Ironically, less than 48 hours after telling my brother-in-law that I didn’t care if I never drove through Saskatchewan again, I spent most of this afternoon driving around the province’s southwest on a two-lane highway, at least an hour of which where it was dirt and gravel.
The original plan — and we all know how often they can go awry — was to follow the route mapped out on Google where I go to Medicine Hat, Alberta, then south IN ALBERTA to Wild Horse, Montana where there is a border crossing. Alas, Google Maps and my Hyundai GPS are two completely different things. I hesitated as I watched the sign for Vaughan and Havre go by but thought the next exit my GPS had scheduled would be closer. Next thing I knew, I had crossed the Saskatchewan border. The GPS was taking me to Swift Current! Well, I pulled off and checked my phone and found a more southerly direct route. Yep — Highway 18 for 3 hours and when it wasn’t dirt and gravel it was mostly broken road surface. (Photo is from the Internet but that part in the middle? not the part with the lines — that’s what it was like for more than an hour.) Didn’t even see a dozen vehicles the whole afternoon — and that was a good thing. I began to wonder if I’d ever get to the border.
Well, I arrived eventually at the border site which had hours posted. Lucky I got there before 6 pm. Then, having crossed a time zone entering Saskatchewan, I now went back into Mountain time going into Montana, so I didn’t lose an hour today after all. Good thing. Oddest little border crossing I’ve ever seen. I don’t think they get much traffic. I had to wait for the officer to leave one building and come out to the roadside booth and turn on the green light for me to drive into the little garage. I had to lower all my windows before turning off my engine. (Picture from the internet.)
Anyway the landscape here is really interesting. Real contrast to Alberta and B.C. No pictures as it also was a two-lane highway and there wasn’t really any place to pull over. Lots of dirt-coloured bluffs and buttes surrounding fields where cattle were grazing. The first field I came to, the gate was open and several cows seemed to be contemplating coming out onto the road as they had already passed the gate. (This picture is the closest I can find under Montana on the Internet. Now I’m really sorry I didn’t just pull over — I could see way in the distance in both directions, I’m sure I would have been safe.)
I do have some pictures of the town. My motel is right across the road from the railway station so here’s some pictures for Paul, my train-buff friend.
The train station is right across from my motel and I’ve already heard two trains (seen one) go by so I’m hoping they don’t run in the night. One of my motel neighbours has a beautiful dog that looks something like an Irish wolfhound. Owner said the dog was friendly but pooped out from hunting all day. Very small town (population about 2,000) but it does have a casino and a pizza place. I think I’ll eat in tonight and try to find a decent place along the road tomorrow for a late breakfast. Pushing on to Jackson, North Dakota in the morning. Cheers from Malta, Montana!