Destination: Cranbrook, BC
End of Day Odometer: 179,707 km
There are several types of long drives you can go on. On the one hand, you may need to get somewhere, and so you leave early, travel quickly and get to your destination as soon as possible. There may or may not be some stops along the way, but in general, you’re just truckin’ along, making great time! On the other hand, the day’s activity may be to go for a drive, you’ll end up somewhere else, but the drive is what you’re doing that day. For most of my road trips, the motivation is the latter; though getting to some great places to eat is often a real priority. Often times, that can lead to arriving in destinations a bit later than the normal check-in time, and so if you’re looking to maximize your dollar, you’re going to want to stay until check-out. I paid one-hundred percent of the money for one-hundred percent of the hotel room. Occasionally, when I need to do something like write a blog, I’ll even check if I can leave a bit later.
Due to the lateness of our departure today, I contemplated whether or not to actually go to Silverwood, but my girlfriend had been thoroughly convincing in her attempts to make sure I had only the best possible time, and so I obliged and purchased a set of their discounted tickets before we left the hotel; late check-out, baby! Today is the last day we’re going to be in the US and so we needed to load up on items that cannot be found in Canada, or at least not easily found. We stopped in at Trader Joe’s for some cat treats and cookie butter before grabbing a proper Freedom™ sized 16-inch Giant Gargantuan sandwich. It was quite the meat plug, even after we split it between us. Good job, Jimmy!
Next on the agenda was to get a few packages shipped. I had a starter brought up from an Amazon.com supplier for the University Formula SAE team that ended up being dead on arrival, but since I had it shipped to a US address, I needed to return it in the US as well. Additionally, we needed to ship back the brake caliper cores to RockAuto for credit. I kept thinking we’d do this at some point along the way, but here we were, on a Sunday, trying to find a UPS drop off location that was open. None were, but there was a drop-off box in front of a Pizza Hut across the street, and it was right beside a Dollar Tree, which worked well, since we needed some tape and a box. I guess we could use some bubble wrap too, I guess.
I guess I should have looked at how big the package could be to fit in the slot. No matter, as an engineering student, I’ve trained for this day. I had the solution!
Still, no dice. Pretty close though, but quick thinking got me the exact special service tool for the job, it had lived its entire life waiting for this moment.
Now that the shipping was out of the way (not shown: using the stickers from the bubble wrap to hold together two boxes and then paying way too much to try to get not that much of a core charge back), we hit the road for Silverwood. The best place for Family Fun. Thankfully, this place was only $19 per person, because we had less than 2 hours to try to get on the important rides: the four rollercoasters in the park. Now, for the money, it was a great experience; but at full price, I don’t think I’d be back except to check out the water park. My inner child was a bit let down by the scale of the rides, but maybe that’s just because I have recent memories of the far superior rides at Six Flags and Canada’s Wonderland, or the magic that is Disney World.
Now it was time to hit the stores, and hit them we did. Despite a few setbacks and lack of stock, we managed to basically find everything we were looking for, minus the recently discontinued Mossimo t-shirts John was looking for at Target, and anything larger than a snack-sized package of mini Chips-Ahoy. (Note: mini Chips-Ahoy are sold in Canada, but they are NOT the same.)
And so we left the land of freedom and are safely back in the land of maple syrup, moose, and bagged milk. With the time zone change and the late departure, we managed to make it to Cranbrook by midnight, and so we’ve stopped here for the night. Decent number of soaps, lotions and shower caps in the bathroom, far better than the none of those things that we got at some of the earlier stops.
We’ll be back in Calgary tomorrow.
Day 14 Destination: Calgary, AB