Day 3- Vanlife trip Alberta and Saskatchewan
We have two pretty good sleeps under our belts now. I am getting used to the van and its quirks. I know its far from perfect but that’s what I love about it.
Saskatchewan doesn’t boast having the largest piece of sky for nothing. As my brother says ” you can see your dog running away for three days.” Now I am not sure that is the direct quote…so don’t quote me and I am not going to look it up to correct myself. At least not right now…lol. We leave Leader behind and decide to wander over to the South Saskatchewan River.
Anyone who has random camped knows what to look for in a perfect spot. I am not going to give a way the secrets here so let’s just say that we find a stealth spot close to the river to make our home for the night. The locals knew we were there. Don’t let the barreness fool you. These hills have plenty of eyes for strangers driving around in camper vans. We had a few drivebys to make sure we weren’t going to cause any trouble during the hours before nightfall. We tested out my old fashioned BBQ with some prime burgers with all the fixings.
The next day had us heading west again towards Alberta. Our destination was Reesor Lake. My brother had explored the Alberta side of Cypress Hills but was curious about what the Saskatchewan had to offer. We noticed on the map a place called The Highest Point In Saskatchewan. Oh boy, how can you not go see that?
The van was running pretty good. I was gaining confidence with how it handled which was perfect considering our next challenge was literally just around the corner. The turn off to Reesor Lake warned of steep climbs and narrow roads. It was gravel and dirt with some ruts thrown in for good measure.Every time we climbed another hill I asked myself…is this the highest point? Then we would climb another higher point. I started to wonder if Saskatchewan was really as flat as they say then remberered we were now close to the Alberta border if not over it. We made a pit stop to see Fort Walsh. The reviews were mixed at best but we were here so why not?
We parked in the parking lot and got out to have a look around. The van has a quirk with the ignition that I haven’t got around to getting fixed yet. If you turn the key off you have to make sure the position of the key doesn’t go to far to the left. If this happens the tendency is for the battery to die. I thought I had it right and confidently got out to explore the fort.
We couldn’t see the fort from the top of the visitor centre which was closed. There wasn’t a soul in sight anywhere. We walked to the point of the hills and down below was some white building we assumed was the fort. Meh. The really story is why it was there. A massacre of native americans happened close by and expedited the formation of the Royal Mounted Police at Fort Walsh.
When we got back to the vans I went to start mine and nothing, nada not even a click, click. Sigh. We thought for sure it was the ignition and the key position. My brother gave me a boost but nothing happened. The weird thing was that the headlights worked and you could see some of the dash dials worked. We thought maybe the battery completely drained so gave it a while to charged. After an hour of tossing different options around…stay at the parking lot over night and go to the nearest town for a new battery in the morning or call for a tow on a Sunday we decided to wait a bit longer. I was reading on the internet to check the wires to see if any were soft or broken. My brother is a handy guy. He headed under the van to have a look. What we found had both of shaking our heads.
The wires to the ignition connection were held together with electrical tape. They fell apart in his hands. I love good old fashion ingenuity but not at my own expense. We knew this was going to be a test run and had loaded up some tools and parts just in case. The splitters and pliers came in handy now. Within 30 minutes my brother had the ignition reconnected. We didn’t have to spend the night in the parking lot after all. The van started up and we got out of there. We didn’t get to the highest point but we made it to Reesor Lake.
It was not the result of the battery afterall.