The 2011 Trip
Part 171 – Medicine Hat, Alberta to Swift Current, Saskatchewan

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

We were up at 7:30AM to a nice sunny windy morning with some heavy dark clouds off to the northwest.

This was the beautiful dog that was camped next to us in the Gas City Campground.
This was the view from the trailer window in site 16.
This is our truck and trailer in site 16.



The last three campgrounds in Alberta were not fit to camp in. Either that or one should have been paid to camp in them. Apparently these sticky things are from a Poplar Tree. Crazy Glue could learn a thing or two about sticking from these things. The soles of our shoes were a mess along with this mat, the steps and so on. I even had them on my clothes from working around the trailer. They were plain horrible and I never saw anything like them. If it were me I would cut the trees and replace them with evergreens.

By 9AM it was overcast and looked like it might rain. Betty and Bill showed up about 9:40AM and we finished getting ready to leave. We left site 16 at 9:52AM. Joan went with Bill and Betty and I followed along to the Wal-Mart parking lot. We went in to a little restaurant there and had a nice breakfast. Bill and Betty certainly used us well while at Medicine Hat. They not only drove us around but paid for all the meals we had. To be truthful about it they are lucky to be rid of us using us that good.

We said our final good byes and pulled out of the Mall parking lot at 10:10AM. We pulled in to the Co-op filling station at Dunmore, Alberta, and topped up the diesel tank at 11:27AM. We took on board 50.715 litres at $1.159 per litre for a total of $58.78. We were back on the road in no time because we simply purchased the fuel by putting a credit card in the pump.

The weather improved to the point we dug out “the shades”; the sun glasses. I was tired for some unknown reason and we pulled into a roadside pullout and had a 15 minute snooze. We did not notice the railroad tracks on one side of the pullout and the highway on the other. A five mile long train pulling container cars woke us. We passed that train later and there appeared no end to it. Before we managed to get on the road another train going the opposite way went by. The engineer gave us a big wave. He had two engines on the front, one in the middle of the train and one at the back. All four were pulling their weight, rumbling and smoke out their stacks. It was another long train, impossible to count the cars, they were all the same and either grain or ore of some description.

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This is the second train. One can just make out the middle engine in the second photograph up on the right. We saw the one engineer only but no doubt there was at least one more on board. We noticed quite a few engines parked in the railroad yard at Swift Current when we drove by.

We arrived at Swift Current around 3PM and spotted a truck wash. We turned around and went off on the side street to the truck wash. They were a great bunch. We washed the truck and trailer which were filthy. We could hardly see out the truck's windshield. We did not get them squeaky clean but gave them a good lick and a promise.

Yes, she needed a wash. This is the bug sample we had collected for several days on the road.

We left the truck wash and went over to the Esso station across the number one four lane highway and topped up the diesel tank. We took on board 59.303 litres at $1.219 for a total of $72.29. Bill said Saskatchewan would be a bit more expensive than Alberta.

From the Esso station the GPS led us into the Swift Current Wal-Mart and Mall arriving at 3:50PM.

Medicine Hat campground to Swift Current Wal-Mart was 238 kilometres.

This Wal-Mart had a McDonald’s so Joan and I went in for a lunch. It must have been Freedom Day at the local Hutterite Colony. Most of them were in the mall or McDonald’s. They were dressed the same and appeared to be speaking German. Some of the girls appeared to be married to some of the boys and appeared quite young. I would have enjoyed a chat with some of the older ones but did not get the opportunity. They were travelling in two one ton vans like the one we toured the Grand Canyon in. I find things like that quite interesting and would like to learn more about them.

The front of the truck at the Swift Current Wal-Mart.
Joan remained in the Wal-Mart and Mall and I came out to the trailer and fought the paper war including typing this up. Joan came out about 5:30PM and of course had spent enough to pay for parking here tonight. We have had enough of those sticky things and there are none here. We simply read until we went to bed and slept the night away. Another day was history.
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