June 13th

Tunnel Mountain Village II Campground is one of three campgrounds in Banff, Alberta Canada.  Banffshire Scotland, the birthplace of a major financier of the Canadian Railroad wanted to blow a hole in the mountain for the railroad to go through, instead he took the railroad around the mountain and both names stuck.  One was for naming the mountain and its surrounds the other for naming the City.Image

Since Shasta, railroads and trains have followed us to every single campsite.  At first the roar of the passing trains was annoying but now have become comforting sounds.

As we settled in to our campsite Bill casually mentioned he was concerned about the oil pressure gauge but it was clear that he was more than unsettles.   Suspecting, but not knowing exactly what it was, meant I had to find an RV repair pronto.  Trusty iphone in hand, I found a shop in a neighboring town, but Bill was not thrilled with the prospect of driving to Canmore about 20 miles from base camp.  Mind you this place is screaming with RV’s, I mean everywhere! How could it be there was no mechanic in town? The following day, down to the information center we go. The agents were cautiously optimistic.  There was one listed, just outside of town, in the industrial center but walking distance.  As the weekend was upon us, what are the chances of getting a Chevrolet part delivered before the weekend? All the RV’s here are FORDS!  At first the repair guy, Jason, a Kiwi (New Zealander) told us he was booked for the day but later took mercy on us and we immediately took Murphy in for a diagnostics then, sent on our way. Unbeknownst to us, Jason ordered a part from a neighboring town, assuming Bill was correct in suspecting the oil gauge was the culprit.  We were warned to take hats and rain gear along with us as rain was expected at any time. Rain…It has been raining since we left Pasco Washington!  Off we went, across the railroad tracks, through the woods, and back into town.  For the average person, that was enough walking for one day yet our day had barely begun.

Once in town, almost immediately, two individuals dressed as mountaineers, Oscar Velasquez and Moya Bell, who were recruiting for wilderness training and promoting walking tours, approached us with hot tea and a free photo on taken with our own camera he said.   Who could refuse? Image What a great advertising pitch for the local Banff tea shop that we visited later in the afternoon.

Off we went guidebook in hand, choosing the “Cemetery” walk, which was not as morbid as it may seem, but a residential architectural tour of the city’s wealthiest most beautiful homes nestled along the Bow River.  ImageImage

ImageBill, who insisted his green windbreaker was a raincoat, immediately got drenched that led us to the local Patagonia store where we found a suitable waterproof jacket as well as to stalling for time. Sales people in sporting goods store seem always to be informative, kind and interesting.   Fortunately, most of the establishments in Banff, this one included, are animal friendly Ms. Mocha was offered treats and water that she readily accepted.

By three in the afternoon, exhausted from walking around all day I called Jason, who was just beginning the diagnostics but suspected it was probably the oil pressure gauge or switch.

It’s now 4:45 pm. While in the post office, partly to get out of the rain and partly to purchase some stamps, the awaited phone call comes.  Eureka, Murphy has a new gauge and we didn’t get gouged!  Back through the woods this time getting lost, and a few phone calls later to help us relocate, we finally found our way back to the repair shop.

Bill knew that if the gauge failed, the Engine would go next.  All things considered, only 2 days lost. It was an exhausting but happy ending to our 1st day in Banff.