2018.06.19 Alberta to Saskatchewan

Miles and Peyton caught the 6:30am shuttle to the airport, and our group rolled out of the hotel around 9:30.  After a quick gas-up, we were ready to make our way to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

One item of note at our hotel was that there was an electrical outlet in front of every parking spot in the hotel parking lot.  Perfect for plugging in your car’s block heater so it will start the next day.

Block heater electrical outlets

Even consider the extreme cold they must endure up here, Edmonton has a couple of things going for it. It is home to the West Edmonton Mall, which is the largest mall in North America. (Mall of America in Minneapolis is the second largest.)  Edmonton is also the northernmost city of 1 million people in North America.  People like it up here!

As we were getting ready to leave town, Scott and Erin went on a quest to a gluten free restaurant so she could try some poutine.  They found the Celebrate Gluten Free Bakery & Café.  Erin was in love.  She and Scott had some amazing poutine and other dishes.  They even grabbed some items to go for snacks later.

Erin & Ellery in front of Gluten Free Bakery

As we drove east out of Edmonton, there were quite a few ponds that were just off the highway.  We passed quite a few that had gigantic beaver lodges built in them.  Remember that the national animal of Canada is the beaver.  They’re numerous here.

Beaver Lodge

Before Noon, we visited our third province in Canada – Saskatchewan.

Group A arrives in Saskatchewan

Group B arrives in Saskatchewan

We pulled over in Battleford, Saskatchewan to fill up. It was a combination self-service and full-service.  You could pump your own gas, or they would do it for you.  Also, the staff was glad to wash your windows for you or top off your fluids.  I asked a person filling up next to us if you’re supposed to tip them.  “Some people do, and some people don’t” was the very helpful answer.

Full Service in Battleford

Our group had lunch at Tim Hortons in Battleford.  Every time during this trip, we mention to Erin that we went to Tim Hortons, she thinks we are saying “timportant”.  Now that we are just about out of Canada, it is starting to click with her.

Cars in the Tim Hortons parking lot with block heater cords sticking out of their grill.

We managed to pull through Saskatoon at rush hour, and it was full-on bumper to bumper stop-and-go traffic.  KK was getting drowsy and wanted a driver change.  So while we were waiting at one of the traffic lights, we executed a Chinese fire drill and three people changed seats between both vehicles.  Having fun in Saskatoon!

Even though Scott and Erin left Edmonton an hour after we did, they caught up with us just south of Saskatoon.  We caravanned together into Moose Jaw where we were spending the night.  We got to Moose Jaw before 8pm and our group was ecstatic.  We are not used to settling in so early.

After check-in, I went downstairs to ask the desk clerk where the on-site laundry was.  It was on our floor, but it was closed.  The on-site laundry closed at 8pm.  That made no sense to us.  I even tried to find a laundry in town, but they all closed no later than 9pm.  We ultimately convinced the clerk to let us run a load and then shut it down after we were done.  Moose Jaw shuts it down early.

We closed out the day with a game of Mexican Train Dominos.  The desk clerk graciously let us set up in the breakfast seating area for us to play our game and eat some pizza we ordered in.  We had not had a chance to play this game the entire trip so it was a treat to visit and have fun over dominos.  After Marissa finished some homework in the room, she came down and played her guitar for us during our game.

During the game, we had a chance to share several stories from the trip.

After our kayaking adventure yesterday, Mallory was asking how much it cost.  I told her how much it was, and she replied pretty quickly how much that it cost us in US dollars.  I was impressed and asked her how she figured that.  She explained that when we drive a certain kilometers/hour that it equals a certain miles/hour.  So by using kilometer/miles ratio she was able to calculate the money conversion rate.  I waited a few beats and asked her if she was serious.  She looked at me and realized the error and had a good laugh.

While sharing this story over dominos, Scott made the comment that all the conversions were very confusing.  And you could throw in the Celsius/Fahrenheit conversion as well.  It was agreed that distance, money, and temperature should all use the same conversation ratio.

Similarly, Scott had told me that we were 100 miles out of Edmonton before they started out.

Steve: Do you mean 100 kilometers?

Scott: No, miles.  That is how Find My Friends tells me the distance.

Steve: Well, how many miles did we drive in total today

Scott: I don’t know, everything is in kilometers!

Tomorrow we get back to the United States of America, and we can leave this confusion behind.

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