We start out way too early
Mile 1347; 8:10 AM
"And over here, you see, we planted some sunflowers."
"Now, last year, we had a lot of rain and the potatoes didn't come up at all, but this year, we had almost no rain, and the potatoes did great!"
Dee did make a pretty good breakfast (no watermelon!), and Jerry was scraping the frost off our car's windshield when we staggered downstairs (plus, we got a free Fort McLeod souvenir pin!).
There was one other guest in the place--an actual Canadian Mountie! Of course, we never saw him (he came in last night after we'd gone to bed and was still asleep when we left). Robert is convinced that Mounties are using advanced stealth technology that prevents Americans from seeing them. Our search continues for an actual Mountie.
Mile 1404; 9:35 AM
They do have public washrooms. Canada has public washrooms about every 100 meters (47 acres). Apparently, Canadians take their bodily functions very seriously.
Along the way, we pass many fields of wheat stubble, one filled with grazing--chickens! We're not making this up. There was a huge flock of White Leghorns scratching around in a wheat field. Laura thinks they must be free-range chickens and wonders how they round them up (chickenboys on ponies?). Robert thinks it would be a cooler sight if they were eight feet tall with teeth.
Drive safely with God
Who wants to live in a town called Fernie?
Mile 1454; 10:40 AM
We pass the world's largest dump truck, which is painted pea soup green (apparently, they were worried that somebody might not see it).
Lovely Cranbrook, B.C.
Mile 1516; 12:18 PM
If this is Creston, where's Colgaton?
Mile 1583; 1:20 PM
We also pass an intersection marked "Runway Truck Crossing," at which point we stopped to make sure any runaway trucks in the area had the right of way.
We heard this story on the radio: "My father was in the war, and he brought back a 'lucky' bullet that he always carried in his shirt pocket. One day, he was walking down the street, and nearby was a street Preacher who was preaching furiously and waving his Bible in the air to punctuate his point. Suddenly, the Bible flew out of his hands, across the street and struck my Dad in the chest. And if it wasn't for his lucky bullet, that Bible would have killed him!"
We've reached the end of the Trail
Mile 1671; 5:30 PM
From the motel soda pop machine we discover that the French word for "grape" is "raisin" ("Grape Nehi" = "Raisin Nehi"). Which leads us to wonder what the French word for "raisin" is.
After checking in to the motel, we get some of our pictures developed at a one-hour photo shop. Robert has been hauling around a 3D picture-taking contraption that consists of two disposable cameras taped to a plastic stick, and we can't wait to see how it works.
Which means we end up in a pub, peering through a cardboard 3D viewer (which makes us look like aliens from the planet Geek). The pictures turn out really cool (especially the dinosaur ones), and nobody in the pub bothers us.
The pub-tender is a real Canadian guy--long hair, droopy mustache, and an accent you could cut with back bacon. We decide to ask him for recommendations for places to eat. He starts to rattle off the location of every restaurant in town.
No, says Laura, we want to know where you eat.
"Oh, I eat at home."
How about when you go out?
"Oh, I don't go out much."
But when you do?
"Oh, I went to this place called the Crown Point with my ex-girlfriend once. I had a couple of beers, she just had coffee."
We end up eating at a restaurant across the street from the motel, which has okay food and Trivial Pursuit cards on each table. Sample question: "In what 1937 Hemingway novel does Harry Morgan lose an arm?" Laura guesses "Farewell to Arms," which of course is wrong, but almost as funny as the real answer, "To Have and Have Not."
I kissed her then I Smelter
We read our mail
Goodness, we got a whole sack load of mail! SOMEbody is actually reading this stuff!
First, we hear from Carolyn, who lives in New York, and she seems to be enjoying our missives from a foreign planet ("I want to wake up in the country that always sleeps!").
NUTS !!! I was going to say "keep those cards and letters coming", but Laura's sister beat me to it. The saga is excellent and I would suggest that you not come home at all but just keep traveling and writing to your fans ... except then what would happen if we need macro changes for the Sponsor book??
Well, Carolyn, the next time we meet a Sikh, we'll pass the message
along, but based on our Sikh encounters so far, they're likely
to reply, "Fries going with that you would like?"
Our next correspondent, Sharon, is also from the East Coast, although a bit lower down (from the state whose official flower is the orange blossom).
And our final message is from Steve (also on the East Coast). Steve works as a preparator for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC (which means he spends all day gluing together little pieces of bone). He was our den mother for our dinosaur-digging trip last year, and apparently has a bone to pick with the Tyrrell folks...
Well, Steve, up here a hadrosaur is called a "beer-bill" dinosaur.
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