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Sunday, September 4

We attended a service at the Banff Full Gospel Church this morning and really enjoyed being there.  The pastor, Kevin Driver, was a young man with remarkable speaking abilities.  Interestingly, a church down the street had a recent fire, so the two congregations were in the same service. 

We spent the day in Banff - the Natural History Museum had good taxidermy exhibits, some of which were more than 100 years old.  The deer in the picture was munching on shrubs in the middle of town.  We walked to the original hot springs, Cave and Basin, where the Banff park started in the late 1800's, then around town, and later took in a very well-done 8:30 documentary movie on Banff at the Visitor Center.




Tonight, we took a campsite with an electrical connection to charge our batteries.  It was dark going to the camper, and the darkness felt rather strange since we saw so little of it when we were further north. 


Monday, September 5

We needed to get to Canmore for the transmission service on Wednesday, but we were also anxious to go there earlier for the Western Canada Highland Games that were advertised in our Alberta Visitor Guide to take place on September 5.  When we got there, we found out that the Visitor Guide was in error, and the Games took place yesterday on Sunday, the 4th.  Oh, well! 

We went to a great restaurant, the Rocky Mountain Flatbread company, for lunch.  They serve organic pizzas and pasta dishes.  We had a very good creamed vegetable soup, and a creamed garlic pasta dish that had plenty of curry braised chicken on top.  Yum! 

We found the Ford dealership, settled in, and needed groceries.  So…off to the local Safeway.  Interesting: For Customer Appreciation Day, Safeway will be offering 10% off on Tuesday, September 6 for all Safeway card holders on all orders over $25.  Well, no brainer: we shop tomorrow.






We spent the afternoon hiking at Quarry Lake Park, then on the trails that border the creek and Bow river in Canmore.  Isn't that beautiful?





Some flowers along the way.




We stayed overnight in an RV lot next to Sobey's Grocery Store.  What we didn't know was that the trains run during the night just a very short distance from where we had parked.  They also use their whistle.  Again: Oh, Well!

Tuesday, September 6

The Grocery store: did you ever see so many people? Six or seven cashiers open, with 4-8 people waiting behind each.  We pick one.  Ed gets a call from the insurance company, has to go outside the store to hear, while Patty gets to talk with the person, Laurie, in line in front of her.  Now, you have to know Patty:  she can get a life history in short order.  She discovers both are Christians, both had children in YWAM, etc.  Kindred spirit.  By the time we were at the cashier, Laurie knows why we are in town (transmission service at the Ford dealership) and invites us to supper.  When she finds additionally that we had attended the Full Gospel Church in Banff the previous Sunday, she says she had been a member there, and would like us to come to her house for supper when we could meet the former pastor and his wife (Cliff and Bev) as well.   

We had great conversations along with the wonderful salmon/salad/rice dinner that she had prepared. We were anxious to hear what God was doing in Canmore.  Cliff is saying that God is wanting us to seek Him in a personal relationship, and not be dependent upon a church or a pastor for that relationship.  We are to press into God and seek His face. 

Wonderful meal, inspired conversation, new friends, we want more.  The pastor and his wife invite us to their home the following day, with another couple they wanted us to meet, and Laurie.  They invited us over for supper the following night. Laurie wants to loan us a truck to use while we are having ours serviced.  

We checked into the Ford dealership for the transmission service.  They are allowing us to set up our camper on their lot and hook up to their electricity.  What a blessing!  We are right here, and don't need a campground.

One salesman asks about why we are here.  When Ed tells the flood story, he is surprised how calm Ed is about the whole thing.  “Why not?” Ed replies, “We’re in the Lord’s hands.  He takes good care of us”. “I wish I was more like you”, he says. 

Wednesday, September 7

Today was clear, warm (high 70 degrees), sunny and wonderful.  It started as a normal day, but grew into a wonderful God experience.

We called our new friend Laurie to take her up on her offer to loan us a pickup until Monday.  We worked on projects at the camper until she showed up at 11:30 am.  She took us to the pickup, then offered us the loan of her showers which we gladly accepted.  From there, we went on to town to walk, window shop and go to the library (reading about Hurricane Katrina that hit New Orleans).   We stopped at a little Christian bookstore/flower shop and met another Christian Lady.  We bought a pink orchid for Laurie and put it on her doorstep.  She loved it. :)

We picked up a carrot cake at a bakery and headed out to the pastor's place for supper.  Laurie also came, as well as another couple, Dhiren from India and his wife Shweta from Sri Lanka.

We talk, pray, get real, bond.  We and this other couple, Dhiren and Shweta, quickly become bosom friends.  He has had a successful career, and a few years ago, with his wife, came to the Lord.  Strong, intelligent, well-read, personable, discerning, gifted.  He feels that God is using him to call gifted Christians from a variety of backgrounds together, with the ultimate purpose of blessing the people of God, the Church and the world with/through the knowledge that God had invested in them.  Cliff, the pastor is now leading a small group of God seekers and is the spiritual grounding for this plan.  Cliff wants more intimacy with the Father.  Both want business, the marketplace, to take a stronger stand as a mission field.  This was a strong feeling of Ed's when he and Patty helped in a Centre for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED) Seminar in Tiberius, Israel a few years ago.  CEED is a Youth With A Mission (YWAM) ministry that Ed and Patty are involved in (see About Us).. 

