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Tuesday 8th August 2006

The Journey back to Canada

We said our farewells to Kate then Dad and I headed North from Pennsylvania to Ontario, Canada. We were basically on the same highway all day. The next 2 nights were spent staying with our friends the Boyles in Kingston. Tom showed us around the local area and we did a day trip to Ottawa to catch up with Graham.

The next day we crossed the border back into the USA and continued the journey West. We crossed the border near Detroit and stayed the night in a small hick town called Flint Michigan.

The traffic around Chicago was a total nightmare which delayed us a bit. The rest of the day was spent driving until we found a spectacular little campsite called Cedar Lake near Iowa City. It was in the middle of nowhere and had a nice little lake nestled amongst rolling green hills. That night we met some blokes who were traveling the country working on TV antennas. A diverse group and very interesting people indeed!

The next day was another long day of driving and we ended up camping in a National Park in Yankton, South Dakota. It was extremely hot but quite picturesque. Another day of driving and we were in Rapid City, South Dakota. It was too hot to camp so we checked into a cheap hotel and went out for a big steak at the Outback Steakhouse (an Aussie themed restaurant). Good food but not so good a job on the Aussie Theme.

Mt Rushmore was only a stone’s throw away so we spent the next morning exploring the national park. It was very interesting and quite spectacular and well worth a visit. We Got some funny photos with Desmond the Kangaroo.

It was a deadest scorcher of a day, 45C (110F) and as a result Stan the Van struggled a bit and conked out while going down a hill. We called a tow truck and the diagnosis was vapor lock (the petrol was boiling in the fuel lines) and the treatment – a few hours in the shade. We broke down in a town called Sturgis which has an annual biker festival and we just happened to be there at that time of the year. Guys with tats and beer guts everywhere.

Yellowstone was our next destination and after a night in a small town called Ten Sleep we made it to the East Gate. Luke and I had entered through the North Gate 3 months before but not all the park was open so I was looking forward to checking it out. We drove around Yellowstone Lake and spent the afternoon at Old Faithful Geyser which was spectacular. It erupts every 90 mins or so and they can predict it to within 10mins. Very interesting. That night we camped at Madison campground and it was damn freezing.

The next morning we checked out some waterfalls and some hot springs then exited Yellowstone through the North Gate. We continued on North and spent the night in Helena, Montana.

The next day we crossed the border into Canada and stayed with my mate Dan in Calgary. Caught up with all the Calgary crew for some beers which was awesome!
We were pretty exhausted so spent the next two nights relaxing in Banff. We hiked up Tunnel Mountain but apart from that just took it easy. The last leg of the journey was the 6 hour drive back to Kelowna.

Dad hung around for a few days before flying back to Oz and taking a lot of my possessions with him, which was much appreciated. It was great that he got to meet my mates and see where I have spent the majority of the last 18 months. What an epic roadtrip. 23,000 kms (14,000 miles) all up!

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Dan brand Orange Juice in Slovenia ... what a country!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
--Mark Twain

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