CAMPGROUND: Bow Valley Campground. Provincial park – so lots of trees with big gravel sites. Water and electricity at site. Picnic table and firepit. Pit toilets nearby with central flush toilets in shower room. Showers are $2. (Bah!) $36/night seems a bit high. Very popular park. 4 stars out of 5.
LOCATION: Bow Valley Provincial Park about an hour west of Calgary, Alberta
WEATHER: Mostly sunny during the day. Evening rain
We sadly said goodbye to our friends Tony and Jenny, with whom we have been traveling for the past 3 weeks across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. They are heading west toward Vancouver Island. It has been great traveling with them again. This is about our 16th time getting together on the road – in various camping areas around North America, and even once in Belgium!
We got an early start as we weren’t sure how long our route today would take. We went north beyond Lethbridge. As we were leaving a gas station in one small town, a caravan of Airstreams (from Texas!) went by. We were amazed, as we haven’t seen many Airstreams since we left the Airstream rally in Ohio.
We waved excitedly as we passed the 4 Airstreams – oops – too excitedly, as we missed our turn. We ended up in another town, totally lost. We pulled into a church parking lot to try to figure out where we were. Our GPS was no help, as it wanted us to take the highway route through Calgary to our destination, and we wanted to take the scenic road through the mountains. A kind man stopped and gave us directions, but really quizzed us about whether we wanted to take that route. It goes up to 7200 feet, the highest paved road in Alberta. We were a little apprehensive, but we said we would do it.
Immediately, the scenery turned gorgeous – huge spruce trees with the Rocky Mountain snowy peaks in the distance. We stopped for a picnic along this river, roaring with snow melt.
The road is only open in the summer- due to snow and for wildlife management.
We saw a deer, a long-horned sheep, and lots of Rocky Mountain sheep….
There were signs warning of elk and moose crossing, but we didn’t see any. It was just beautiful. When we got to the top, there was still snow along the highway.
We arrived at the campground about 3:00, got settled in, and prepped for dinner with my cousin and her husband. They live in Calgary, and drove out to the campground to see us. It was great seeing them again.
We sat around the campfire for a bit, then headed inside to eat as it started to rain.
DINNER: Deli sandwiches with sides of potato salad, and leftover Mexican bean salad.