Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Calgary, AB, Day 1

Before we arrived in Calgary, we first had to drive the 240 miles from Fort Steele in British Colombia.  And Oh those Canadian Rockies...A lot of these pics were taken by Nancy through the large front windshield, so pardon the bug smashes and sometimes blurry & reflecting photos.
I found myself looking too much at times and not watching where I was going.  Luckily the road is such I'm never going too fast.
Pardon the poles & cars, but hopefully you can look beyond them..:-)
We keep asking ourselves:  "Can it get any more aesthetically appealing?"
As you can see, there is so much greenery throughout the landscapes.  So, I would imagine that rainfall is pretty frequent.  However, our weather so far has been most agreeable for taking in the awesome grandeur.
I again must credit Nancy on taking these fine photos, through glass, under a seatbelt, and all the time being bounced around going down the sometimes rough road. 
We did go through several construction zones, but not too bad.  We did wind up with a couple of chips in the windshields of two different members.
We found out later that the bright yellow fields were canola.  And there many large fields of this unusual crop.
Frank's Slide!
From Wiki:  The Frank Slide was a rockslide that buried part of the mining town of Frank, Northwest Territories (later Alberta), Canada, on the morning of April 29, 1903. It occurred at 4:10 AM, when over 82 million tonnes (90 million tons) of limestone rock slid down Turtle Mountain within 100 seconds, obliterating the eastern edge of Frank, the Canadian Pacific Railway line and the coal mine. It was one of the largest landslide in Canadian history and remains the deadliest, as between 70 and 90 of the town's residents were killed, most of whom remain buried.
The photo above was taken with a very wide angle lens and therefore the real depth of field with regard to distance is somewhat skewed.  But this distance is large, approx. a mile to the top.
Here a couple of markers about the tragedy.
It's difficult for me to describe in these pics the sheer magnitude of this crumbled mountain.  Below, someone had left a small, crude personal marker, perhaps a descendant of one who perished and remains entombed among the quarry of limestone.
Above is a close up of the little memorial.
OK, we all finally made it to our place where we would be parked till Monday morning, McMahon Stadium.  The parking lot had been prepared by the Fantasy RV folks with water & electric hook ups, and has scheduled a tank dumps on Saturday morning for everyone.  We ill be using the facilities inside the stadium each day, and they are very nice.  The stadium is home to the Calgary Stampede of the CFL.
So, around 4:30 a school bus came & picked us up and hauled us over to nice club-like place (can't recall it's name however) about 2 miles away, a short 10 minute drive thru traffic.
Here are some of the folks, including our tail gunner, Bill adorned like a cowboy (:-) awaiting the school bus.
And here we are arriving at the club and there is wagon master Nancy.
We were treated to very nice buffet dinner with a roast beef carving station and wonderful selection of deserts.  :-(
The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round...well you know the jingle!
The head wagon master in charge of all visiting Fantasy RV tours to AK, Paul Mitchell.  Above he is welcoming us and explaining the many events planned for us while in Calgary.  He made us feel like part of the family.  Thanks Paul & Lisa, his wife and staff member.
Backgound, Paul, and foreground, our table are two other wagon masters on a different tour, but here at the same time as our tour.  We will join up with that tour a few times more down the road.
I did mention in yesterday's blog something about rootin-tootin cowboys, and here they are, straight from the dusty cowpoke drive out on the trail...('ya think?)
Introducing the Rodeo Riders: Dusty Britches & Saddle Sore Sam!  Here is a link to their website:
After dinner we were entertained by these two part singers, comedians, and certainly entertainers.  It was a fun, sing-a-long chuckle-type of ending to a wonderful day of memories.  Look them up on the web and order a CD from them.  They are a really good cowboy singing duet, as the third cowboy I assume had to stay back on the trail guarding the herd from the wolves & grizzlies.  :-)
Check these boots...
And one last final formal pose for the cameras.  What hams, but they seemed to really enjoy what they are doing, and you don't get the feeling that they've done these routines many times.  Thank you Paul once again for a fun evening.
And here we are getting back on the school bus (makes us feel young again) for the return trip to our RVs at McMahon Stadium.  It's 9:30, and look at the sun still shining.  Pretty neat.  I just love the long summer daylight hours!
And our friend Sammy, from the Villages in Florida waving hello.  Hi Sammy!
Well, that's about all for this, our first day (afternoon really as we arrived about 2 from Fort Steele), so stay tuned and dial us in again for further adventures in Calgary.  I am writing this from the coach,  Thursday morning (6AM) as I have found a nice fast wi-fi close by.  Later on this morning, the Sky Tower, Glenbow Museum and then on to the rodeo.  Yipee Kiyay!  Till then, RVing Beach Bums...