Going across the Canadian prairie into Alberta. Saw several prairie dogs, mostly tiny furry dead splotches on the road, but a couple were sitting along the road, straight and tall as their tiny bodies could be. They are smaller than squirrels. I remembered them being larger.
We had been waiting until we got to Canada before buying any fresh food or alcohol, to avoid problems at the border. So Tom went to a liquor store in Medicine Hat, Alberta, while I finished up at the grocery store.
Transporting alcohol in a vehicle in Alberta
The cashier tipped Tom on a law in Alberta: all alcohol must be unopened in a vehicle. If you have opened a bottle of whiskey, it is considered open. If you have taken two beers out of a six pack that you bought, it is considered open. The beer/ remaining bottles must be put in the trunk so no occupant can easily reach it. And, you need to show receipts for the purchase of any alcohol in your vehicle. Apparently there is a $175 fine for transporting opened alcohol as described in your vehicle. So, if you open one beer from a sixpack, or open a bottle of whiskey, you must consume it all before you travel in your vehicle. This sounds like literal highway robbery, as Alberta has “Alberta Transportation Checkstop,” where you can be pulled over for no other reason than to check if you have alcohol in your vehicle.
We will keep our last two beers, and the one bottle of wine Kim brought from Italy, and the two bottles of wine we bought at Trader Joe’s in Ann Arbor, all the way behind the back seat.
The terrain is changing finally.
We made it! We couldn’t see the mountains until our approach to Calgary. Hopefully I’ll get a better picture tomorrow. We reserved a campsite yesterday in Banff and it’s beautiful. Expensive, but the firewood is free, so we are sitting at our fire while I write this.