Today we traveled as far west as our Journey will take us. Our one way trek has taken us almost 2800 miles. I don’t mind the driving too much and the kids are really great on the road, but all these days behind the wheel has got me thinking a little. We waste so much of our valuable vacation time on driving west.  Over the last few days we talked about stationing the RV in Denver and starting our trips from there.  After talking through the details, it seems more feasible than it did when we first broached the topic.  We worked out that in order to maximize the use of the RV  in both the Western US and back home we would  do our East Coast Camping until Late July. After that we would leave for a big western US trip as we have been doing for several years. The difference would be that at the end of 3 weeks, we would not drive home but rather drive to Denver where we would park the RV at a storage facility and fly home.  The difference in the price of fuel and the flights would be negligible. The following year we would fly to Denver right after the boys get out of school and do our West Coast trip and drive home by mid July and use the motorhome on the East Coast from mid July through the following year when we repeat the process.  A brilliant idea if I do say so myself!

   Banff

So here we are in Banff National Park in Alberta Canada.  The trip here was about 5 hours from Waterton. We ran into one small snag en route, but took in stride as usual. We were getting low on propane which powers out fridge, hot water heater and stove.  We stopped in for a fill up in a rinky dink town in Alberta. After a few minutes of filling the man who was operating the machine jumped back in a panicked motion and stopped the fill up. He said to me that I have a serious problem.  He told me to look under the RV. I quickly saw and smelled liquid propane spilling everywhere.  The panicked man explained the dangerous situation that we were in and told me to get to the nearest RV repair facility ASAP. He said there was one about 220 Kilometers away.  I nodded in agreement and quickly ignored his advice and made my way back down the road towards Banff.  After taking a good look at the leak, I could see that it was only in the tank feed hose and not the tank itself.  This means that the propane was only leaking out of  3 feet of hose but not draining the whole tank because there are a series of 1 way valves in the system to prevent this.  It took a few minutes to convince Kristi that all was OK and safe, but after that we were all good. I will replace the feed hose when I get home. This kinda thing happens in a 12 year old rig like mine. No biggie!

So what about Banff? Well I cant say much yet as we arrived late in the afternoon. It is certainly very commercial compared to the other parks that we have been in. The scenery looks great and I hope that it is everything that it is cracked up to be. The campground is great, but when we pulled in we were greeted by a big surprise.

Banff

Apparently we missed another great adventure by 24 hours. This one however was one that I was very happy to miss. It seems that a crazy storm rolled in yesterday afternoon and did a lot of damage. There were trees down everywhere in the campground. Really everywhere! We were told that this campground was packed all summer long, but we found it empty.  And then we saw it! The worst camping disaster that we have ever seen! A huge 5th wheel camper with a slide out room in the bedroom had a tree fall directly on the slide out and knock it right off the camper. It was laying there on the ground like a dead soldier. Sad and scary to look at directly.  I spoke to the owner’s daughter who was camped next door when the storm came in. She said that the storm came in fast and trees were falling like matchsticks. Her own camper had a bike rack on the back with her kids bikes that was crushed by an Alpine Pine. Then the front of her camper was hit by a tree that punctures the side wall with a branch that protruded 2 feet into her living space.  Shortly after her mother and father camper was hit by a tree directly on the slide out while her mom was only 3 feet away in the bathroom. The slide out was torn clean off the RV.  The is the section where there bed is. Had this happed at night, her mom and dad would be missing their head.  She said that many campers were damaged and tents were blown away and crushed by trees. Luckily this happened in the middle of the day, so there were few injuries.  I am happy not to be telling you about my personal adventure in this one!