This will be a long post since it is several days journal
June 16, 2012
I slept under a Sycamore tree last night. It was hot when I went to bed. Near 90 degree F. It nice this morning. It is 18.4 degree C. I have a thermometer on the motorcycle, but it only gives the temperature in Celsius.
I woke up to early like normal. There was only one person fishing on the lake. I talked with him over breakfast. Found out he is a misplaced Texan. I got a late start since it decided to shower a little and got the tent wet.
I run into a dairy farming area in northern South Dakota. The land is rather flat. Both North and South Dakota has a lot of water. There is ponds and lakes everywhere. So there are ducks, geese, sea gulls and other water birds all over the place. No real hills, more like mounds and water between the mounds. At least in the parts of the state I travelled thru. The scenery is fields and crops along with the water. It seemed strange that the pile rocks in the field when they clear them. I would think they would put the rocks at the edge.
Before I got into North Dakota, I started getting wind from the Northwest. It stayed with me all day. It was rather strong and really dropped my gas mileage and range on a tank. I have traveled 1000 miles now on this journey.
I set up my tent at the campground in Surrey (just east of Minot) North Dakota. It is a small campground in the city park. It has water on site. The electrical is 30 or 50 amp for RVs, so you can’t just plug a normal cord into it. The toilet and showers are across the baseball field from the campground. The price is $5 a night for tents.
There is a biker bar in town. I decided not to go to it, since I was looking for food. 14 Harleys and 3 very drunk people outside. Someone was doing burnouts inside, the smoke and noise was just pouring out the open door. The other bar served edible food, and I talked to several of the patrons. Most were here for the oil boom. In fact, 4 of the RV and 1 tent had people working around the oil boom jobs. The guy in the tent has been looking for a place to rent for 2 months now.
I think I may change my route after taking with several travelers. Each recommended a different route. All said they would not enter Canada where I thought.
I will probably put on some warmer clothes tomorrow. I was a bit chilled today. I thought about stopping to put a liner in my jacket, but never got quite chilly enough to do that. The current temp is 17.4 C. The wind had died down some, so it is not too bad.
I will use the shower tonight since I stopped and got my toiletries.
June 17, 2012
Today I travelled 497 miles. I am camping at the GlenDale Regional Park outside of Maymont, Saskatchewan. It has flush toilets, but no showers. It is on the Saskatchewan river. It is wet. Everywhere it wet. It has been raining or showers most all day. I had probably a total of 1 hour dry riding between each shower or storm. You can easily see them coming. The horizon turns dark from the land to as far up as you can see if it is a heavy one coming. If it is a shower, you can see it, but it will be lighter to the sides. There are still heavy clouds and looks like it will rain again. I saw plenty of abandon houses and barns that could be camped (boon docking) in, but it is too muddy to get the bike over to them without getting it stuck. So it is a public campground tonight, because the road though muddy does have gravel under the mud.
I saw several things I would have liked to take pictures of, but did get many because of the rain. I would have like to take a picture of the moose crossing sign (I am use to deer crossing), of several fields with rock piles in them, and of scenery from some of the high points along the way. There was one spot that was just wonderful, you started down the hill and rounded the curve on the hill and it opened up to the road which is just barely above the water level crossing a lake bounded by the hills. I think I was on Hwy 39 at the time. I did get some of the water birds at one lake crossing. I got a picture of a drag line bucket. I saw some hugh, I mean really big cranes that were working on strip mining coal. I could not get close enough to get a picture that would give them any justice.
Gas is not as high as I thought it would be. It has been running about $1.25/liter. I filled 3 times today. I lost my water jug somewhere along the way. I went to get a drink and it was gone. So I picked up a 6 pk of water bottles for $3.00.
I spend some time at the border crossing. Getting through was not a problem. Give the patrol my passport, and answer some simple questions. There is an information both just inside Canada. I spent a while talking in there to find the best way. He didn’t think the route I was taking was the best. So we discussed it and I changed my route a little. The time changed in Saskatchewan to 1 hour earlier than North Dakota.
The temperature started the day at 16.4 C, but when I hit the rain it dropped to 14.2 C and it is not 11.5 C. I will have to get a converter out to find out what that is that I can understand. But right now, I have no WIFI, and no cell coverage. So I can’t text or call anyone. I hope the “I’m Here for the Night” signal went out OK.
June 18, 2012
Last night got cold enough to sleep in the sleeping bag. But not with it zipped up. It still wasn’t that cold.
Well it started out wet. I broke camp in the rain. It continued to rain for about 70 miles. Then I stopped for breakfast, and to pick up a gas can. I ran the bike down to ¼ gallon of gas left before I found a place to fill up.
I continued on Yellowhead highway into Alberta. The scenery slowly changed from rolling crop land to rolling cropland with trees. I stopped at McDonalds in Edmonton to use the WIFI, but theirs was not working. So couldn’t upload any journal updates or pictures. My cell phone is in Roaming, so I am not using it. The price of gas in less in Alberta by 10 to 12 cents per liter.
I turned on to hwy 43 and started toward Dawson. Along this route I saw bison in the timber, several deer in open meadows, geese with goslings, but no moose. But there were a lot of moose crossing signs posted. It rained off and on. Once again the wind was coming from the northwest and I am traveling northwest. The gas mileage suffered.
This part of the country is having oil boom also. So all the motels, hotels, and campgrounds are full. I found a place to stay between Valleyview and Little Smokey called Popular Ridge. It is a small place. It is also full, but I could put my tent up if I wanted. They did warn me that a mountain lion is in the area, but they hadn’t seen a bear recently. This is a nice family campground with swing set, jungle gym, sand box, and horse shoes. It is raining of course. I talk with lady owner, and she suggests I pitch my tent in the big gazebo, which I do since it will give the tent a little chance to dry. It cost $16, there is warm showers, laundry facility, but no WIFI. She is very interesting; a native aborigines of this area. Lived in the bush most of her life and only got electricity 13 years ago. I also met Tim who is an oil line working, moves from job site to job site in his travel trailer, his family join him some in the summer.