Day 25: Banff, AB to Regina, SK (879km, 15929km total)
As we left the Rockies, highway 1 treated us to just a few final sights, perhaps even the best mountain views in all Banff.
There was even an elk, the last of the northern wildlife we’d missed up until this point, as if it knew we were one short of completing our menagerie.
Unfortunately, after a traffic-ridden stop and go through suburban Calgary, the road led only to Saskatchewan, a land of flat boring nothingness interspersed with ghost towns and these.
This particular one, unlike most, is not abandoned yet. While Saskatchewan is still the breadbasket of North America, with the decline of rail and availability of trucks, it no longer makes sense to store grain in every town, and most of it is brought directly to the East for storage and sale, or exported to Europe and Asia.
And so, in these ever more mundane surroundings, we make our way back to Regina all too uneventfully.
Day 26: Regina, SK to Fargo, ND (824km/512mi, 16753km/10410mi total)
Leaving Regina, the only thing we could expect was even more flat boredom, blanketed in amber waves of grain. However, starting around Estevan, the flood waters were rising higher and higher, our of the failed wheat crops and into the highway.
Approaching the border, the flood only got worse, encompassing the entire road in places.
…and even covering railroad tracks as the trains pressed on through.
We managed to avoid the worst of the flooding, in Minot, but unintentional, unnatural lakes like these were a common sight.
Just before Fargo, I caught this incredible sunset. It really was just this orange, if not more so!
Day 27: Fargo, ND to Chicago, IL (643mi, 11053mi total)
Day 28: Chicago, IL
Day 29: Chicago, IL to Rochester, NY (602mi, 11655mi total)
…the scenery was so bad I ddin’t even take out my camera. At least Chicago does have one thing going for it: its food. I can’t go anywhere past Chicago without a visit to Harry Caray’s steakhouse for a filet and garlic broccoli, and Geno’s East for classic Chicago pizza. Yum.