2003 Alberta Camping Log

Living in Interesting Times

Devastating forest fires in B.C, the grossly over reported 'Mad Cow' scare, SARS, 'friendly fire', drought, and heaven knows what else pretty much summed up 2003. We managed a summer of camping trips anyway and items below are from the log book.

Happy Camping! Roy and Janet Schmaus, December 2003

The Bashaw Spring Invitational May 16 to 18, 2003

Alberta Good Sam cleanup crew at Bashaw.

Snow on the hills East of Ponoka was a pretty good introduction to the first Good Sam campout of 2003 in the Ag. grounds at Bashaw hosted by the Rose City Good Sams of Camrose.

Fortunately we had an indoor facility for potluck suppers, crib tournaments, our 'Pass the Ace" game and also did a clean up of the adjoining camp ground and baseball fields.

Cleaning up Big .

Wetaskiwin Lions RV Park June 6 to 8

A big thank you for the Wetaskiwin Lions Club for hosting the two of us for three nights of camping after pointing out that the town name was mis spelled on my Alberta page. (Oops! That has been fixed! .. Roy)

We had an enjoyable week end with trips to the Reynolds Alberta Museum, the Alberta Railway Museum, and Huckleberry's cafe where we celebrated our thirty fourth wedding anniversary.

At the Alberta Provincial Samboree in Vegreville June 17 to 22

The St. Albert Northern Lights and the Parkland Jays co hosted the Alberta Samboree in Vegreville this year with lots of enthusiastic help from other Chapters and wonderful support from the town. Three hundred and ninety five rigs were on site by Friday.

  1. Tuesday: Arrived at the exhibition grounds and parked the rig. Helped decorate the banquet hall. Sunny and thirty degrees C.
  2. Wednesday: Weather had turned windy. Early bird parking. golf, bus tours, games, reception, etc.
  3. Thursday: Windy. Early morning walk, golf, bus tours, games, etc. Manned information centre table and noticed the speaker at the 'Wise Owls' program nearby was attracting a lot of people who hadn't really planned to be there. His name is Fugi Saito and even though the 'Wise Owls' program is intended mainly for seniors the information on all of the frauds and scams going around affects everyone. See heads-up.ca/ for more.

    The legion moved their barbecue & steak supper to today and even laid on bus transportation to their site so Good Sams could attend. Enjoyed the steak and had a beer of course.

  4. Friday:
    Sunbeam Alpine behind the Vegreville museum.

    Early morning walk, bus tours, stores, hospitality, games, seminar on out of country insurance, cro-hook knitting classes, sign up for craft tables and Pet Parade, commercial displays, silent auction, Ladies Tea, Mens Coffee, entertainment, ice cream social.

    Sunbeam Alpines etc. at the museum.
  5. Saturday: Heavy rain so dug out the 'Vegreville Oxfords'. Most of the same items as Friday plus the new 'Pet Parade'. Bob Carpenter and Apache the Bouvier des Flandres make the front page of the Vegreville times. Our dog was #47 with quite a few after him so this event was very popular. Local volunteers braved the rain on the exhibition grounds with bread making in the peche ovens, rope making, and blacksmithing displays while the craft sale went on indoors.
    Rope making Inside the blacksnith shop. Jays picture.

    Rope making. Big

    Inside the blacksmith shop. Big

    Some of the well fed Parkland Jays in the rain after the banquet. Big

  6. Sunday: Pancake breakfast then shut things down before driving home in the downpour.

    Denver the dog "They didn't even bring me a lousy t-shirt." Denver the dog.

Athabasca Magnificent River Rats Festival June 26 to July 2

RCMP Musical Ride at Athabasca

The R.C.M.P. Musical Ride, Rubber Soul, Randy Bachman, and Michelle Wright were some of the acts booked by the town of Athabasca for the Canada Day week end. We camped with the Parkland Jays at the Blueberry Hill RV Park. June 30 was also 'National Blonde Day.'

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R.C.M.P.Musical Ride at Athabasca

Weather was very hot for the musical ride then turned rainy for most of the outdoor stage performances. We took rain gear to watch Rubber Soul and Randy Bachman 'Takin Care of Business.' Our friends had tickets to Michelle Wright the next night but wound up playing card games with us in their motor home. Those who braved the rain and cold said Wright's performance was excellent.

Sir Winston Churchill Prov. Park, Lac La Biche July 2 to 3

Just us taking a break on the island after all the Athabasca activity.

Spallin/Scheers/Schmaus Family Reunion 2003 Mink Lake July 18 to 20

Hummer clone

" I sure like your army truck.."..unidentified kid

"It's not ours but..." One of the Spallin relatives had arrived up towing a small trailer with the rig in the picture. We were just sampling some of Aunt Barb's home brew wine in the shade next to her Intrepid but who could resist taking a picture. The machine is a 'Hummer' clone built on an old 4 wheel drive truck and was pressed into service taking kids for rides later.

