A bit out of order…it is 1:55am on Sat. June 28…..we are at the Swift Current Pioneer days. It is also the centennial celebration of the town. That means the large building we performed in last year is being used to hold centennial artifacts and we are in a tent…..can you imagine that a circus in a tent? Well I suppose that is normal, but our tent is 17” high, our trapeze is 20 so we are running it a bit low. That means the kids have to watch their heads, from the floor. That is a first.
Sticker shock of basic food items is 30-400% the cost of the US. And getting used to kilometers to mph was interesting. No 100 KPh is not 100mph.
One cool thing is there is a frozen pizza company next to our tent giving away free food to promote the pizza they sell in stores. As a result we have saved tons of moola on lunch with fabulous free pizza.
The first two days have been slow. The weather people have scared people away with threats of t-storms. But instead the weather has been great. At night it is winter clothes time. The highest we have reached is 69*.
Now back a few days…..
The first two days have been slow but picking up. I think it has a little to do with the economy up here. Price shock was the first thing to hit us up here. Imagine anything in the States at 30-4--% their regular cost.
This past week we left on a 1700+ mile drive from Kentucky to Swift Current, Sk Canada. We gave ourselves 4 days because, truthfully, I ain’t getting younger and 6-10 hour drives are way nicer than those old fashioned 19 hour drives. And Google maps never take into account bathroom and gas stops when calculating time for a trip.
The first 1300 miles went by well. We had to race a storm once, that was exciting, but it was generally scenic and nice. But the last 400 or so were excruciating. The view from the border of Canada to Swift current was green and nice…..but it was green and nice for 400+ miles. Every minute felt three times longer.
Since 9/11 the free crossing between Canada and America has become ridiculously cumbersome; bordering on ridiculous. Did you know the Canadian border guards wear body armor now? Really! Who is going to show a Canadian Border agent? Today, all of us, including Titus had to get out of the rv and van and go into a building to have a “background check” on us. I wish profiling was allowed then we wouldn’t have had to wait an hour. Anyways, Titus handled it well and waved to some other poor souls waiting for their checks. I thank God for that because he usually doesn’t like these kind of things. Just for the record it was because we carried a special visa to allow us to work at the fair up here that they had to do the check; a check that they had already done when I presented the papers for the visa. Boy is Canada getting to be a wasteful and foolish as America. Back in the 90s we drove over and waved to the agent (one man in a booth as we crossed). In 2010 we spent 10 minutes in the car as the agent called in to check the visas. Today, an hour with a line and only 2 agents to handle it. Canada and America the lands of the free…and I have the permits, taxes and visas to prove it. Kind of reminded me of old German war movies with their check points. Oh, well, one man’s opinion.
On the way out here to SK we had to try and race a storm, as I mentioned in the last blog. That was tough enough. Storms are bad roads are the bane of any traveler. And I have done my share of complaining about roads in many US states. But I will shut my mouth from now on because I met Hwy 39 out of North Portal in SK. For over 30 miles we rocked, rolled, shook, shimmied and shaked. Several pieces of the rv unscrewed itself and other parts just fell off inside the rv. The ABS light came on and all of us wore frayed nerves. We hit a small town and the roads were acceptable, but then we were back in open country and put up with another 30 miles of vehicle destroying roads. Finally things smoothed out for the most part and our long trek to Swift Current continued, and continued, and continued. I admit the green fields were pretty, but one does long for a building or two to give the eye more to see.
We made it here safely with a detour from some tarmac laying by the locals. It was only a 10 minute detour through a very lovely old town. (I recommend Swift current as a wonderful spot to visit. It has charm and fishing. We are hoping to get some fishing in.)
Friday morning Jim took Kyle as a robot, Miles as a robot, and Victor as a pink gorilla, Wesley as a clown and himself as a stilt walker to the town’s pancake b-fast downtown. They were a hit.
We had two shows today ad both had good, though small audiences. (Tomorrow should be packed.) Again we had pizza for lunch and snacks. With a guy like Kyle along a free all you can eat pizza is good.
I had to step back in time today to get the show set properly. I noticed yesterday there were a lot of “forgotten” things, so today I played the good old fashioned dad and go everything straight.
Tomorrow, Saturday, a regional Tv stations wants to do a docudrama about us and will cover the show and backs stage live. A lot like Discovery did. I hope to get a copy of the video.
The hardest part of this past two days is we are on the grounds and near the cows. All night long they seem to like to moo. That has left some of us with bags in our eyes in the morn.
I have many pix and more to share so stand by…..