After a good night's sleep it was time to hit the road again. I got up and went to the office to check out while the wife started rounding up breakfast. We let the kids sleep until breakfast was ready and I was back from the office. They would've slept all day if we had let them but food trumps sleep sometimes. Once breakfast was done I went out and unplugged, waved to the neighbor as he headed off to another day at work and got ready to face the road once more.
When I climbed into the cab the kids were belted in and ready to go so I was able to pull out with out delay. As we were about to leave my wife reminded me about the sink drain causing me to stop by the office once more and go into the repair shop. When I went inside I noticed that they carried a lot of different parts for all types of RV's so my chances of getting the replacement part was high. A voice called out from the back letting me know they'd be right there and I waited patiently, browsing the shelves as I did so.
Not long after the voice's owner came out of the back room asking what she could do for me. I was slightly taken aback because she was a beautiful mid-twenty year old that looked like she had just came from a runway shoot and not the grease pits of a repair shop. Quickly I regained my senses and begain describing my problem with the sink. When I was finished she reached over her head and pulled the part I needed out asking if it looked the same. I replied it did and asked about how long it would take to fix. She smiled a sad smile and replied Tuesday.
I was shocked! I didn't realize they were so backed up, it was thursday after all, and I didn't relish spending time in the campground just waiting for tuesday. I guess she figured out what was on my mind because she explained that one of the mechanics had quit last week and a replacement hadn't been found. Then she described to me in great detail exactly how to fix the drain if I wanted to try it on my own. I kindly thanked her for all her help and paid for the part, and headed out the door. My wife saw me coming and realized we had a problem by the look on my face.
She piled out of the RV and asked about it. I told her what I had been told and showed her the part I had just bought. At first she didn't seem concerned and asked me when I was going to fix the sink. I just looked at her and replied that I couldn't because I didn't have the right tools on hand and would have to buy them in town. She quietly processed this and asked me if I really wanted to drive through the traffic to get to a tool store. I replied that I would rather wait until we hit Lethbridge since it was smaller and the traffic wouldn't be so bad. She nodded saying that it sounded like a good idea and climbed in to the RV once more. I walked to the cab and got in. I placed the part in the storage area next to the maps and pulled out of Glowing Embers more than ready to put down some miles.
Once we got on the highway we were able to bypass most of Edmonton so traffic wasn't an issue. Things quickly slipped back into a routine, I was driving and trying to keep the spped down while the wife was keeping the kids occupied by playing DVD's and having them play games, sing songs, draw pictures and the like. We were rolling through farm country so the scenery didn't really change much but to keep alert I made a game out of sign reading. There was one sign in particular that I found interesting but was unable to get a good picture of. It was a siloette of the Queen and it told us we were on Queen Elizabeth II's highway. Initally the older kids were interested in the sign but after I explained who the Queen was they quickly lost interest and went back to their other diversions.
The next city of any real size coming up was Calgary. Now I'm not a real big hockey fan but I've watched enough to know who the Maple Leafs are and I had always wanted to go to Calagry and see the city for myself. We were about half an hour away from Edmonton when a driver in a passing car suddenly matched my speed and started gesturing to me about something. I really couldn't tell what it was he was trying to say but I did notice that he kept pointing at my tires.
In case I haven't told you I'm really anal about vehical maintence before a trip. The last thing I want is to get stuck somewhere in the boonies because of car trouble. That being said I took the RV to the shop in Anchorage before we left and had them do a once over on it to make sure it was in tip top shape. The only things they didn't check were the tires. After they had fixed a couple of things that might have caused a problem they told me about not checking the tires and suggested I go back to the service station on base for a free tire inspection. Since the service station was right down the street from my house I figured I'd stop in and get the tires looked at. So on the way home I stopped in and asked the mechanic to do a safety chack on my tires. I explained about my trip and told him I wanted to catch any problems before getting on the road. Well he had me pull around to the side and go wait in the waiting room while he looked them over. I hadn't even gotten half way through my magazine when he came back and told me that all the tires, including the spare, were just fine. I figured he knew what he was doing and left it at that.
