Thursday, August 25, 2011
A Look at the Canada Numbers
Today is Gene’s happy birthday. Boy, is he ever old now! We celebrated by driving 91 miles from Wal-mart in Crookston to Royal Oaks RV Park in Bemidji, MN. I did the driving, so he got the day off. He’s been pampered along the way. I fixed one of his favorite breakfasts--pancakes and bacon and for dinner he chose steak, french fries, and a salad. No cake for this birthday boy. He selected Key Lime Pie from the freezer section at Wal-Mart. He’s VERY picky about his stuff so I take the easy way out and hand over a little cash which he uses to purchase a prize of his choice. He ordered a pair of New Balance tennis shoes the other day from LL Bean and with the money I gave him I think he’s going to get a new watch. So even though it was a travel day, he had a good birthday.
At the beginning of this trip in March, we figured we’d be worn out and homesick to see family and would thus make a mad dash to Tennessee once we crossed back into the United States. We are worn out, however the week off in Winnipeg has really boosted our energy level and we’re homesick, but we’ve made a slight change in our homeward plan.
We’re now thinking to stay on US Route 2 and take it across the corner of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, get on I-75 and head south toward Columbus, Ohio. We’ll probably make a quick stop to see friends in Toledo then scoot over to Columbus to visit with Gene’s brother and sister-in-law before continuing our drive to Nashville.
This will add a few extra miles to the trip, but not many. After all, we’re over 10,000 now; what’s a few more? We can do this and still be in Nashville by the first of October. Can’t get too far south too soon because it’s still HOT down there.
We enjoyed our drive across Canada. We spent more time in Canada than we did in Alaska. Banff and Jasper National Parks are just wonderful and we’ll visit again if the opportunity presents itself. I’d really like to see Lake Louise when it isn’t frozen. We love the northern wilderness fell of the Yukon. We weren’t so taken with Edmonton, but really like Winnipeg. That’s good since Winnipeg is much easier to get to than Edmonton.
We really like Canada and plan to go back, probably more than once. We have the Canadian Maritimes on our short list as well as Montreal and Quebec City. We’ve been to Victoria for a very brief visit, but definitely want to return and spend some time on Vancouver Island. We really liked Winnipeg and want to visit again just to see the Human Rights Museum which is currently under construction. Like the US, Canada has so many wonderful places to visit--too many to get them all done.
As much as we like Canada, I’ll have to say, it is very expensive. Gas is expensive, food is expensive, campgrounds are expensive. I’m also glad not to be making those metric conversion any more.
For the record, here are the numbers to the Canadian Border.
Total miles from Nashville--9967
Total miles Canadian Border to Canadian Border--7284
Total miles in Alaska--1927
Total days from Nashville--155
Total days Canadian Border to Canadian Border--105
Total days in Alaska--46
Total days in Canada--58
Total gallons of gas from Nashville--1329
Total gallons of gas Canadian Border to Canadian border--906
Average price per gallon--$4.87
Total campgrounds from Nashville--50
Total campgrounds Canadian Border to Canadian Border--36
Total campgrounds in Alaska--14
Average price per campground--$26
Total spent on campground fees--$2846.
Total free nights--36
We still have about a thousand miles to go and expect to be back in Nashville by October 1.
We’ve set up our camp at Royal Oaks RV Park in Bemidji near the headwaters of the Mississippi River. It has been very tempting to go home by way of the Great River Road, but have decided that to do that drive justice it would take more time and energy than we have right now. It will remain on our short list of things to do someday.
We plan to be here three nights before moving further east. I haven’t had much time to investigate the campground, but it has excellent ratings. We have a lovely back-in wooded site with grass on either side of the gravel parking pad. This is a Good Sam park and with the discount the site is only $26 per night for full hook-ups, cable and wifi. The Bemidji Lake is nearby as well as Bemidji Lake State Park where we’ll be doing some hiking.
That’s all for today. Thanks for tagging along.