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Driving to Alaska: Day 5

May 7, 2010

I took a nap in the car for a few hours in the morning, and then I drove pretty much the rest of the day. We drove from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to Grand Prairie, Alberta (via Edmonton). I forgot to mention all of the oil derricks we saw in the fields of North Dakota on Day 4. We also saw a few here and there in Saskatchewan, and a lot of natural gas collectors (not sure what their “official” name is) in the fields of Alberta – all of which added to the West Texas/ Oklahoma feeling of the area. Once we were west of Edmonton the scenery FINALLY started to look like what we thought Canada would look like all along – rolling hills with lots of trees. We also saw some deer and plenty of Elk – still no moose though. We did see several signs warning us that we were in moose zones, but no moose. We also had some more snow, but it didn’t last long, and wasn’t sticking to the ground. The views were beautiful, and made me very excited to get into the mountains, where I’m sure they will be breathtaking.

We also continued to see abandoned homes and broken down, dilapidated farm buildings along the route. It always makes me wonder about the stories of the people who lived there once upon a time. What happened to them? Was the house once filled with laughter and happy memories for some long-forgotten family? There is something beautiful, yet melancholy and lonely about seeing them now. Part of me would love to just drive around western North Dakota and Saskatchewan stopping to take pictures of those buildings the way we saw them – with a bright sunny sky, and storm clouds off in the distance.

We discovered that Canadians like their country music – there was one stretch of road where we decided to scan the local radio stations, and found nothing but country music. They also don’t censor the radio DJs nearly as much as they do in the states. It seems every time we heard a DJ talking, they were talking about sex in one way or another.

When we stopped in Grand Prairie it was around 9:30pm, and the sun was just starting to set. It made the drive a little easier to have so much daylight, but it was our first experience with the extended daylight hours, showing us just how far north we are now. Of course, we are still heading north and we have a lot more of those days in our future. We decided to stay at another Super 8 – since we know they take dogs and have free internet.

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