CAMPGROUND: Elkwater Campground. Very woodsy. Super heated bathroom with hot showers. Almost level sites. Firepit and picnic table. Our site has electricity and water. Others have more or less. $29/night. 4 stars out of 5.
LOCATION: Inside the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. We are on the Alberta side. The east block is on the Satskatchewan side. We are on the far SE corner of Alberta, about 40 miles from Medicine Hat, Alberta
WEATHER: Much cooler. High 60. We drove through thunderstorms and high winds.
Leaving Grasslands National Park, we had to drive about 25 miles on a muddy, gravel road to the nearest paved road. This place is really off the beaten path. As we left, I counted only 3 sites occupied. This has been a unique experience here.
Our destination – Elkwater, Alberta. It wasn’t that far away as the crow flies, but we couldn’t get there directly. Our plan was to go west then south then west again, keeping off the TransCanada Highway. So, off we went. We stopped midway for groceries (pretty slim pickings in these little towns). Then, we went through the town where the world’s largest T.Rex was just discovered. We would have stopped for a photo, but the display was down a muddy road and it was pouring rain.
U-turn #1: We were going straight west, not far from our destination, when we saw a sign noting gravel for the next 40 miles. With huge thunderclouds looming in front of us, we realized it would be muddy and difficult to navigate. The map had deceived us! We decided to turn around and take the highway up and around. It is not easy making a u-turn with trailers on a narrow, country road. So, we retraced our steps back east, then north, then back west and finally south. This would take us to the east side of the park.
U-turn #2: We realized that the road through the park, to get across the park to our campground, might be closed due to the rain. So, we turned around again, and admitted that we would have to get on the TransCanada Highway after all, for a bit. Back east, north, west, and south again.
U-turn #3. For almost the entire day, we have driven through the grasslands, then huge ranches with some crops just starting to pop up. Then, suddenly, high hills with cypress trees appeared before us with a picturesque lake below. Wow! There are several campgrounds in this area, and we overshot the exit for ours. So, we made our final u-turn of the day, and entered our campground. It was a long day on the road – from 10:00 AM to 7:30 PM.
It was sure worth it. This is a beautiful place. We are anxious to explore.
DINNER: Tony made a Caesar salad with grilled shrimp with a yummy spice. I really want to get his Caesar dressing recipe.