Today, October 3, 2011 was the third day of our Lincoln Highway Road Trip. We got a late start today, but the breakfast was good at the Comfort Inn. I would compare the CI to a Hampton Inn for room amenities and breakfast.
We started off and somehow got off the track on 395 and ended up heading towards Idaho. We had plugged the Medicine Hat destination into the GPS and it routed us away from 395 over to 95 and Idaho. As it was all Interstate we really didn’t care as we had enough of 395.
It was fun driving through Idaho and I got to go through Sandpoint where I had done an airport survey about 12 years ago. I always liked Sandpoint. When I was there in 1999 you could buy a great house on the lake for about $250k and the town was peaceful and conservative. I was quite surprised how it had changed. Houses were much more and the congestion was horrible. It looked like the libs in Southern California had discovered Sandpoint and brought their money and politics to another conservative area like they did in North Carolina. I wish they would stay home in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. It seems that they mess up their cities than take their money out of their expensive homes and head for another place to mess up.
We reached the US/Canadian border around 11:00 and then waited. They were building a new facility and the whole place was a construction site with flag persons holding those “Stop and Slow” flip signs. This border crossing gets around 500-1,000 cars each day and our government is building a new multi-million dollar border crossing facility. I guess this is one of those shovel ready jobs.
Anyway the border crossing was a breeze. The Canadian officer asked a few questions and we were on our way. We did notice a car that was pulled over and the trunk was open for the customs inspectors. The trunk was loaded with tomatoes. I guess you can get good tasting tomatoes in Idaho. I don’t know if the Canadians confiscated the tomatoes. I hope not.
Once across the border we changed $400 US in Canadian dollars and walked out with $390 Canadian. I remember when the Canadian dollar was worth about $0.75 US. Those days are gone.
Driving through British Columbia was quite enjoyable. The weather slightly overcast and the temperature in the mid-60s. The roads were good but we had to change the GPS to read in kilometers. Canada uses the metric system for everything, gasoline, speed limits, bridge clearances, and highway information signs. The usual speed limit on a provincial highway is 100 km/hour (62 mph) and 110 km/hr. on the interstate limited access roadways (68 mph).
It would be 490 miles (788 km) to our motel in Medicine Hat, Alberta. This took us quite a while as we stopped a bit along the way for gas, photos, snack at the Safeway, coffee and lunch. Our lunch was at Kelvin’s Kitchen in Fernie, BC. I had a BLT and Kathy a Monte Cristo sandwich. Her sandwich had mayo and mine did not. When we asked the Thai waitress why the mayo on the Monte Cristo and no mayo on the BLT she relied the people around her like it that way. I guess we had to surrender to local taste in cuisine.
The drive across the Continental Divide was quite lovely as we passed through pine forests and birch trees with their yellow and gold autumn leaves.
We finally arrived at our Super-8 in Medicine Hat at 8:30 (We lost an hour to time zone change from PST to MST) and I heard my first “hey” from the Canadian person at the desk. Now I knew I was in Canada.
You can see all of my pictures by clicking here. Don’t forget to click the “Slideshow” button at the upper right to view the largest image.
Till tomorrow night.