October 28/18 (Part 5) – Weyburn, Saskatchewan to Medicine Hat, Alberta – Medicine Hat (Fit to be Thai’d)

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After much travel, seeing this and that,

we arrive at last in Medicine Hat.

Home Inn Express was a most welcome site,

a comfortable place to spend the night.

Looking for dinner, we saw a good sign,

across the parking lot we walked to dine.

Good food and drink, after a long day’s ride,

Authentic food, we were fit to be Thai’d.

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October 26/18 (Part 4) – Watford City, North Dakota, U.S.A. to Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada – Rhymes with Saskatchewan

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To paraphrase Simon and Garfunkel lyrics….”Gee, but its great to be back home, Home is where I want to be, I’ve been on the road so long my friend, And if you came along I know you couldn’t disagree”.

Certainly, our feelings as we drove back into Saskatchewan and Canada. Not that we did not like being on the road in other parts of Canada and the U.S. It is just that the Canadian West felt like home.

Rhymes With Saskatchewan

Golden wheat crops stretching out like a lawn,

Yellow sun rising up to silky dawn,

Mother deer grazing by with new young fawn,

Meadowlarks flit about and then are gone,

Long, straight highways as if by ruler drawn,

Prairie landscape stretching to horizon,

Farm equipment so big, you can’t move on,

Small pothole lakes covered with geese and swan,

Strangers act like friends you’ve just come upon,

All put together, that’s Saskatchewan.

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October 26/18 (Part 3) – Watford City, North Dakota, U.S.A. to Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada – Oungre, Saskatchewan – Borderline

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After a week in America, we were driving back  into Canada today. Given our easy entry to the U.S., we wondered what awaited us getting back into our own country. We worried about the 2 bottles of liquor we had bought in Canada and taken across into the US and thought they might be confiscated. We parlayed the quietness of the remote rural border crossing into a guard having nothing but time on his hands to rip our car apart and question us for hours.

We drove tentatively up to the border, past the last turn around point on the American side, past the large shiny U.S. border station to the well worn smaller Canadian border station. Our host for this exercise came strolling out and asked us the few key questions we were not asked on entry to the U.S. Q#1 How long were you in America? A: a week Q#2 What was the purpose of your visit. A: Pleasure Q#3 Did you buy any alcohol in the U.S – Not in the U.S.   Red Flag Q#3A Where did you buy it? A: Nova Scotia and Ontario Q#4 Retail or Duty Free A: Retail.  HAVE A GREAT DAY.

Have a great day? Wait, what? No, show me the receipts. No. Car search. Wow. Well, the whole process took twice as long as entering the U.S. A whole 2 minutes.

Again, I guess how much trouble could two old farts in a Prius get into. Smile.

Borderline

Just 6 miles away

lies Oungre, Saskatchewan.

Canada Portal.

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October 26/18 (Part 1) – Watford City, North Dakota, U.S.A. to Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada – Williston, North Dakota – Oil Town

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Williston was founded in 1887 and named for Daniel Willis James, a merchant and capitalist, by railroad magnate James J. Hill. The economy was historically based on agriculture, but fortunes changed when it was determined in 2008 that up to 4 billion barrels of oil were technically recoverable from the Bakken formation. This climbed to 24 billion barrels by 2012 and then 500 billion. But, current technology only allows for recovery of about 6%. The population as per 2010 census figures was 14,716. Estimates as of 2017 place it at 25,586 making it the 6th largest city in North Dakota. (Source:Wikipedia)

But, due to a downturn in prices and a glut of oil, there has been talk lately of the boom going bust. Only time will tell.

Oil Town

Full of hope and covered in big dreams,

this place had many get rich quick schemes.

Thanks to all the oil in the Bakken,

the engineers, said let’s get frackin’.

Before too long, many things were new,

the population just grew and grew.

Traffic jams were now all too common,

with noisy diesels down streets bombin’.

Around town, were many new faces,

people came from far away places.

Looking for work, please come and sign up,

but first go there to pee in a cup.

Ev’ryone came seeking their fortune,

but the bloom dropped off away too soon.

Like many places of boom and bust,

you soon didn’t know who you could trust.

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October 25/18 (Part 4) – Rapid City, South Dakota – to Watford City, North Dakota – Driven Mad

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Today’s drive was only 283 miles and would take 4 hours and 41 minutes, without stops. However, when we punched it into the GPS, we kept getting a one hour later arrival time. And then it dawned on us that we were shifting back from Mountain to Central time. Time zones are a strange invention.

For the most part, the topography along the route reminds us of the treeless, rolling plains in Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. From time to time, we spot exciting geological features, herds of cattle or distant traffic signs to focus on. Thank goodness we were still on high speed highways.

Driven Mad

Driving along from South to North Dakota,

exciting scenery, not one iota.

We yearned for the sight of even just one tree,

but only fence posts and signs flashed by to see.

From time to time, rocky outcrops would appear,

grassy plains spread out before us far and near.

Crossing from South to North in time not too bad,

if this took much longer, we would both go mad.

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October 25/18 (Part 1) – Rapid City, South Dakota – to Watford City, North Dakota – Lunatic

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Lunatic

A long travel day, based on my Arithmetic.

Hotel breakfast definitely not to our taste,

we would drive to Deadwood and try out a diner.

Setting full moon, becoming quite a large shiner,

as I grabbed my camera, clicking shots in haste.

Packing up the car, I became a Lunatic.

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