Alberta

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Thanks to the guy at Denny's in Calgary. I'm sorry that I forgot your name, but thanks anyway.

A very special thank you to Gerry and Denise Duriez of Spruce Grove, Alberta. Two very wonderful people that tried their best to spoil me.

Also a very special thank you to Trevor and the whole staff at Tony Roma's in Grand Prairie, Alberta. You people are great and lots of fun. If you're ever in Grand Prairie be sure to go to Tony Roma's. This place ROCKS!!
 

Starting on August 23, 2002, 1:25:36 AM

I'll tell you now, if you ever decide to go to Canada, be sure to hit a different border crossing than the one I went through here. I had no problems crossing from Maine to New Brunswick and no problem crossing from New York into Ontario. As a matter of fact they were so accommodating at those places I thought they were going to offer money to come to Canada. (Just kidding). But here crossing into Alberta from Montana was quite a different story. I felt like I was getting interrogated or the third degree or something. They asked me how much money I was carrying, how many credit cards and how much limit I had on each one. They asked me where I was going, where I'd be staying and asked for phone numbers and addresses of the people that I'd be staying with. They asked me if I'd ever been convicted of a felony and asked when the last time I was in a court room and for what. It was quite the interrogation. I had to ask why all the questions so the guard told me that they wanted to make sure that I would be able to take care of myself if anything happened to me. So now I felt like I was getting lectured by dad. Gee they didn't ask me if I had a good enough coat or if I'd used the rest room before I left. They didn't even bother with the bike and all my stuff on it. I was anticipating a complete search through all that stuff but they didn't even look at it. So its okay if you have bombs or drugs or those stolen microchips, just as long as you have enough money for a Big Mac.

I will have to say thought, that they were very friendly and I'm sure were just doing their jobs. A little piece of paper and I was on my way again.

Below is a picture of Calgary and a shot of the extremely bright moon. It was night when I arrived into Calgary so I stopped at a Denny's for a late dinner and planned on heading to Kinko's directly afterwards to update my web site.

Calgary was a nice, clean city, as far as what I could tell. There certainly wasn't much before Calgary but wide open spaces.

However, unfortunately, the Kinko's wouldn't let me hook up with my laptop. For some reason they had only Macs on their network and didn't have any available phone lines for dial-up. So I headed down the road on to Edmonton.

Along the way the sun began to come up so I got some pictures of the sunrise. While I was taking pictures and waiting for the different stages of the sunrise I noticed a group of horses in the field behind me. Well, they all seemed pretty friendly so I had to go and pet them. They were all quite pleasant and each one had to take their turn in greeting me so it took a little while.

 

A little further I was enjoying the new scenery and landscape as the light revealed Alberta to me.

I stopped at a turnout to take a breather and stretch when I noticed the dew on the ground. Wow, being the normal night-owl that I am I rarely get to see dew so I got a few pictures of it close up.

I stopped at a rest area a little further down and found a few rabbits to take a picture of. This one here was even sitting on an actual bunny trail.

I had met a real nice couple while waiting for the ferry back to Nova Scotia from Newfoundland. They told me to call them when I get close to Edmonton so I did and they really took good care of me. Wow, they fed me, did my laundry, and let me stay in their guest room, and even play with little Willy. What a cute little guy he was. 

While I was at Gerry and Denise's we went down to the gazebo in the back of the property. Noticing that the grass was getting a little tall back there, Gerry took the lawnmower after it and stirred up a yellow-jacket nest. Not noticing the swarm I walked right into them and was attacked. Not quite sure what was biting me, I fled the direct vicinity as they kept chasing and stinging me. I finally saw what it was coming from and got far enough away from their nest so they stopped. I only got stung six times before they ceased their attack. I'll have to admit, they won.

 

Here's an interesting sign I saw at an Esso gas station. Of course you don't even have to guess where I got my gas.

Heading towards the mountains I noticed the closer I got the more thunderclouds I could see. Although all the clouds made for a beautiful sky.

A really nice girl, Yukiyo, from Japan, was riding her bike across Canada. She currently lives in Long Island, New York and had ridden across Canada and was on her way back home. She said that she really enjoyed her ride but she was tired and ready to get back home. Trust me, I can totally sympathize. 

More pictures from the mountains, I didn't get as many shots as I'd liked because of all the rain that was chasing me. I kept the camera safely stored in my bags so it wouldn't get wet. There were thunderstorms all over the area and I strategically maneuvered my way through the storms. Although there was only one road and I couldn't really plot any particular course, I did manage to time each storm out right so I missed them. With the various slopes where I could see some distances I could make out where the various isolated storms were and which way they were headed. I would slow down and speed up accordingly and sometimes even stop to wait for one to pass through an area. It was actually pretty fun and I thought I was getting good at it when some of the clouds were pulling a few tricks on me and started raining while I was directly under them. That's when I started watching out for the sheeting effect coming from the cloud formations. I could tell how much time I had before the rain got to the ground and often could make it right under them before the water got to the ground.

This was an interesting shot. While the storm clouds were passing and performing their magic dance above, some other clouds came in from down the river below and made their way up this small gorge. It was definitely worth stopped and digging the camera out of the bag.

As I made it through the storms I rolled into Grand Prairie and began to look for a place to eat. I got these pictures of the sunset just at the edge of town. 

I found a Tony Roma's and stopped in for a bite, wondering if I'd have time to eat and get back on the road before those storms caught up with me. Well, I didn't but I had a great time as the staff took extra special care of me. What a wonderful group of people. I wish I could stay longer.

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