Day 13: Exploring Edmonton

Woke up so cold this morning! It was 52 degrees in the bus. Brr. On the game plan today was to restock the bus and explore Edmonton. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t look great for city exploring, but I decided I’d make the most of it. There will be a lot of rain in my future in Alaska. I can’t just sit in the bus and pout when it’s raining.

First on the agenda was to buy some weather stripping for the windows. Any slight breeze comes right through. I also think that’s how some of the mosquitos are getting in. Next is a resupply run to my least favorite place on the planet (but an evil necessity in rural areas), WalMart. I needed a few more hangars and a pillow for the couch so that its more comfortable for reading. I got to Walmart and didn’t like any of their pillows, but I bought one that would work. I also looked for extra blankets or comforters for the beds when its cold. I didn’t like anything. I caught myself saying “I’d kill for an IKEA”. Then I realized that there probably IS an IKEA in Edmonton so I pulled out my trusty iPhone and looked it up. Sure enough! Plotted my route and I was off. Yes. I’m in Edmonton for a day and I went to IKEA. But hey, this is my last chance to get supplies before hitting the Alaska Highway. I want to be prepared. And warm. And I’m a pro at getting in and out of IKEA in record time. And I did. In and out in 30 min. I didn’t even stop for cinnamon rolls.

After the IKEA run I was all set headed back to the RV park. I took Pepper for a long walk and then called an Uber to take me into the city. Lionel showed up. He’s a deck/fence carpenter but on rainy days he drive for Uber to make some cash and meet new people. It was about 20 minutes to the city center. We talked a lot about my trip and he told me that he’d driven to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories in March, but that he’d always wanted to make the Alaska Highway drive. He dropped me off at the Royal Alberta Museum. It was starting to pour rain, so a museum seemed perfect. The museum is a typical natural history museum but focused on Alberta’s people and populations over time.

Afterward I was going to walk along many of the parks that line the Saskatchewan River through Edmonton, but the weather wasn’t cooperating so I just hung out in the museum and used their wifi to catch up on email and stuff. After about an hour there was a bit of a break in the weather so I set off for the Alberta Legislature building, continuing my tour of capitol buildings.

After that I walked around town a bit more and then called an Uber to take me back to the bus for dinner and to walk Pepper. Tomorrow is going to be a big day. I’m headed to Jasper National Park, the little sister to Banff, but equally as beautiful (I’m hitting Banff on the way home).

I’ll have lots of posts and updates in the coming days from Jasper. I’ll also be there for Canada Day on July 1st, which also marks the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation. There are tons of celebrations going on across the country (including the free parks access I mentioned) but it all culminates on July 1st.