Day 8, 4/26/18
2,643.3 miles
Elkwater, Alberta, Canada

We left Medora, ND this morning and headed west on I 94 into Montana, then north and west on 13 to 2. The largest town we passed through was Havre, MT about 49 miles from Wild Horse, AB where we crossed over into Canada. On the way, we drove through small towns with names like Saco, Sleeping Buffalo and Harlem. A number of these were Indian reservations. It looked like hard times in this part of Montana.

The scenery in western Montana to today's destination (Elkwater, AB) is much the same: prairie and grassland - the Great Plains. The plains don't know anything about the US/Canada border. It's easy to see that these artificial constructs aren't really connected to the land and that the plains will will still be here long after the borders are gone.


Elkwater is in the first and only interprovincial park called Cypress Hills. A 'geological anomaly', it's almost 2000 feet higher than the surrounding prairie. Coming into Elkwater, the landscape changed from flat, grassy prairie to spruce covered hills. There's also a mid-sized lake in Elkwater called  (you guessed it) Elkwater Lake. There was a sign just before the visitor center telling us to be 'cougar smart'. Apparently, there are cougar in these parts. And of course, Elk.

The campground we stayed in had probably 8 or 9 large RVs, one tent and one van. It surprised us with a heated building containing flush toilets and hot showers! Deer wandered through the sites and on the roads apparently accustomed to human activity. Prairie dogs, geese, magpies and crows were also comfortable around people. While cougar sightings are rare, they're probably attracted to the somewhat tame deer and food left behind by campers. Just after we woke up, a large crow landed on the passenger side window and looked inside. It was a good thing the window was closed!

Deer at the Cypress Hills Visitor Center

It was just luck that we snapped this picture as we were about to pass over the mysterious markings on the road. Strikingly familiar to the pictographs in the Sego Canyon cave paintings. Clear evidence of  extraterrestrial visitations!

Mysterious markings
Zaphod Beeblebrox was here!

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