I didn't give the tires a second thought until I saw that driver pointing at my tires and trying to tell me something. Well I waved him on and decided to check my tires at the next pull off I could find. It wasn't very far down the road so I didn't really have time to get paranoid about the tires before I was able to pull over and check them for myself. Once I stopped I did a complete walk around of the RV and noticed that the outside passenger tire on my cabin looked a little low. That was all I could find wrong so I made a mental note and decided to take it slower just in case it did blow out I wanted to be at a relatively safe speed. I told the wife what I had found and that I was going to be trying to put some air in it when we stopped for fuel a little later in the day,
During the course of the day I would occasionaly pull over and re-inspect the tires and they always looked the same. Around lunch time I needed fuel so I stopped at a gas station that had an air pump, filled up the tank and checked the air pressure in the tire. The pressure came up fine but the tire still looked low so I decided to continue taking it easy until the next stop. While I was doing this my wife prepared sandwiches for our lunch and had mine sitting on my seat for me when I returned to the RV.
Knowing I wanted to make the US border before stopping for the night but also knowing I was losing time because of driving slower I decided to eat my lunch on the move. So I pull out onto the highway once more and eat while I'm heading down the road. Soon after I finished my lunch I noticed a sign pointing to another road that would take me to Vulcan. Now I'm a huge Star Trek fan and have always wanted to go to Vulcan to see the Trek exhibits they have in town. My wife had also noticed the sign and asked me if I was planning on a detour. I replied no, that I was still worried about the tire and wanted to just press on through till dinner or the next fuel stop and re-evaluate the situation then. I went on to say that we would be coming back this way in the future and would make a point of stopping there next time. She said OK and went back to the back to lay down for a rest. The older kids were occupied and the little ones were napping so I was able to drive in peace and quiet for awhile.
Soon the kids awoke and that brought my wife back up to the front of the cabin. In the meantime I had been able to put on some serious miles and we were closing in on Calagry. It wasn't long after tht the kids spied a train coming along side of us. They got all excited and pressed their faces to the window glass to watch the train pass by. Once the train got close my oldest noticed the engine and some of the cars had "CANADA" written across them in big bold letters. Upon hearing that my wife asked me to help her get a couple of pictures of the train by trying to keep up with it. I did my level best to keep up with the train but it still passed us by. She was able to get a couple of snaps off but they weren't real good. I asked her to keep them anyway so I could brag, with pictures no less, about racing a train through the Canadian countryside. She agreed and then asked when we would be in Calagry. I pointed to the horizion and told her that the lumps she was seeing was actually the skyline and we would be there soon.
Back into routine we go for a little while but soon we start coming up on Clagary and everyone wanted to look at the city. Once in the city proper it was busy and the road was crowded but no mis-steps and the kids kept quiet so I could focus on the traffic. I noticed we were getting low on fuel and started looking for a truck stop on the outskirts of town. Now I would've loved to havespent a day or two exploring the city but I knew we still had a long way to go and the days were flying by us so I put exploring on the back burner until the next trip. I found several truck stops but most of them were just too hard for me to get to so I waited until we were nearly out of town altogether and the traffic had thined before I made my move and exited off for fuel.
While fueling up I inspected my tires again and ddin't notice any change so I put it out of my mind and got ready to get back on the road. Just before pulling off my wife asked me about the tires and I told her that they still looked fine and we would press on to the border. She agreed and picked up the Milepost to begin looking for what lay ahead of us. After a few minutes she told me the next town was called Lethbridge and that it was the last town before the border. I replied Cool..we'll be in the US again before dinnertime.
Well that didn't quite work out like planned. The distance was longer than I had thought especially at the slower pace and it wasn't long before the kids started getting restless. After battleing the kids my wife took a break and looked over the Milepost again. I didn't give it a second thought until she told me that she wanted to stop in Lethbridge for the night. I looked at her in the mirror and asked why. She responded by telling me she was tired and her wrist had begun to hurt a little. She also said that we might not hit the border before nightfall and would rather wait and hit it in the morning. Well I readily agreed, mostly because of the wrist pain, and we made plans to stop for the night at Lethbridge.
There is only one campground there and when my wife called to make the reservations she was told that yes they had plenty of spots left for us to choose from. She finished making the reservation and getting directions before hanging up and asking how far away we were. I told her we'd be there in about an hour, she nodded and headed for the back to laydown again. The rest of the ride to Lethbridge was uneventfull and the directions they gave us was spot on. No problems what so ever. It took a little less than an hour but we finally made it to the campground and I went Inside the office to get our spot of the night. After looking over the map and picking a spot I climbed back inside the RV and headed for our spot. I found it rather quickly and hooked up for the night.