A trade off

I love camping, always have. There is something about being outside, sitting next to a fire, the smoke filling the air, seemingly always blowing in the direction you are sitting. Marshmallows roasting, hot dogs cooking, all the traditional activities. When I was younger, camping meant a tent and sleeping bag, small camp stove and a chair. The lure was the outdoors. So many places to see, all with their own appeal. I’m old now.

Sleeping on the hard ground,and invariably a rock, has lost its lure for me. Camping has changed over the course of my life; it is now done with much more comfort. A real bed, bathroom, kitchen and air conditioning and satellite tv! Not really roughing it anymore.

Some may think that this isn’t real camping. As I walk around the campground I notice everyone is doing the same thing. When you pull in you set up your spot.  For some, that’s pitching the tent, others it’s plugging in and hooking up the sewer line.   It’s fun seeing all the different types of rv’s and tents; seeing where everyone is from is interesting. I notice, as people take walks around the campground, they give a sideways glance or point. Being from California and currently in Ontario Canada, we get our fair share of looks. Some will stop and ask if we are lost, or why are we here. Not lost and we are here because we can be.

So we set up our “summer home” and have all the comforts, but we still go out each day and explore something new. The wonders of the outdoors, the history of the area, the local flavor of the city. In the evening we may come back and sit by that fire, talk with the other campers, hear of their travels, share ours. It’s nice to know, if it rains, we wont be soaked and miserable.Yes, we have moved on past the tent on the ground and really roughing it. Our biggest issue seems to be trees.

I love a campground with shade and trees- but they block the satellite signal. Oh the horrors! We have spent time positioning our rv just right in the spot to get the signal, have even gone so far as to move spots. Not always with success. In the end, it comes down to a trade off- beautiful spot under the trees or satellite tv? Because it’s about the camping, the beautiful spot wins. Tv can wait, enjoying a campfire with new friends or family, well that always is my first choice.

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Eagle Valley Campground rv park Saskatchewan

For our drive between Calgary and Winnipeg, we decided to make an extra stop about half way. While we have plans and reservations in different places, we truly have no reason to hurry. We looked on the map and figured Maple Creek Saskatchewan would be a good stop. Looking on-line we chose Eagle Valley rv campground.

As we thought, the drive was long; what we learned as we drove, Saskatchewan is not very scenic. Ok, it’s scenic if you like low rolling hills with no trees. For miles and miles. YAWN!

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We arrived at the park about 5:30pm. I was pleasantly surprised at what we found. There were trees and it was a decent size park. What we found interesting was how the park was set up. Normally you turn into the rv spots like in a parking lot, here the sites are more like a turn out on the road. I thought it was odd at first, but after being there I liked that concept. With the spots being on the side of the roads, the center space between the roads wasn’t as broken up

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This park also has a restaurant and an indoor pool. The restaurant is small, and serves Carribean/ cajun type menu. We did not eat there- though the food looked good, it wasn’t what we felt like having that day.

Andrew and I did take advantage of the pool- an extra charge of 5 dollars I think it was. After a long drive, it was well worth the cost. There is wifi, but not at the rv sites- it is avail in the restaurant area.
the park is near the highway but I didn’t find it overly noisy.

Overall, it was nice, good for a big rig like ours, and the pool was a plus.

Spring Hill RV campground. Cochrane Canada

 

After leaving the U.S.A. we entered Canada through the Roosville entrance station in British Columbia; in the North West corner of Montana. The crossing was uneventful and took only about 10 minutes. Our destination, Calgary Alberta Canada. The drive to Calgary was pretty, though long. We had light rain during the drive but nothing major. We reached the campground at about 7pm.

The campground is farther out of the city of Calgary than I thought, but it was ok. Large pull through site but they have post fencing on the corners of each spot, making it a tight turn for us bigger rigs. It actually took some patients and maneuvering to not hit the post.DSC_0386DSC_0385

The park has many full-time campers, people in the area working so they stay at the park. there was construction in the park for improvements. From what I gathered, they were building a new playground spot for kids.

The other campers. long-term and short were pleasant. There is a gas station, store and restaraun. There is a pond with a small dock, use at your own risk. The area surrounding the pond is gravel rocks, there was construction debris around. A few days before had been some heavy rain so much of everything was soggy.

The location is out of the area of Calgary, though close enough to travel into town. Also it is on the way to Banff.
I wasn’t impressed with the park, there was highway noise, though most parks have that.

Gold Spike NHS

 

 

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While planning our trip, it was always understood that we would go to Salt Lake City area to see Gold Spike National Historic Site.  With Andrews love of trains, and his desire for over a year to see this, it was automatic.

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The drive there, as previously noted, was rather uneventful, if not boring.  To be honest, Nevada and Utah on highway 80 are not exciting at all, but we  muddled through and reached our destination.  The first night was just set up in the campground and rest. The next morning—-THE PARK

I don’t think I have ever seen such an excited boy, as Andrew was, to finally see his dream spot. We no sooner pulled into the parking spot and he was out the door, heading to the entrance, knowing his two favorite trains waited for him just on the other side.

Gold Spike NHS is the spot where the transcontinental railroad, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific met in 1869, uniting the country by rail.

We spent four separate days visiting this Historic site. Each day Andrew was as excited as the first

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We were able to get up close to the two trains- the Jupiter and the 119, exploring and asking questions of the park rangers. We were fortunate to also watch a reenactment of the meeting of the 2 trains.

The park staff were so pleasant and made us all feel like friends. After seeing us each day for 4 days, they never got tired of our questions and were always pleasant

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For being about 30 minutes from our campground, Gold Spike NHS is an interesting site, and a must see for anyone interested in the history of trains, and how they united our country.

Before we left the area we stopped in Brigham city, and the Brigham city train depot. This is a small depot/ museum. There are many artifacts of the late 1800’s. As Andrew spent time on the telegraph machine, the proprietor commented how enthralled Andrew was with the machine. I told him how Andrew had asked me for a telegraph system not long ago. With that, he looked at his wife and asked if they still had that “old one” well they did, and he presented it to Andrew, who was beyond thrilled.

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It has been those little things on this trip that have made me smile. Gold Spike NHS and the person involved in the reenactment helping Andrew drive the spike in. The folks running the train depot museum giving him a telegraph. Each small act of kindness has made our trip special.

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