All of this seems to be such a God thing - God planned, ordained and orchestrated - exciting!  We talked until after midnight about calling together gifted Christians from a variety of backgrounds with the ultimate purpose of blessing the people of God, the Church and the world through the knowledge that the Lord had invested in them.  The Indian man appears called to do this, and the pastor seems to be the spiritual grounding for this plan.  Both want business, the marketplace, to take a stronger stand as a mission field.  We left wondering what this coming together was all about.

Thursday, September 8:

After the mechanics spend some time with the truck, it looks like there are more problems than we could have imagined….they’re talking with the insurance company about writing off the truck…

We were invited for prayer at Cliff and Bev’s in the evening.  All present.  The short of it: if these people lived somewhere near Texas, could we move there?  By now, we are wondering if the whole transmission thing was for us to spend some time with these people in Canmore.  We do not believe in coincidences.

Friday, September, 9:

Now, we are invited for lunch at Dhiren and Shweta’s condo.  Patty says: “We knew you were painting, so we brought some older clothes.  Can we help you paint?”  Twelve hours later…more conversations, we had stayed for supper, painting was about finished, also our friendship was solidly secured.  Ed shares a business opportunity that he has been holding back until the right person from that part of the world could listen to it.  Dhiren has just written a book, somewhat autobiographical, but also an apologetic on eastern religions, and may need an editor.  We tell him about Fiona, our free lance writer daughter that has done some editing for others, and he immediately runs off an email to Fiona.

Saturday, September 10:

Rain, yes even snow today.  The insurance company wants the dealership to spend more time Monday to assess total potential damage to the truck.  We learn that, in that conversation with the insurance company Friday, they were thinking of a settlement sum which may be higher than the retail value we had researched on the internet NADA site. 

Sunday, September 11:

We spent the day with our new Canmore friends, first at Cliff and Bev’s, then at Dhiren and Shweta’s.  Then we went for a walk and saw the mountains.

These are the Three Sisters - Faith on the left, Hope in the middle and Love at the right.




The snow dusting and the blue sky make for beautiful pictures.







Fabulous homes and condos. The wealthy live in Canmore.






Monday, September 12:

Another day of waiting for the Ford dealership to reassess all possible damages. We were with Dhiren and Shweta, painting.  In the evening, we come back home to find out nothing was done at the  dealership. 

What does all of this mean?

Remember that we are all right, that there is not a problem that the Lord can’t resolve to our favor, and that we have made some new friends that are helping us.  We are not anxious about this.  We are quite comfortable in our truck camper (it’s connected to electricity at the Ford dealership), we have had three people offer us a place to stay, we have had a truck for our use from last week until this weekend, we have some new friends ready to take us anywhere we want to go, and as of this Wednesday, we might have a car for $10 a day.   We haven’t even had to buy a meal since last Monday since these people have had us over for meals.  If we needed to, the insurance company would pay for a motel room.  How’s that for more than OK?

That's the bedroom we painted today. The wall was 17 feet high and 22 feet long.  It was broken up into 12 square segments, each near 6 feet high and wide. We laid it out with a laser beam, and used 1 inch painter's tape between segments.  Four different colors. 

This second picture shows what the condo looks like from the outside.





Tuesday, September 13:

We are running out of water in the camper, and need to dump sewage, so we load up the camper and use the facilities at the Visitor Center, drive about 5-8 miles total.  We check our email at the free Wi-Fi spot at Beamer's, a coffee house, and make our telephone calls.  The truck appears to be running OK.  By mid-afternoon, we got a little impatient and a little more insistent that they do something, soon!

We went for a walk later in the afternoon, and found ourselves near the town and decided to go to the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. again for supper.   Wonderful pizza!  During supper, Dhiren calls and invites us for a movie that can be seen in the theatre in the condo common building (it also had a lap pool, exercise gym, lodge fireplace, billiard room, etc, etc).


What a theatre - seats about 20, screen is about 10 feet wide, and surround sound nearly shakes you out of your lounge chair.  Aimee, you would think you were in Heaven! (Aimee is our daughter who loves movies.)

Wednesday, September 14:

Dhiren and Shweta are leaving for England today for a few weeks.  We'll miss them.  Why didn't we take a picture of our new friends?

The car for $10 a day deal falls through.  We spent a delightful evening with Laurie and Keith at their home.  We can't get over how nice these people are to us.  We didn't get a picture of them either!

Continuing transmission saga: the dealership has sent a new estimate to the insurance company that replaces the transmission, the transmission cooler and the transmission wiring harness.  This would get us to Texas, where we would then take care of any additional problems.  Probably a good way to go, if the insurance company will accept it.    But, look what happens tomorrow...

