The Palouse to Banff, Alberta, Canada
I left the Palouse on Wednesday deciding to take my time heading north to Banff, Alberta, because of the posssibility of snow and temps in the 20’s there that night. Drove back into Colfax and picked up Route 272 east that turns into Route 6 in Idaho, then got on Route 95 north. Stopped at the WalMart in Couer D’Alene, Idaho and decided to overnight there, spending the afternoon working on getting caught up on blog pots and getting everything ready for my border crossing tomorrow.
As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.
Awoke early and did my last minute USA shopping at WalMart before heading north on Route 95 for the Canadian border. Not too much interesting along 95 north in Idaho, but boy, did that change not long after crossing into British Columbia.
Border Crossing Into Canada
I had done a lot of internet research on what I could and could not bring into Canada, what I needed for documentation, etc. Read other bloggers reports of their experiences crossing the border, looking to make sure I would have no problems. I sorted through the dogs food labels looking for suspect ingredients, pulled out their rabies shots documentation, went through my cupboards and refrigerator looking for forbidden items, through away my air pellet gun I had bought to scare off unwanted visitors to my bird feeder setups, cleaned out the scraps of firewood I had left, etc. After two border crossings in Montana where the Canadian customs agents had literally turned my motorhome inside out searching for who knows what, I wanted to be sure I was clean.
As I approached the window at the border crossing, I was pretty sure I was prepared for whatever they wanted to do with me. What I wasn’t prepared for was a nice woman simply asking a couple innocent questions, checking my passport, and waving me through in about three minutes. No inspections, not even a question about the dogs. All that prep work for nothing, this time, at least.
Route 95 North to Route 93 North then Down to Banff National Park
I experienced a very nice welcome to the Canadian National Park system when these wildlife ambassadors greeted me within five minutes of my entrance into Kootenay national park.
After passing through one very rugged rock cut, perhaps the most severe I have ever seen a highway pass through, I emerged to some of the most incredible mountain scenery imagineable.
If you ever pass this way, be sure to make the drive through the Kootenay National Park.
I had initially had reservations about taking this road when I reseached it on Google Earth, being concerned that the grades through the mountains might be more than I wanted to tackle, but the road turned out to be no problem to drive for any size rig.
Tunnel II Campground, Banff N.P.
I arrived at the campground, very poorly signed, blink and you will miss the turn, in late afternoon and was assigned site #B75.
All sites here are pull off type sites where you park on the side of the paved roadway. You are all but on top of your neighbors and there is absolutely no privavcy, whatsoever. A horribly designed campground in an absolutely magnificent location. The scenery all around the campground is simply stunning, but unfortunately, you are looking through or over your neighbors site to see it.
Elk graze right up to your door, so you have to be a little cautious about where you step, and most definitely want to check your surroundings before you step out of your RV. These large animals can be quite aggressive, especially if you surprize them while letting your dog out.
The site cost $ 32 ( Canadian ) and comes with 30 Amp electric, no water or sewer, though there are dump stations and water spigots for fresh water. No Wifi available, but I was suprized to find I had no problem getting my DirecTv satellite to hone right in on a signal.
This is my first blog post using Tim Horton’s WiFi in Canada and my new Windows 8 Laptop. A post that would normally take 20 minutes to do on my Imac at home took almost two hours to complete here. Absolute agony, mostly due to my unfamiliarity with how sensitive the new laptop is and how screwy Windows seems after using the Imac exclusively for the last 6 years. Posts will continue to be a little less frequent until I get the hang of this.
Alaska Trip Road Diary
From the Canadian Border
Route 95 North – Highgate Border Crossing to Radium Hot Springs
Good two lane road
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