Elk Island is a Canadian national park less than an hour from Edmonton, Alberta’s second-largest city. You can get there comfortably via the Yellowhead Highway, a highway connecting Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Graham Island, British Columbia.
Elk refers to a subspecies of noble deer, Cervus canadensis, larger than the European deer, second only to the moose. The name derives from the European colonisation of Canada: according to the settlers, the animal was much more like a moose than a deer and was called an elk out of affinity with their mother tongue.
On Elk Island, the horizon is truly infinite, as is often the case in these parts of the world where nature gets the better of human beings. The sky touches the earth, and you find yourself with a backpack of clouds and a light step. I would have spent hours scanning this horizon to find its end. Because you are not satisfied to see it, you want to touch it.
This is, perhaps, the emotion I remember the most: a sense of infinite helplessness capable of freeing you from any preconceived cage. In places like this, there is only you and the immensity of what surrounds you. Moose, elks and bisons included.