Our travels took us through the Twin Falls Territorial Park as we were leaving the NWT behind and heading to Alberta. We had never been to Northern Alberta and were looking forward to spending some time camping there on our journey home to Saskatchewan. We unfortunately were not impressed by the lack of up keep in the more remote Provincial Parks. Most were overgrown and looked not camped in but still the prices were $28 in the parks we looked at and an $12 registration fee for on line booking so for $40 we would pass. We do not book online as we never know where we will call it quits for the days journey. Alberta has some fantastic campgrounds but the northern ones looked very neglected to us giving us an uneasy feeling. If we do not feel right and safe where we stop we move on. We did however find a hidden jewel Nampa, Alberta and in a beautiful quiet campground had all the services we would need for $20. Travelling and camping along the way we found most of the popular Parks are booked on line in advance such as Cold Lake even though some sites remained empty, so thank you Walmart and visitor centers. We would have liked to stay longer in Cold Lake but they were sold out in the campgrounds, probably booked already in April of that year. I have lived by the calendar and clock most of my life, so in my retirement will not be booking any sites even a week ahead let alone months. With the truck camper we can stay just about anywhere so will continue to be free to stop when we feel like it, and stay longer if it feels good, no commitments.
Below are my daily travel notes I am very happy I kept as after awhile 10,000 kms it all blends together. A tip for those on the road.
Day 42 Mileage 8370 kms so far travelled 324 kms today to High Level, Alberta stopping at Louise Falls and Alexander Falls just off the highway south of Enterprise NWT. The falls are part of the Twin Falls Gorge Territorial Park. The falls were exceptional and so powerful one wonders how they do not run out of water on their way to Great Slave Lake then up the Mackenzie River to the Arctic Ocean. We arrived in the busy community of High Level got some supplies and spent the night at the Tourist Information Center. We had the company of another truck camper, a Big Foot from BC. Spent the night quietly reading, we will see where we end up tomorrow. The town that never sleeps High Level, Alberta it was noisy all night but then the campground was free; we have paid for campgrounds that noisy.
Day 43 Mileage 8,700 kms, today we drove 325.6 kms getting up early to leave the information center parking lot before the center opened and drove to the Independent grocery store lot parked and made breakfast before hitting the road. Charlotte and I thank the town of High Level for their hospitality. Highway 2 from High level to Peace River is not all that interesting, but as you get to Peace River that all changes; the community is nestled in a deep beautiful forested valley. The large Peace River flows through the town and the downtown section is quite unique with different stores. It was only 2:30 when we hit town so fuelled up picked up groceries and travelled on down Highway 2. Campgrounds near and in Peace River were expensive to our standards so that definitely helped our decision to move on. Down the road about 35 kms we spotted a really neat museum and turned in, we found ourselves in the community of Nampa, Alberta. The stop was well worth it as the museum was extremely well done and informative. Being as we were as old as the stuff featured we got in for the price of $3 each. The community of approximately 400 was clean with a beautifully maintained playground, ball diamonds tennis court and best of all a very nice campground with approximately 8 sites. $20 cash and we were in for the night including power, fire pit, wood and water on site. Nampa or “Tank” as it was called years ago before the postal system forced them to get a real name. Tank comes from the very unique water tank in the community used to fill the coal burning railway engines. It’s claimed there may have only been two built like it. Nampa turned out to be a little gem we were not aware of and was not featured in all the big tourist brochures. So I would highly recommend if travelling to or from Peace River take a moment stop check out the museum and if looking for a quiet clean place to stay…it comes highly recommended. Some communities you can feel the pride and see it from a mile away it shows. Being as we start each day with only a direction and not a destination we have the time to search for the gems…see what is down the road tomorrow.
Day 44 Mileage 8,933.8 kms, Travelled 233.5 kms today from Nampa, Alberta to Slave Lake on Highway 2. Highway was fairly good a little rough in places but not bad. Much more traffic than we are used to and lots of logging trucks. We stopped at Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park and spent the day just hiking and taking it easy. Talked to a chap living in his converted cargo van he had done a nice job laying out he has now spent two years full time even living in it during an Alberta winter in the Slave Lake area. He says he never thought he would live in a van but should have done it years before. Lesser Slave Lake is very large and set in the hills featuring a very large beach area. It was windy on the beach so we decided for the shade in the trees near our camper to sit and read. The highway near the campground and the railway were noisy all day as it is beside the busy Highway 88 with logging trucks and semi’s. With the rich campground prices we are finding in Alberta and two of the campgrounds were reservation only we with several other travellers opted for a noisy Walmart lot for the night. It may be noisy but I am not paying the high campground fees for the same night’s sleep. We are planning on being on the road again tomorrow as we have found nothing so far that begs us to stay, see where we end up tomorrow.
Thanks for checking out our site. My critique of the Alberta campsites and the cost are mine alone as we have found much better for the price. For some that price may not be expensive to them, for us we have found better value along the way so are spoiled so take my critique with a grain of salt and as always check them out for yourselves. I think time spent in the Peace River area would be worth the time as the countryside there is very nice that we could see on our drive through.
That’s it for this post as we get closer to home we hope you follow along, check out our previous travel posts and subscribe if you want email notification of our posts on travel and truck camping. Thanks to our new subscribers again from the last post it gives me the motive to keep editing and posting……we hope to see you down the road during our travels.
Gerry and Charlotte