13 June 2008

Mile 2,618/ KM 4,213 (Alberta & Montana)

Alberta Photos

I am impressed by the vegetated wildlife overpasses throughout the National Parks in Alberta. I've always thought that making wildlife go under a road was a bad idea - after all, most animals do not like to go underground or in dark confined places where predators might lurk.

I pass the US border in Montana, a little outpost where the border guard is mostly concerned that I might be bringing animal products in. He asks me if I'm tired of Alaska and offers me a "welcome back to the lower 48". Of course, I'm anything but tired of Alaska and I tell him I'll probably be back this way sooner then later. All the same I am pleased to be welcomed. I am taking a slightly longer route then necessary through Montana but I want to drive along Glacier National Park.

Montana Photos except for lower right which is Idaho (with a milage card)

It's a beautiful drive. All day we see more coyotes then anything else - some lit up by the morning sun, a pair running along a fence line - and the occasional pronghorn, and one lone elk with his silly little velveted antlers which are just sprouting and thus look very small on his head. We stop near the park to walk on native lands which have been burnt by wildfire. The sun is warm, the wildflowers blooming, and little rivulets of water fill the dirt tracks and the Disreputable Dog does his best to lie in them although they aren't quite deep enough to cover him.

At the end of the day we find ourselves at a KOA campground and feel like we are at a hotel. We are parked on lush grass and can hear peacocks calling in the distance. Last night a bunch of teenagers had come through my camp running their fingers along the tent and the Disreputable Dog launched out of the tent on defense barking and growling. I shouted at them and they nonchalantly pretended they didn't know they were in someone else's campsite. I had been fast asleep and my adrenaline was so high my hands were shaking - I had removed the safety off the bear spray and had my knife in the other hand. Luckily, none of it was necessary but it took a long while to get to sleep. Now at the KOA station I experienced my first darkness and had to rummage for my headlamp which had been unnecessary up until now.


  1. You write so beautifully. The words paint a picture in my mind of what you're doing. I, too, would've taken a long time to get to sleep if I had been awoken like that! I hope that doesn't happen again!

  2. Wow! What a great idea. I went to http://www.tfhrc.gov/pubrds/05may/01.htm and saw what I think is a photo of the overpasses you're talking about.

    We have tiny nets strung across roads so possums and other nocturnal mammals can get from side to side but I don't think we have these wonderful structures...yet.

  3. amanda, luckily it didn't!

    parlance, they are quite fantastic. I don't quite understand why they haven't caught on like wildfire. I will post a pic soonish.


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