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August 26

On the road again driving 270 miles to Edmonton.

Beryl and I did the walk again first though. Not a good plan. It started raining when we were half way round and we got soaked. We didn't see much either.

The road to the National Park boundary was pretty. Then we picked up a dual carriageway for the rest of the journey. It started out nice and rolling and, by British standards, it would be regarded as a pleasant run. but it lacked the grandeur of the mountains. It did however have one treat in store.

We pulled off on a side road to have lunch. A picnic site was signed but it didn't appear so, in the end, I parked by the side of the road. As I went round to the boot to get the food, I saw something large take off. I thought at first that it was a heron as it seemed to have that lazy flap of the wings. On closer inspection the legs weren't long enough so I got out the binoculars when it landed again. That is how I saw my first ever osprey. I was stunned. It had nested on a platform built at the top of a telegraph pole. There were obviously young in the nest because it kept screaming out warnings to me as I sat in the car boot eating my sandwiches. It even came over on to a closer pole (less than 50 yards away) so I got a really good look. I was quite sad to leave.

Beryl drove in the afternoon and I went to sleep. I awoke in the Edmonton suburbs and immediately had to call the right turnings to get to the West Edmonton Mall and then to get us into the hotel. Not easy even with good signing.

We unpacked the car, turned Amy loose on the mall and took the car back. This was an adventure. We were looking for 10048 113th Street. Now I understood the layout of streets and avenues so getting to 113th Street wouldn't be a problem but I had no idea where 10048 might be. So I aimed for the south end with the plan of working our way back up it to the right place. If I'd really understood addresses I'd have realised that it came between 100th and 101st Avenues (it is really 100-48) which is at the northern end. So we had many adventures trying to work our way northwards up 113th Street, most of them caused by the fact that it is one-way southwards for a big chunk. Still we made it, with the help of several lucky breaks. Having dropped off the car it was our great fortune that the first bus to arrive at the stop by which we plonked ourselves was actually going to the Mall and we had a pleasant ride back, taking in Chinatown en route; we knew it was Chinatown because we entered through enormous Golden Lion gates.


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