RV issue ends trip with Canada traveling friends near Jasper, Alberta
Several elk cows and a half dozen calves crossed the busy four lane highway just outside Jasper, Alberta, Canada.
With the Canadian portion of our Alaska trip quickly coming to an end, we pulled off the highway into tiny McBride at Beaver View RV Park (the only one in town and very nice) and grilled halibut steaks, caught a couple weeks ago in Cook Inlet Near Homer, AK, for dinner.
Dinner was served on a picnic table outside the RV’s and the temperature was in the upper 60’s and calm. Very fair weather for mid August this far north.
We drove into downtown McBride and joined some local folks at a bluegrass music jam and sing-along at the local library before retiring for the evening. It was a welcomed break from the road. Typical small town friendly folks who gather here weekly and provide their own entertainment, asked us to join in the singing and playing. I struggled through some familiar songs on a 12-string guitar with the group which included a keyboard, bass, mandolin, accordian and another guitar. Don, Sue and Martha joined in the sing-along.
The following morning Don and Sue, our RV traveling companions from near Ottawa, Canada, discovered their refrigerator had quit working. RV’s are equipped with special refrigerators that operate on electricity or propane; depending whether parked in an RV campground or traveling the road.
When in campgrounds, the refrigerators will automatically switch to electricity but on the road it switches to propane which we carry in large 75 gallon tanks attached underneath the RV frame. Their refrigerator freezer is packed with halibut and sockeye salmon from Alaska. Unfortunately, finding a replacement refrigerator in the back country of northwest Canada will be impossible.
Mount Robson is the largest mountain in the Canadian Rockies and is located within Mount Robson Provincial Park.
The drive from McBride to Hinton took us through the mountains of Mt. Robson Provincial Park, through Red Pass and into tourist busy Jasper, Alberta, Canada where we managed to find parking alongside the highway and then walked a couple blocks into the heavily trafficked town for lunch. Meanwhile Don arranged for a mobile RV repairman to come to the campground this evening in Hinton and attempt to fix the refrigerator. Campgrounds in Jasper had no vacancies and no RV repair service.
Leaving Jasper, we stopped in the middle of the highway when three elk cows and a half dozen calves crossed the road in front of our RV. Traffic in both lanes stopped to allow the urban elk, which were not in a hurry, to cross the road.
In Hinton, a town of about 10,000, we checked into a KOA and met the mobile RV repairman who inspected the refrigerator, pronounced it beyond repair and a replacement would not be found in Hinton. Back on the telephone, Don found a cooling unit in Edmonton, Alberta, which is due east of Hinton and a full day’s drive east instead of south, the direction home. Over dinner, we decided to buy block ice for the refrigerator to keep the contents from spoiling. Keeping the freezer door shut for the second straight day should save the frozen fish.
Our traveling companions decided to head east in hopes of fixing the refrigerator.
We spent our last evening together at a so-so pizza restaurant and relived the many highs and a few lows of two months together on the road, beginning in early June in Winnipeg, Canada and ending two months later in Hinton, Alberta, Canada. We decided to head south through Jasper and Banff National Parks to Calgary and cross into the states at the Montana border town of Sweetgrass, Montana.
We hugged, shook hands and departed early the next morning on the near 3,000 mile journey home to Florida.
DAYS ON THE ROAD: 82
GALLONS OF FUEL: 1,092
COST OF FUEL: $3,400
MILES ON THE ROAD: 8,884