3rd Electric Week: Banff to Calgary

This past week was substantially different from the one before: Instead of spending time hiking in the wilderness, we spent time with a photo shoot, several interviews and at two car shows, one in Calgary, one in Red Deer; and, again, meeting lots of people, which was great! It’s this kind of balance we had in mind when we started the trip, and so far, it’s working. 😉

Red Deer Cruise Night - 1

Red Deer Cruise Night

But before we went to Calgary, we stopped in High River. Now, what made us do a detour to High River? Some will think I’m nuts now, I think Rolf does, but he’s nice (or smart) enough to not say it. 😉

I LOVE horses (though I don’t ride them). I think they are one of the most beautiful animals on this planet. And I like this country. And there’s a TV show that combines both: ‘Heartland’ (on CBC). ‘Heartland’ is about a young, female horse whisperer and it’s filmed at four different locations in Alberta, one is High River. No, I’m not a groupie, but I was curious nonetheless. And sometimes, it just feels good to do something that is not entirely explainable by logic. Makes one feel young, everybody should try it once in a while. 😉 So, I walked Kye all over High River – he benefited immensely from this ‘spur of the moment thing’ 😉 – even though the only building that is part of the TV series is ‘Maggie’s Diner’ and it’s not even open to the public. Regardless, I took some pictures and enjoyed the walk. High River has suffered immensely from floods a few years back and it was clear to see that the city is still in the process of recuperation. I’d say they are well on their way. Loved to see all the community green space packed with playing children. And the George Lane Campground was a gem. Besides, we had the best Thai Soup ever at the P&H Family Restaurant around the corner from the campground. So all in all, many good things came out of my little, crazy ‘escapade’.

Maggie's Feed Store - 1

Inside Maggie’s Diner from the Heartland TV Series (photo through the window only)

From High River, we went to Calgary and Red Deer. We had heard a lot about Peavey Mart and its chargers and were in contact with them with regard to media coverage. We had a great time with a bunch of enthusiastic people that included a test drive as well as a radio interview. Thanks, Jest, for organizing it! Peavey Marts will become a strategic part in our cross Canada trip from here on as we will slightly change our charging approach: With the help of Peavey Marts, we will be able to extend our daily range beyond the range we get from overnight charging in campgrounds. Our plan is to stop at least once a day at a Peavey Mart to top up our charge. They gets all of their electric power from Bullfrog Power, a provider of sustainable energy made from solar, wind, natural gas from garbage composting, and biodiesel from cooking waste oil. Thanks to both companies to make our travel even greener!

Peavey mart

We were the first to charge at the new Sun Country Highway charger at Peavey Mart HQ – here with Jest

We also visited The Solar Store, since we had ordered our eight 100kW flexible solar panels for the camping trailer from their online site SolarWholesaler. They had the best price we could find online and the panels arrived promptly at our home back in March. We had a good chat with Jon, the owner, and some of his employees. They know what they are doing and also provide complete kits to self-installers. The store has a good selection of equipment on display, so you can see what everything looks like. It is definitely worth a visit.

The Solar Store - 1

Jon and Rolf inside The Solar Store, Red Deer

And on to the Cruise Nights: Our Facebook followers already know that those ‘Cruise Nights’ didn’t lack adventure either. The weather in this area has been crazy. High River got a lot of hail, but we had luckily already left for Calgary. All we got there was a big thunderstorm with the lightning striking so close to us, the thunder was instant. Due to the weather, the Calgary Cruise Night was cancelled, which we didn’t know. For a cancelled event, we were surprisingly busy 🙂 We started out as the oddballs, but thanks to the Electric Vehicle Association of Alberta (EVAA) and its members, we quickly got joined by a Tesla Roadster, a Tesla Model S, an eSmart and an electric Kia Soul. And a bit later, I saw my first electrified truck! What a great surprise! This shows, the future is here! I recommend joining EVAA on Facebook. It’s a very active EV community with really good posts! Thanks, guys! I always enjoy seeing all different kinds of electric cars in one spot!

Calgary Cruise Night - 1

A Family of EVs at the Calgary Cruise Night.

It was also great meeting so many people we only knew via Facebook until that point. Not only during the Cruise Night in Calgary, but also in the campground during that day. Same goes for the following evening in Red Deer, even though that event didn’t last as long as planned. We were one of the last ones to leave before the thunderstorm hit. I need to get Rolf that shirt: ‘Warning! Might constantly talk about cars’ (or more precisely ‘his car’ ;-)…) Interest in the Teslas (there were three!) was overwhelming – until the dark clouds could no longer be ignored and even Rolf had to shut up ;-)… We drove a few anxious kilometers before we knew we were safe from any hail. I really feared for our beautiful windscreen!

After the Storm - 1

After the Storm, all is well again. And so beautiful!

Today and for a few more days, we’ll be staying in Calgary. We need some time again to catch up with Blog posts, photo and video editing. And Kye deserves some nice walks, which he’s getting. We’re also going to figure out where to go next from here. For sure Drumheller, but from there??? We heard so many good things about Saskatoon, so I really want to see it. But Rolf is concerned we might not find enough campgrounds with electric outlets…So we don’t know what to do yet. We are also looking into checking out Vulcan, AB, which has a new solar system that Peavey Mart gets some of its energy from. It looks like another interesting week is ahead of us!

2 thoughts on “3rd Electric Week: Banff to Calgary

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