‘It’s going to be crazy’: Snowbirds in a camp eager for the reopening of the US border.

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RIO LECHE, Alta. – Nearly two years of being caged in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic have some snowbirds anxiously waiting in their RVs and trailers in southern Alberta.


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Camp Eight Flags in the small windswept town of Milk River, 11 miles from the Canada-US border crossing at Coutts, is packed with big, shiny RVs.

The reopening of land and sea border crossings is anticipated on Monday for fully vaccinated Canadians. Such crossings were closed to non-essential travel at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

“All of a sudden, someone said the border was being opened and they went crazy here,” said Helen Runka, who operates the camp.

“They said they have been waiting to go back to the United States for two years and they are not going to miss it.”

The campsite, which has 35 places, has double the reservations for this weekend. Overflow parking is provided near a baseball field in town.


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Runka said it’s surprising how long some of her guests have been waiting.

“Whoever is there at Site 3 will have been here 18 days when they cross the border,” he said.

“The others from Saskatchewan and Ontario … are only here for 14 days.”

Donna Call and her husband from Calgary arrived at the camp on October 21 en route to Brenda, Arizona.

“It will have been 17 days that we will be here,” Call said, as he sat at a picnic table next to his RV. The front Arizona license plate on the vehicle reads “Desert Rat.”

Even Alberta’s weather has made her long for the Arizona sun, she said.

“We have had snow here. It was like, unpleasant. It was -13 ° C for four or five days. “

But he said they don’t plan to line up at the border Sunday night.


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“If my husband had his way, probably. But we will leave around 5 am (Monday). I just hope he hasn’t backed up here before we try to get out, ”he said, pointing to a nearby road.

“You never know. People could be sitting there at midnight.”

Don Breckenridge of Langham, Sask., Said he expected to enter an RV parking lot in Las Vegas on October 31. So he is getting more and more anxious.

“If you look at the weather here, it turns out to be very cold at night,” Breckenridge said.

“It’s going to be a zoo here the last night before it opens. It’s just because people want to come down before it’s snowing heavily. “

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One camper, Otto Miantz, 23, has been on tour in Canada since leaving the Royal Danish Marines four months ago.

Now you want to visit the USA.

“Just driving around this one,” he said slapping the top of his car, “basically walking and sleeping.”

Miantz plans to meet a friend in Montana and then drive through Idaho and Washington before crossing back to Canada at Vancouver.

He said he wants to get up early to be one of the first to cross the border on Monday.

“I hope there are a lot of people there. It’s going to be insane “.



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