Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 15 Radium Hot Springs, BC


Radium Hot Springs is a village of approximately 800 people situated in the East Kootenay of British Columbia, located 174 miles west of Calgary, Alberta. The village is named for the hot springs located in the nearby Kootenay National Park.

The hot springs were named after the radioactive element when an analysis of the water showed that it contained small traces of radon which is a decay product of radium. The radiation dosage from bathing in the pools is inconsequential; approximately .13mrem from the water for a half-hour bathing. The air concentration of radon is about 23pCi/L which is higher than the level (4pCI/L) at which mitigation is necessary at residences; but is also inconsequential (about .7mrem for a half-hour bathing) from a dose impact perspective.  For the sake of comparison, we all normally get about 100 mrem per year from background radiation and another 200 mrem per year from atmospheric radon.

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Views from the RV Park where we are staying in Radium Hot Springs

This morning we took a drive around the Columbia River wetlands. The clip below shows the wetlands.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 14 Marion MT to Radium Hot Springs BC

Travel Mileage Today 144
Total Miles 1767
Miles To Go 7557

This morning we crossed the 49th parallel into Canada. The crossing at the border was uneventful. The officer just looked at our passports and then asked about firearms. I told him that I didn’t have any. He then gave a lecture on what would happen if he searched the vehicle and found a handgun. He asked again if I had a handgun, I said no and he waved us on our way. Canada sure has a thing about handguns. 

The weather along the way was rainy with low clouds obscuring the mountains so Raija did not take any pictures along the way.

We stopped for lunch at a scenic lookout by Columbia Lake that is the headwaters for the Columbia River. The river empties into the Pacific at Astoria Oregon.

We will spend the next five nights at Radium Valley Vacation Resort, Radium Hot Springs BC. The Resort is an RPI park so the cost is $10 Canadian per night. 

We will use this location as a base camp to explore the Banff area. Hopefully the weather will take a turn for the better.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 13 Marion MT to Eureka MT

Travel Mileage Today 162
Total Miles 1620
Miles To Go 7701

We are on the road again.

We enjoyed our visit with our friends  but it is time to continue our trip north.

To date our days in Montana have been rainy, snowy and overcast skies. I think Montana needs to change its motto from Big Sky Country to Covered Sky Country.

We are just below the 49th parallel, 48 degrees 58.037 minutes to be exact and will cross the 49th parallel into Canada tomorrow morning. Hopefully Canada will greet us with better weather.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 10 McGregor Lake – Marion Montana

Travel Mileage Today 0
Total Miles 1458
Miles To Go 7863

Our first night here was interrupted at 2:00 AM by the tire pressure alarm sounding. One of the new tires pressure have decreased to 83 PSI. By morning the tire was down to 53 PSI. So it was back to the tire shop to investigate the cause of the leak. It turned out to be the valve extension tube on the inner rear tire. Luckily I had a spare extender that resolved the leak problem; that little problem took up the whole day.

Today we were able to relax and enjoy the beautiful lake scenery even through the day is overcast and it just started to rain.

McGregor Lake is 1,504-acre freshwater lake in Kootenai National Forest, just 35 miles west of Kalispell, Montana, in the state's northwest corner. It is one of the deepest lakes around with an average depth of 106 feet and a maximum depth of 220 feet. The lake is spring fed and one of the clearest lakes that I have ever seen.

We will spend another three nights here and then continue our trek north.

Day 8 Missoula, MT to Marion, MT

Travel Mileage Today 153
Total Miles 1458
Miles To Go 7863

This morning we topped off the propane tank at Bretz RV, $.99 per gallon and departed for Kalispell Montana. Kalispell is only 123 miles and about mid way is Flathead Lake.

Flathead Lake is located in the Flathead Valley of Montana in the shadow of Glacier National Park and Big Mountain ski resort. Two rivers, the Flathead and Swan rivers supply clean fresh water to Flathead Lake year-round. Created by Ice Age glaciers, Flathead Lake is almost thirty miles long and fifteen miles across at it's widest point. Flathead Lake is the largest natural lake in western U.S. with a 160 mile shoreline and water covers nearly two-hundred square miles of Montana. The lake 300 feet deep.

We arrived at Kalispell at 11:30 AM. We have lunch and did some shopping while the tires were installed.

