Day 18 Drive Missoula to Medicine Hat

Began the day on a positive note, right in our hotel parking lot I spotted a licence plate from Hawaii! Didn’t think to check if the car bore a wheelchair sticker, but I can’t think of many other reasons to ship your car all the way here. It wasn’t a Ferrari or anything. There was frost on our Honda, though.

Drove Hwy 200 through the mountains. For the longest time it just curves gently through ranchland without any serious grades or corners. Then we started to notice that the logging trucks coming the other way had snow on their logs. Got about thirty minutes worth of winter driving while we were above 5000 feet, and for part of that, the road had been sanded, but not plowed. So for about ten minutes, I was glad of my serious Nokian winter tires.

After all the scenery, we popped out on Interstate 15, and drove north to the border. We had monstrous crosswinds for this leg; both hands on the wheel at all times.

Crossed the border at exactly noon, with no line up at all. I mean that in the strictest sense, we pulled straight up to the window. Obviously, we had more than our duty-free allowance of wine, but after we designated the four most expensive bottles, the rest averaged just over $19.00 US or roughly $20.00 Canadian each, and we paid $2.88 per bottle to import them.

Put away my speed limit conversion table, tucked away my last twenty one American dollars and retrieved the twenty five Canadian dollars that I put away two weeks ago.

Started looking for lunch right after customs, but the first restaurant was closed. We carried on to Tabor. Decided to try a real restaurant, rather than fast food. Picked the Seasons, at a hotel. I hope we don’t find a worse meal this week. The special was a tuna melt, which I ordered, along with fries and gravy to celebrate being back on Canadian soil. The fries were good, but the tuna was cold. Caroline had a taco salad with chicken, which, when you consider the poor luck we had with Mexican food this trip, was tempting fate. There were a whole paragraph’s worth of things wrong with this salad, but I’ll just stick to the essential point: the lettuce was limp.

Made our way across rather dull terrain to Medicine Hat, the Gas City. We passed a huge cemetery – was it the Gas?

Almost struck out at our hotel here; unbeknownst to Central Reservations, it is a two story building with no elevator. We have two cartloads of baggage, and climbing stairs with it all is out of the question. They let us trade our upstairs room with two queen beds for a ground floor room with one queen and a kitchenette. May celebrate by picking up Chinese food downtown and eating it here. We have a kitchen table and a dining room table, although neither one is very big.

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