Day 1 – Feb 27th

Left Edmonton around 9am, arrived in Lewiston, MT around 8pm. Approximately 1,000 km of driving.

Stops:

  1. Edmonton – McDonalds – a much needed coffee.
  2. Brooks – Gas Station – empty light was on!
  3. Taber – McDonalds – afternoon snack.
  4. US Border Crossing – no issues what-so-ever.
  5. Great Falls, MT – Gas Station, ATM, and McDonalds – I only like McDonalds coffee, otherwise I’d stop somewhere else!
  6. Lewiston, MT – Super 8 and A&W – dinner and bed.

Border Crossing:

I admit, I was nervous about the border crossing, and I’ve been back and forth dozens of times before. But after recent events, I wasn’t sure how border agents would behave and it made me wary.

I worried for nothing, however. Nothing bad happened. Although the agent didn’t understand my description of the event I was attending. I had to explain it 3 times.

And she asked me “who supports you?” when I told her I was a full-time grad student at the U of A. What does that mean exactly? I answered, “I do.” Apparently that wasn’t the right answer! She meant, how do I make money, where do I work, how do I support myself? That doesn’t make sense. What if my answer was “student loans”? Would that have been sufficient? If you’re a full-time post-secondary student, they shouldn’t assume you also have a job. Or at least, not a job in the traditional sense.

Things I Learned:

  • Hwy 36 between Cactus Corners and Brooks is extraordinarily boring. The most exciting thing along the route is a coal-fired power plant. (And I only mean exciting from the perspective that it’s the only thing to see — the fact that it’s a coal plant is quite depressing.)
  • McDonalds in the U.S. doesn’t have the stickers on their coffee cups to save for a free coffee. And their coffee cups are shaped differently.
  • A&W in the U.S. is disgusting.
  • Wells Fargo charges $5 USD to withdraw cash from their ATM if you’re not a customer.
  • Interstate 87 between Great Falls and Lewiston has a different speed limit at night than during the day.

Observations:

  • There are no recycling bins in the hotel room.
  • While there is a wheelchair ramp out front of the hotel, there’s only a manual door and no elevators.
  • I forgot how dirty U.S. money feels!
  • An 80 MPH speed limit is insane, and I like driving fast. The problem is that the trucks are only allowed to go 65 MPH.
  • Ranch lands can be quite boring, it’s actually more exciting to drive at night when you can’t see anything.

The ‘n’ key on my keyboard is dying a slow death. Can a MacBook Air keyboard be replaced without replacing the whole computer?

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