Somewhere on Hwy 1, eastern Alberta.

As night fell yesterday I thought I heard that spattery sound of rain starting, but it thickened whenever the road dipped into hollows, and I realized it was just the clouds of bugs dying on my grill and windshield.

As it turns out parking at the side of the road isn’t so great in Alberta, at least not on highway 1. I tried finding a spot in the town of Brooks, but that didn’t feel quite right either, so I kept on going until I reached the next rest stop.

Last summer when I was driving through the US there seemed to be more of an accepted culture of sleeping at rest stops. There always seemed to be one or two people sleeping there at night, and in Washington I was even at one where the local veterans association raised funds on weekend mornings by selling hot chocolate and cookies to the people waking up and stumbling out of their cars. Here in Alberta, ‘rest stop’ means a bare parking lot with a million stalls and one little toilet hut with no running water. But at least it’s out of the way of most of the freeway noise, and I slept beautifully.

I’d love to get off Highway 1 and see some of the backroads, but at this point I’m on a tight budget… like so tight that if I’m not careful I might not have enough money to even get to Halifax. So that means no eating out, no touristy stuff, and being very stingy on gas. It’s actually good practice for the coming year; it’ll make my student budget feel luxurious!