Next it was a short hop to McGregor Lake where we will spend 5 days with fellow Alfa owners Don and Karen.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 7 Dillon MT to Missoula MT

Travel Mileage Today 180
Total Miles 1305
Miles To Go 8016

This morning we woke up to 29 degrees F and broken clouds in the sky. The roads were clear but the surrounding hills and mountains had fresh snow on them. As we proceeded north it was obvious that it was good that we stopped for the night where we did for the snow depth got deeper. Once we got up over the mountains and down into the next valley, the ground was clear of snow.
We arrived at Bretz RV around 1:30 PM and the temperature was 57 degrees F. Bretz is located in Missoula, Montana. We will spend the night here. In the morning we will fill our propane tanks and proceed north to Kalispell Montana where we will put all new tires on the motor home. The present tires are the original ones and are 7 years old. Seven years is the life expectancy of tires. The tires usually need to be replaced due to age rather then wear. Montana has no sales tax so we will save money by purchasing the tires here in Montana.
From Kalispell we will proceed to Marian Montana where we will spend several days with our friends Don and Karen. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 6 Back on the road – Sunset, Utah to Dillon, Montana

Travel Mileage Today 333
Total Miles 1125
Miles To Go 8196

Our coach maintenance / repairs are complete and we are back on the road. Our intention was to travel to Lima, Montana and spend the night there. However, we encounter snow and the RV park was covered with several inches of the white stuff so we decided to push on to see if we could find better weather to spend the night.

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Well that didn’t work so well as the snow got worst so we decided to spend the night at Countryside RV Park in Dillon, MT. The forecast is for up to several inches of snow throughout the night and temperatures around 29 degrees F or lower and this is the middle of May.

Tomorrow we hope to make it to Missoula, MT.

I check the temperatures in Yellowknife, North West Territory and it is 46 degrees and sunny so maybe there is some hope, meanwhile it is 94 degrees in Tucson. I guess we did get away from the heat.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 3 Cove Fort, UT to Sunset, UT

Travel Mileage Today 195
Total Miles 792
Miles To Go 8529

We arrived at Charlie’s Service Center in Sunset, UT, better know as Camp Charlie’s. We will be spending the next several days here for annual maintenance. Our journey should resume on Saturday morning.

Charlie’s is located directly across I-15 from Hill Air Force Base where our son was stationed a couple of years ago.

Day 2 Cameron, AZ to Cove Fort, UT

Travel Mileage Today 292
Total Miles 597
Miles To Go 9321

We travel from Cameron, AZ to Cove Fort, UT and spent the night at the Chevron / Utah Rest Area. Many of the rest areas in Utah are run by commercial fuel companies such as Chevron, Flying J, Shell, etc. The route is a scenic drive as we travel through Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River and the Utah Canyon Lands.

The history of Cove Fort can be found at

Some scenes along our route of travel. You can click on an image to enlarge it. The route is US 89 in Utah.

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Part of Day’s 2 Drive

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 1 – Cameron AZ

Travel Mileage Today 305
Total Miles 305
Miles To Go 9613

Traveling north towards Salt Lake, Idaho and Montana our first overnight stop is usually Cameron, AZ. This trip is no different. Actually Cameron is interesting and each time we stop here we learn something new about its history and the surrounding area. Click the link for a 1928 Tour of the Southwest by Dr. Loomis that includes Cameron area and Trading Post Note the Sway Back Bridge that was built over the Little Colorado River in 1911 and the old highway leading pass the Trading Post onto the bridge. The old bridge is still here; left unused replaced by a more modern bridge that services US Highway 89. 

Today the Cameron Trading Post is owned by the people who work it; many of whom have had their roots in the area for generations. The president of the company is himself descended from the original founders, maintaining the philosophy of hospitality and respect evident in the operation of Cameron Trading Post today.

The last time we were here with our friends from Sweden, Raija’s classmate and her son, we used the Cameron RV Park as a base camp for visiting the Grand Canyon.

The video of modern day Cameron is below. I took it today after we arrived. I am not sure if the old bridge is the original. If it is, it must have been updated some. The day was overcast and I was somewhat tried after today’s drive plus the background noise was rather high. Anyway it, I have to get better at taking movies and learn more about the editing software.