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"No Roy, you can't have one of these either!"

Debby had her extensive genealogy collection in the hall and we also enjoyed a potluck supper and other activities. See the Schmaus page for more including a picture of Michael and Family at the Ross Creek Cabin circa 1905.

Rivers Edge Campground, Cochrane, July 30

Our Parkland Jays 3 rig convoy sites were on a bluff with a great view of the Bow river and an off leash area just below us.

Boulton Creek, Peter Lougheed Prov. Park, July 31 to Aug. 5

" I've never camped with Grizzlies before!" Janet

Cross stitchers in a Boulton Creek campsite. Our camp site.

" You guys can go hiking or fishing and get eaten by a bear! We're staying here and cross stitching"

Janet, Isabel, and Janet

Our camp site.

Notes from the log book:

  1. A Parkland Jays campout in a reservation only campground. Six sites, $23.00 per site unserviced.
  2. "Beautiful, large, and spotless camp sites! There is a total fire ban in effect but its too hot for a campfire anyway and there is a lot of smoke in the area already."
  3. " Grizzlies were down so the Everest and some other trails were closed. Someone came running in to the Boulton Creek store and reported a Grizzly sighting nearby. The response was "Oh, thats just number (xx). She kicked her cubs out earlier this year..etc."
  4. We visited with Barry and Ida, Good Sams currently taking care of one of the other campgrounds. They even have to pick up sunflower seeds out of camp sites during clean up and the total fire ban enforcement was a continuing problem. No candles, mosquito coils, or anything else that might start a conflagration in the extremely dry bush.
  5. A dry camp only. Water quality is good, there are lots of good hiking and biking trails nearby, propane and gas are now available at Fortress Junction.

Bow Valley Prov. Park, August 5 to 6

The two of us moved to a power site at Bow valley mainly so our deep cycle battery could be recharged. Bow Valley power sites are quite small and close together. The unserviced sites are much nicer if you can live with that. Willow Rock, just across from the entrance, is close to the highway but much less crowded and has a laundromat.

The 'Weasels" program at the Bow Valley amphitheater was well done with quite a bit of audience participation. Its a rare treat these days to visit a provincial park amphitheater that is still being used!

Michener Park, Lacombe, August 7

A good spot for an overnight stop on the way home.

Weaver Park, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, August 14 to 16

A Parkland Jays campout in Canada's only border city. The Alberta - Saskatchewan border runs down the west side of fiftieth street so the road is in Saskatchewan but stores on the west side are in Alberta.

Weaver Park is just behind the tourist information centre adjacent to the impressive Barr Colony museum.

City girl Janet milking a plastic cow Rumely Oil Pull Tractor Teahouse

The ladies also found a teahouse hidden in the trees nearby.

Vermilion Provincial Park, August 17 to 18

This one will be added to the Alberta Provincial Parks page when time permits. We're not sure about the exact location of the Dr. Steve West forty thousand dollar biffy but you can always look for "Ralph Klein Unplugged' with your search engine for clues.

Pysanka Park, Vegreville, August 18 to 19

An overnight stop on the way home already reported on in the 2002 log.

Carson Pegasus Provincial Park, August 28, September 1

Pretty much the same as in the 2001 log.

Carson Pegasus Provincial Park Group Area, August 29 to 31

About the same as the 2001 log except for our inviting the Peace Hills Good Sams from Wetaskiwin as guests.

McLean Creek Campground, near Bragg Creek, September 10

An overnight stop on the way to Claresholm. This site has a special off road vehicle/snowmobile section.

Claresholm Mini Samboree and Fall Meeting, September 11 to 14

The last Alberta Good Sam event of the year is the Fall Meeting and Mini Samboree. One hundred and fifty rigs dry camped for the week end next to the Claresholm community centre and enjoyed a great week end.

The Lions did an outstanding job of catering to the banquet and we did a double take when meeting the lion who had also been a Charter Member of the Spruce Grove Kinsmen Club with Roy in 1972.

We made side trips to Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump, the Claresholm museum, and to use the showers at the immaculate Claresholm Municipal Campground. (You can see part of it under the starboard wing of the Harvard in the picture.)

View from Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Harvard Trainer

The view from Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump

The Harvard Trainer in Claresholm commemorates the Commonwealth Air Training Program of WW2

After leaving Claresholm we headed north for home. Very strong head winds in central Alberta made us decide to overnight at Lacombe. Things didn't improve much the next day with five centimeters of snow in the forecast so we went home and winterized the trailer.

Janet already has most of 2004 booked.

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