Saskatchewan & Alberta, Cypress Hills InterProvincial Park, Medicine Hat, August 24, 2008

15 03 2011

Yes, Virginia, the Earth Really is Round

The Top of Cypress Hills

There’s a giant plateau straddling the border of Saskatchewan and Alberta, Cypress Hills InterProvincial Park, that has sides that are cliffs and if you stand on one you can see the rolling prairies go on forever. It is the highest point of Canada, in between the Rocky Mountains and Labrador. It was a bit of a drive to get there, but the ground got more hilly and instead of wheat fields we started seeing cattle ranches. When we got to the Hills itself, signs warned it was steep and the roads weren’t that wide so maybe you shouldn’t take your Mo-Hoe up there. We figured the Boogie Bus could handle it no problem and it did. The top of the plateau was scorched dry and dusty, flat and covered with straw that was once grass. No one else was around and we stayed for about an hour, marvelling at the vie—we could see the curve of the Earth!

"Wild" Cows of Alberta

Wha....? "Trans-Canada Trail"?

We drove down the other side into Alberta. There are a all kinds of cattle ranchers there, and the cows can wander around the park at will, so we encountered a few “wild” cows. It must be nice to live in that park. It feels kind of Western and once you get off the top of the hills it is forested and there are streams and such. Every now and then you see a house or a dude ranch. The roads are rustic. We broke one of the useless CB antennas—the Boogie Bus was really starting to look like it was getting around.

Magically Delicious!

Medicine Hat, Alberta was the polar opposite of Moose Jaw. It was a place where it looked like people care, and it had art sculptures. We popped by the visitor centre and the person who greeted us was actually allowed to make dining recommendations, a gratifying circumstance that was new to us (although we had never stopped asking). They even had a complimentary RV sanitation station, where we filled up our water tank. But something went wrong and we flooded the van! On the up side, the floor got washed. We were worried because we would pick up Linda that night. Linda is a really clean person and at this point the bus, due to our sleeping in parking lots, not showering, and always being in a hurry, was a stinkin’ mess. We needed to clean it in the next 5 hours. We decided to try the Thai restaurant, and see if there was a laundry-mat nearby we could wash our clothes at the same time.

The laundy-mat was closed but the food at Thai Orchid Room was incredibly delicious.

We booted it to the outskirts of Calgary and got a spot in a weirdly suburban RV park, oddly called Mountain View Camping even though there’s no mountain in sight, where we guessed a lot of the guests were living there and working in nearby industrial projects. They had a petting zoo. And a laundry room (with WiFi, thankfully). We pulled everything out of the van, did the dishes, wiped everything down, and then Step left me in the laundry room with my laptop and a giant stack of loonies, and went to pick up Linda at the airport.

I Can See Your House From Here

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