Leonard's Campground Review - Part 3
September 11, 2001:We crossed into British Columbia at Roosville on the morning of September 11, 2001, proceeded by the terrorists attack on the World Trade Center by only two hours.
Hinton, Alberta, KOAWe did not have reservations at the Hinton KOA and the camp grounds were preparing to close for the winter, but they did give us a cabin for the night.
We found this KOA campground to be very clean. It was hard to believe that they had just gone through a full season. We did not see any fence gathered trash or debris anywhere. The lots and tenting area are very level and spacious. Any site would be welcomed by the visitor. Our cabin was sanitary beyond expectation. The bathrooms and showers were immaculate. The appearance of the grounds displayed the pride the owners have in their facilities. The road is hard packed rock and sand and the grounds are well lighted. We did not have any trouble negotiating the driveways. The office is well stocked with the basic necessities.
We did not see very many trees and shade would be hard to find at most of the sites. But the camp ground does have a pavilion, where one can cook and do dishes. It would provide adequate shade on those hot days. Looking on the good side, the lack of trees allows beautiful views of the Maligne Mountains and the prairie in between.
The camp grounds staff and managers were cheerful, friendly and accommodating. In the evening they asked if we needed anything, which we didn't.
I recommend staying at this KOA. It would give the motorcyclist a good place to base camp from while touring Jasper National Park. We do wish we could have stayed at this park a few more days and seen more of the country side and mountains.
Southey, Saskatchewan Lions ParkThere was a nice looking, motel in Regina, that had a big banner exclaiming clean rooms and camping. We inquired about camping and was told we could tent camp on the large grassy area, beneath the trees next to the parking lot. This looked promising, so I started to set up the tent, while Judy started to prepare an early supper. As we were about to get started, the motel maintenance man came out to our site and said we had to move the tent to the parking lot. I said, "are you nuts? People whizzing around the parking lot in the dark of night, would certainly kill us." He said that was his policy and that was that! I stopped Judy in her work and walked back to the office. The nervous girl said she didn't really know the policy for tent campers and that we would have to abide by the grumpy old caretaker's instructions. We asked for our money back, packed up the trailer and left.
While getting gas on the east edge of Regina, we were directed to the Southey Lions Park at the town of Southey, which is north of Regina on highway # 6, about 35 miles. By now the sun was just dipping out of sight in the west.
It was dark by the time we got to Southey, so we stopped at the Southey Homestead Family Restaurant on highway # 6 for supper and got directions to the campground.
The food at The Homestead Family Restaurant was good. Not New York fancy, but real down to country home cooking, "good.". The menu is varied giving you several main entrees from which to choose. And the hot evening tea was excellent. The staff and local patrons were most enjoyable and very sympathetic towards us about the terrorist attacks. When we attempted to pay for our meal, the young girl at the register said, our meals had already been paid. In a modest fashion she explained that she didn't know who our benefactor had been. We were so pleasantly taken back, that we couldn't find enough words to convey our thanks and warm feelings.
When we got to the campground, we were met by a kind elderly lady and her husband, living in a camping trailer at the front of the campgrounds. They were the campground host and hostess. (It saddens us that we have since forgotten their names.) They told us we could have any spot we wanted as we were the only campers. We didn't see much that night, because it was already dark. We set up the tent by moon light.
As Judy and I sat on a picnic table enjoying our last cup of coffee of the day, the two elderly people came over and sat for a couple hours or so and talked with us. Since our home State of Iowa is so much like Saskatchewan, we discussed farming methods, store prices, child raising and old fashioned fun. It was a great, great evening.
We had been asleep about two hours when we were awaken by the chorus of several coyotes, which must have been less then 500 feet away. It was a haunting incident, but most memorable. To think! They sang just for us.
The next day after repacking the trailer, we made some observations of the campground.
We didn't see any showers, but it did have the old fashioned wood toilets. Outlets on the poles indicated the availability of electric hook ups for the more modern camper. The park was spacious with a well manicured lawn. We saw playground equipment for the kids and paths through the trees for quiet contemplative walks.
As we started getting ready to fire up the camp stove for morning coffee, the campground hostess brought us over a carafe of hot coffee and home made cinnamon rolls. She also brought us tiny potato pins, to pin to our leather motorcycle jackets. Little brown potatoes on our jackets. How cute and what nice people. We cherish those tiny potatoes to this day.
I do recommend this small park for short stays or to branch out for sight seeing. This area is part of the Qu Apelle Valley, which is semi-flat country with lots of rolling hills. We thought it looked much like our beloved Iowa.
We shall always hold in our hearts, the friendship and kindness of the restaurant people and especially the campground hostess and her husband.
Read Leonard's Campground Reviews:Campground Review Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4
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