Our Journey Across The US Border

One of the great things about living in Okotoks is that it gives you the opportunity to enjoy some fabulous road trips.  This time, we decided to head down across the Canada/US border into the US state of Montana and over the next several posts, we will share the story of our journey. 

We began our road trip to Helena, Montana early on Boxing Day morning.  We had a good clear day and watched the sun come up over the mountains as we drove.

After around 3 hours of driving, past High River, through Nanton, Claresholm, Fort McLeod and Lethbridge, we reached the border.  We waited, not sure quite what to expect, as this was our first border crossing by road.

We sat in a line, with about 5 cars in front of us and waited for our turn.  It was finally our turn to drive up to the booth and once there, the border guard asked to see our passports.  He was not particularly interested in our Permanent Residence (PR) cards. We were asked a few questions, such as the purpose of our visit, our length of stay, etc.  We were asked to pull around the corner, go into the office and fill out the I94 green forms, the same ones that you would fill in if you were flying to the States from the UK.

The process was fairly slow and we were probably there for around an hour, which considering it wasn’t that busy, felt a little frustrating.  We filled our our forms, were finger printed and photographed (just as you would be at a US airport) and then, upon paying $6 (US, not Canadian) each, we were good to go.

We drove over the US border, via road, for the first time in our lives.

The road we would spend the next four or so hours on, stretched before us.

The landscape close to the border was quite stark and it reminded us of Drumheller a little bit.

Although we had been driving for several hours, we had a bit of a double-take at this road sign…had we taken a serious wrong turn somewhere?

 Some of the sights on our journey.

The last 30 miles of the journey towards Helena sees you passing through the mountains.  The road is in good condition and has two lanes in either direction, but it is very windy, with some steep rises and falls in gradient.

Finally, we arrived at our destination.  We were greeted with a very stylish hotel lobby and a lovely big hotel room.

We’ll publish more about our trip over the days ahead.


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