Friday, July 20, 2012

Tuesday, July 17: Sunny and cool. Slept in a bit. Short trip to Fort MacLeod AB today. Visited with a nice couple from Virginia over breakfast; they designed their own trip from Calgary to Vancouver WA (with stops in between) and their travel agent set up transportation (mostly busses) and lodging. Neat idea. We leave our lovely island in the stream of busy Calgary, and find pretty country outside Calgary—huge, grassy fields with some cattle and horses, and lots of big, round bales. The Rockies are hazy off to the west. We’ll be back in ‘em in a couple days at Glacier Park. Found a modest, but clean, motel in Fort MacLeod; it’s is a little prairie town (+3000) with a big history, beginning when the North West Mounted Police set up a post here in 1874 on the Oldman River (yeah, “Old Man River”, funny, huh?) to control lawlessness due to the whiskey trade. The chiefs of the local tribes were so appreciative, they signed a treaty of co-operation. We visited a very well done replica of the fort, also named MacLeod after the first commander; it had lots of historical items in the self-sufficient fort, especially of the NWMP which became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police when their job became to police all of Canada, not just the Northwest. We watched eight young people do the “musical ride” (kind of like the marching bands you see at football halftime shows, only on horses ) just like we saw at the Stampede with 32 riders! Really amazing. (I bet there’s a u-tube on it; it’d be worth watching.) Thunderstorms rolled in while we were in the museum (we had walked over from our motel); we tried our best to wait it out in the ice cream shop (Saskatoon blueberry is in season!), but I ended up buying an umbrella to get us back to our digs. Ron spent the evening trying to figure out how to get our sales tax back from Canada while I played a game on our computer. I had more fun. And to bed.

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