‘It’s going to be crazy’: Snowbirds at campground eager for U.S. border reopening
MILK RIVER, Alta. — Nearly two years of being caged in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic has some snowbirds anxiously waiting in their motorhomes and trailers in southern Alberta.
The Eight Flags Campground in the small windswept town of Milk River, 18 kilometres from the Canada-United States border crossing at Coutts, is full of shiny, large RVs.
It’s in anticipation of land and sea border crossings reopening Monday for fully vaccinated Canadians. Such crossings were closed to non-essential travel at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.
“All of a sudden someone said the border’s opening and it just went nuts here,” said Helen Runka, who operates the campground.
Runka said it’s surprising how long some of her guests have been waiting.
“The one over there on Site 3 will have been here 18 days by the time he goes over the border,” she said.
“The other ones from Saskatchewan and Ontario … they’re only here for 14 days.”
Donna Call and her husband from Calgary pulled into the campground on Oct. 21 on their way to Brenda, Ariz.
“It will have been 17 days we’re going to be here,” said Call, as she sat a picnic table next to her RV. The vehicle’s front Arizona licence plate reads “Desert Rat.”
Even the Alberta weather has made her long for the sunshine of Arizona, she said.