Thursday, September 15:

In the afternoon, the insurance adjuster talked to her manager, and they decided it would be best for everyone if they just total the truck.  That means we would get a lump sum for the truck, and the truck would have to be replaced.  She'll call us later to give us the numbers they worked up.  OK.  Patty and Ed start looking for a way to get to Montana to buy a truck.  First, we thought we could rent a car and run around northern Montana to find a truck.  After all, if you can't find a truck in Montana, where could you find one?  We found that no rental car agency in Alberta will rent a vehicle to enter the United States!  Patty suggested we take a Greyhound bus to Montana, except wouldn't you know that there is no bus south of have to go through Vancouver to get to Montana.  We resolve that we will have to convince the insurance agency that we would like to drive the current truck to Montana.

In the evening, we went to our friends Cliff and Bev who invited us for supper, then we talked and prayed about Joy.  It was exactly what we needed.  

Finally got a picture of one couple, Bev and Cliff!



Friday, September 16:

Since we know now that we will have to buy a truck, Ed spends some time in the morning arranging financing to buy a truck.  The adjuster phones us to give us a settlement sum, and we are pleased that it is better than we had hoped.  She also agrees that it would be OK for us to try to get the truck to Montana, and she suggests Great Falls, Montana where the agency can make arrangements for the truck.

It didn't take us long before we were hitching up the truck camper, saying our good-byes, and getting on the road.  Again, the scenery is great and changing.  We move east and south out of the mountains and into the plains, then get stuck in Calgary traffic.  South of Calgary, the plains look like those in Oklahoma or the Texas panhandle...beautiful fields of greens and yellow as far as you can see.  At one point, the overcast clouds let in a little sunlight so the fields are a bright golden yellow against the gray sky! 

The truck transmission occasionally acts up and we have to stop several times for a while for it to cool down,  We do, however, make it to the Wal-Mart parking lot in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Saturday, September 17:

On the road again, we miss a turnoff for highway 4 south of Lethbridge.  Upon studying the map, we see that the highway we were on will lead us through Cut Bank, Montana where there is a large Ford dealership.  We get to the border crossing at 9:00 a.m. sharp, exactly when the crossing opens up for the day.   Yeah, back in the USA.   Ed's Alien Registration Card expires on Tuesday, September 20 (that's another story).  Three days to spare!

We get to see and drive three trucks in Cut Bank, and a fourth in Shelby about 20 miles east. How do you choose?

All of the dealerships here close at 12 noon on Saturday, and open up again on Monday morning.  We decided to drive all the way to Great Falls.  After several stops for the transmission, we make it to know...Wal-Mart parking lot in Great Falls.  A hectic day.  Time to veg....

Sunday, September 18

We made our way to the Visitor Center to find out what churches are in town, and select a Four Square church on the other side of town.  While at the Visitor Center, Ed finds there is free W-Fi there, so we get our mail.  We spent the rest of the day looking at trucks at the many car/truck dealers on 10th Avenue South in Grand Falls.  We get to go to the church again for evening services.

Monday, September 19

We find a truck that we like, and negotiate a great price.  It's like new, 16-months old, a 2004 Ford Lariat, one-ton, crew cab, 4X4, turbo diesel, long bed.  Wedgwood blue and silver two-tone paint, heated leather seats and moon roof, too!  Lots of othere extras. 

The second picture is of the two trucks together - buds. 




Tuesday, September 20

We spent the rest of yesterday and today moving the special hitch for the truck camper to the new truck, and removinig the bed rails for the fifth wheel hitch from the old truck.  Then, we exchanged tires since those on the red pickup were newer and better street tires.  

Look at the sky we saw that night!

Wednesday, September 21

Ed made arrangements at a local shop to have the fifth wheel hitch installed on the new truck in the morning, while we spent it at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Grand Falls.  A great museum!  Grand Falls, as the name implies, is the place where Lewis and Clark had to portage their boats because of five falls.  This happened in June 1805, 200 years ago.  The town had lots of celebrations that month. 

In the afternoon, we get to move everything from the red truck to the blue truck.  It took a long time! But it's OK, since we're waiting for some paperwork (and a check!) from the insurance company before we can leave.

Thursday, September 22

The paperwork comes.  A few more preparations, and we are free to go.  We mount the camper (it fits well!), dump sewage and take on fresh water at the Flying J, have lunch at a great burrito place (Taco del Mar), visit the Visitor Center to download mail, and we're off!

We make about 150 miles down Hwy 89 to a small town called Clyde Park where we park for the night in the parking area of the Methodist church (after we get permission). 

Ed says this truck rides smoother than the old truck.  The engine noise from this newer turbo diesel engine (a 6.0L engine, new since late 2003, replacing the older, noisier 7.3L engine) is acceptable, and the  mileage is much better than the V-10 gasoline engine on the red truck.  Besides, how much more fun can Ed have than driving a newer and bigger truck?

Tomorrow: Yellowstone National Park?


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Ed doesn't know how these two lines got here, but they won't move!