list of items not to bring across the Canadian border--meat, dairy, and plants.  I really concentrated on eating those items down and as a result my refrigerator and freezer were just about empty.  I knew that everything is more expensive in Canada (and Alaska, too, for that matter), so while I was eating down the items in the refrigerator, I was stockpiling other stuff--paper products, personal hygiene products, cleaning products--and some food items like crackers, pasta, snack stuff.  If I’d known the border agents weren’t so interested in meat, dairy, and plants, I would have had my refrigerator and freezer full.

Everything we looked at in the grocery was significantly more than what we pay in the southern states.  Most boxed items like cake mix and pancake mix were double.  Cheese and all produce was also much more expensive.  I bought fresh chicken breast and ground beef, both of which were about the same as I usually pay.  Peanut’s food (Iams dry) was about $3 more per bag.  Granted, this was a small town and even small towns in Tennessee are more expensive than large metro area supermarkets.  Still, we were pretty much shell shocked by the time it was over.

Richardson Ground Squirrel

With that little chore out of the way, it was on to Fort Steele.  We are parked at Fort Steele Resort and RV Park in Fort Steele, British Columbia.  It’s an older park, but very well maintained.  All interior roads are gravel as are the parking pads with a spacious grassy area with picnic table between sites.  Most are pull-thrus, but there are some back-ins along the perimeter and there are also tent sites.  The office has a good selection of grocery items, a few gifts and souvenirs, and is doing a big business selling ice cream cones today.  They also have gasoline, so we’ll fill up in the morning before leaving.  The view is not bad, either, as you can see from the photo.  The price is almost double our campground budget at $42/night, but it is what it is and we needed what we needed--full hook-ups, WiFi, and laundry.

View from my window tonight

Ice cream is a hot item today because the weather is just about perfect.  The sun is shining in a bright blue, cloudless sky and the temperature was in the low 70s.  We enjoyed having our door and windows open this afternoon.

I haven’t said anything about road conditions since we entered Canada.  The roads we traveled on in Alberta (Highway 4 and Highway 3) were in excellent condition.  Even that little county road which we took over to Head Smashed-In was excellent.  Since crossing into British Columbia, we have run into a couple areas of construction.  The area just past Sparwood was pretty rough, but, except for the construction areas, the road (again Highway 3) has been very good.

We have been busy doing chores since we arrived at Fort Steele.  Tomorrow we’re heading up to Radium Hot Springs and Kootenay National Park.  We’ll be there a couple nights, then move over to Banff National Park for three or four days.  Since we will be staying inside the National Parks, we probably won’t find laundry facilities; we may not even have full hook-ups.  We wanted to have everything done before getting there.  I just bet we won’t have WiFi either.

That’s all for tonight.  I’ll post again as soon as possible.  Thanks for tagging along.

No comments:

Post a Comment