It is now September and we are sitting in Kamloops, amazed that we're still alive and in one piece.
Our drive through the rest of the Dakotas and Montana felt incredibly long. Endless rows of corn, soybeans, and sunflowers (ND = #1 in production)! Memories were made in Butte (Laura, love you and your family - until we meet again in Colorado), where new and lasting friendships were made, and hours spent troubleshooting the RV to keep the journey moving. First issue was a melted electric plug- we probably tried to draw more power than allowed, or had a loose connection. Second issue was waking up in the morning after a rough storm to find no power to our fridge. We checked the connections, tried everything to turn the fridge on with no luck. After research on the make and model of our fridge (thanks Google!) and a small freak out moment on the thought of wasting food, we found the recall box had been tripped. The compartment behind the fridge was completely wet from the storm, which likely triggered it. We used magnets to reset it and voila - a working fridge and once again, happy couple!! Yes... magnets.
Canada, Part Two
We are almost through our 11 day journey through Alberta and British Columbia, and boy, what a journey it has been!
Lethbridge, AB was a fantastic stop - our hosts, Kendall and Sandy, took great care of us and we had a great event (articles from Lethbridge Herald and Global Lethbridge). Thank you Lyle for bring us Taber corn - amazingly sweet corn due to the area receiving more bright sunny days than anywhere else in Canada. Taber is actually known as the Corn Capital of Canada - can you taste the difference from sweet corn in the US? Yes! Sweet delicious Taber corn, we surely enjoyed you... until we meet again!
The drive to Edmonton, AB was uneventful, but we we had a fantastic event at Whitemud! Thanks to Adam for helping us, and to Ron for the fun photo below! So many great conversations and fun times. Connecting to the internet was again, an issue for us, but Christopher saved the day by coming early and giving us access to his hotspot. Woohoo! Thanks Nial for bring a cooler with drinks for everyone - wish we lived a bit closer... would love to be back in Edmonton someday.
The next morning, we headed off to Alliance, Alberta, a small town (population 120) southeast of Edmonton. Mayor Sue had invited us to share research with her community, and we were parked right outside their recently rebuilt community complex. The previous one had collapsed from a storm, and the community came together quickly and combined efforts to build another one. We love being in small towns, and this particular one has such a sense of support, community, and spirit all around.
Some very interesting things that we appreciated learning - Alliance is part of the Battle River Railway, a community owned rail line that serves several communities in the surrounding area. Parts of the rail network were being salvaged following declines in grain output, and central Alberta farmers collectively came together to purchase the line and has helped local producers stay in business.
I also had a chance to explore their Doll Museum, home to many, many eclectic dolls! Some brought back nostalgic feelings of childhood - there was a doll made in the 1800s that had straw legs, which was very neat to see. Some of the the photos below feature the Dionne Quintuplets - what a heart felt story. The quintuplets (all girls) sparked much attention after their birth as they survived more than a few days, and were taken away from their parents to become wards of the government under fear of private exploitation. The irony - they essentially became a large tourist attraction, living in an exclusive hospital called 'Quintland', where 3 million tourists came through in less than 10 years; they were involved in product endorsements, featured in movies, magazines, the list goes on. The government made an asinine amount of money peering in all the intimate details of their lives and exploiting their childhood. Remaining survivors Annette and Cecile turned 80 this year - my heart hurt learning their story...wishing them much love, and peace. There were so many other dolls to see - what an impressive collection!
Another post to come soon with our Calgary update and adventures in Kamloops and Vancouver! Thanks for reading!
Our blog covers the journey as we roll along - sharing stories of people we've met and engaged with, places we've seen, the discourse between a couple with two animals sharing <300 sq ft of moving living space, and more!