Ken's Journal
No. 5 - Summer 2005

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
June 11-12, 2005 - Days 11-12 on the road. Part I.

I left St Ignace June 5 and headed west. As you cross the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on US2 you are pretty much in desolation. There's little more than nothing except a few small settlements of hardy souls. I spent the night in Superior MI, just short of Duluth MN. I left Superior the next morning at 10:30am. Once you climb out of Duluth on US 53, it's pretty much 150 miles of nothing between there and International Falls. This is the great North Woods and you pass through several National and State forests. There's nothing but evergreen forest and few settlements. It looks a lot like western Maine, northern New Hampshire and Vermont.

I made it to International Falls MN by 3:30pm. During the winter, this place is often noted on the Weather Channel as having the coldest temperatures in the US. The weather is pretty miserable here now - chilly, misty, rainy and windy. I take a full day here to do some shopping and wash some clothes before crossing into Canada.

On the morning of June 8 I make the crossing into Fort Frances, Ontario. Apparently the Canadian border people have little to entertain them - they searched the RV, inside and out, top to bottom. Who knows what they are looking for. I wasted an hour at the border while they rooted through my stuff. It wasn't just me either - I was kept company by a number of pick-up trucks towing fishing boats - the border people didn't give them any slack either. I think they were looking for contraband potatoes. They asked me if I had any firearms (no) or POTATOES!! I guess they just couldn't believe that in such a large motor home I had no potatoes - three different people asked if I had any - go figure.

Leaving Ft Frances, the weather was overcast, misty and with occasional light rain the rest of the day. I made it to a park in Portage, Manitoba just west of Winnipeg for the night. Apparently they've had a lot of rain up here. The park is muddy and a lot of the sites are under water. Although I'm on the Trans-Canada Hiway, I'm virtually alone on the road.

The next day I leave Portage and make it to a campground just south of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and the day after that I make it as far as Edmonton, Alberta. I decide to spend a couple full days in Edmonton - there's a lot to see here!

On the way to Edmonton crossing the Canadian Prairie.
Vast horizon to horizon vistas of nothing - actually quite beautiful.

A shot of the Lagoon inside the West Edmonton Mall, the largest Mall in the world. This is one of the reasons I decided to stay a couple days - to see the mall - !!

A few statistics are in order:

  • 800+ Stores and Services
  • 3 McDonald's !!
  • An indoor Amusement Park with 8 Beginner Rides & 22 Intermediate and Advanced Rides.
  • A Waterpark with a large wave pool, 14 slides, a Zip Line, a Bungee Jump and a few hot tubs.
  • A Deep Sea Adventure (submarines that really submerge).
  • 2 eighteen hole miniature golf courses.
  • A regulation hockey rink.
  • A hotel.
  • A casino (slots only as far as I could see.)

A full shot of the ship you see above.
You can reserve this for private parties & functions - catered by the Mall of course.




The twice daily Sea Lion Show
- 2pm and again at 4pm -
It's free if you just want to watch from the sidelines but if you want to sit in the audience it's $5 Canadian. I'm on the second level of the Mall shooting down on the show in the lagoon.

Two Sea Lions do their stuff.

Could this be Flipper?
(No, no, Flipper was a Dolphin wasn't he?)

Submarines. These actually submerge in the pool and take customers on a tour of the undersea world. The floor of the pool is littered with "ancient" artifacts from "Atlantis." Look carefully at the two submarines on the left and you can see the level of the water near the top of the conning tower. That's how far these things submerge. Underwater, they loop around the ship at the other end of the lagoon. The tour runs $10 Canadian.

"french connection uk"
Not what you thought, eh?

Next - More West Edmonton Mall

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