Our new rig: photo taken last spring on our inaugural journey of this vehicle, to Waskesiu, SK.
A rather inauspicious start to our “vacation”. Hopefully we will start having fun soon!
Dec 1st: Left Calgary for Black Diamond to load the RV & drive to Lethbridge. Just out of Fort Macleod remembered we’d forgotten our binoc’s. When we arrived at our hotel, I drove all the way back (6 hours there & back) to get them, with an hour in dense fog from Nanton to Calgary in black night – scared to death! Nonetheless, made it! Cousin Jane asked why we didn’t just buy new binoc’s – I guess we just didn’t consider it since they are worth over $1800 ea!
Dec 2: left our hotel, heading to the border – in approx. 2 km turned back due to freezing rain & roads a skating rink. Left my glasses at the Keg that evening (closed in the morning – couldn’t retrieve them), so have to use a spare pair, not really the correct prescription.
Dec 3-7: finally got to MT with Bill getting sick – very bad cough – I mean, really horrible – never-ending, racking cough. Stuck in Dillon, MT for 2 days while Bill slept for 40 hours without eating anything, just drank water. When he could get up, on to Idaho Falls then Brigham City then Beaver, UT. Still not too far each day due to the terrible coughing & sickness. Saw a pair of Bald Eagles courting – doing the locked-claws, spiralling together down & down – my first time seeing this!
Dec. 8-12: Finally arrived at the first destination where we plan to stay 2 weeks – Virgin, UT – right next to Zion National Park. Weather still thwarting us with freezing temp’s overnight & the need to disconnect our water so it doesn’t freeze. But even worse, we discovered our car leaking oil. Long story short, the oil change which we had done just before we left was NOT DONE – but the oil filter was loosened & all the oil had drained out – AAARGHHH! Roadside assistance arranged a tow truck to take the car into the nearest Jeep dealer in St. George (40 minutes away) – however when the driver looked under the car he saw the problem & drove 11 miles to get a new filter & 5 quarts of oil & we were able to drive it to a dealership the next day. Thank goodness no damage was done to the vehicle & the dealer drained the oil, checked for particulates & deemed all was well with another new filter & quarts of oil. Whew!
Dec. 13th: Finally, our lucky day – first time to get out & see the sights & break out the binoc’s! Drove into Zion park, where during high season, no cars are allowed along the canyon road, one must take buses. Saw some great birds for our first time since birding from a vehicle: Bushtit, pr. of fem. C. Mergansers, N. Pygmy Owl, Bl. C. Chickadee, W. Scrub Jay! Our eyes were hungry for birds! A few others, nothing unusual.
Dec. 14th: Rainy day – Bill working – me too!