Saturday, 21 September 2019

SASKATCHEWAN TRIP - DAY 18


We chose to stay in Moose Jaw for four nights because we knew Regina was close enough for a visit on one of the days. It's only 80 kilometres away - less than a trip to Toronto from our house. Our mission there was to see the RCMP Heritage Centre. A thorough history of the force from its NWMP beginnings to present. The Training Centre known as The Depot is a six month intensive session - not everyone who starts finishes. When I was 18 that is what I wanted to do but in those days they had this silly rule that you had to be able to see without the aid of corrective lenses. My early onset of myopia put a quick stop to that career path.
It was kind of on the way back to Moose Jaw, a mere 70 kilometre detour, to visit Rouleau, known better to all of us as Dog River.
Home of the beloved Canadian sitcom Corner Gas, the set has long been dismantled but there are vestiges of the glory days evident all through town.
The town is a lot larger than we were led to believe on TV and many of the buildings on the show were not sets but actual buildings. They have maintained the fictional names on some but all have plaques crediting their Dog River personas.



Friday, 20 September 2019

SASKATCHEWAN TRIP - DAY 17


Despite being a small city (150,000) Moose Jaw is quite fascinating. The Tunnel Tours are a major attraction and rightly so. We took both of them. The city has many tunnels beneath used in Prohibition by numerous rumrunners and even Al Capone according to many and early Chinese immigrants. Many lived underground 24/7 for many years. The sets are amazing and the tunnels are real.
A picnic lunch in a nearby city park was quite nice on this glorious day - the end of summer.
Moose Jaw is home to the Snowbirds stationed at 15 Wing Canadian Air Force Base. It may have been them we saw practising insane 90 degree straight down landings. Surprisingly there is not a museum or display onsite save a few classic aircraft.
The area immediately adjacent to the base is quite pretty in its own right.
You can't visit Moose Jaw and not have your photo taken with Mac the Moose. He is missing his antlers because Norway has a bigger moose and Canada will not stand for that. Mac is destined for a huge rack to take the lead once again.



Thursday, 19 September 2019

SASKATCHEWAN TRIP - DAY 16


We had hoped to go to the Great Sandhills near Sceptre a short distance from where we were staying in Leader but it was raining. I did manage to catch the sunrise before we left.
It looked good but did not last. The rain continued. We took what we thought was the road in to the sandhills but after about half an hour and a sign that said "No Exit" we realized this wasn't going to happen. Some roads really do not go anywhere.
We're in Moose Jaw now for 4 nights - not because there's so much to do in Moose Jaw but it's close to Regina and surrounding area and we want to see as much of Saskatchewan as we can. It's a beautiful, much more diverse province than I imagined.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

SASKATCHEWAN TRIP - DAY 15


We're on the road again. It was another interesting drive from North Battleford to Leader. This part of the province is a seemly endless expanse of open fields and roads. There was some wildlife though - and we actually saw it! Rare for us.
Once again Saskatchewan had a surprise in store for me. I suppose if the wheat doesn't yield enough revenue maybe there's something under the wheat.
In a lot of ways it was the isolation of the day's drive that impressed me. This photo is the true definition of vanishing point. I love that I was standing in the middle of the highway to take this and just before I did someone coming the other way stopped and asked, "Everything good?" Canada has the greatest people on Earth.





Tuesday, 17 September 2019

SASKATCHEWAN TRIP - DAY 14


Every day we spend in this province I am more and more amazed how diverse it is. In my mind I was expecting this and only this...
...but as the twisted trees of yesterday did, today's entry just boggled my mind again. I imagined this must have come about by a conversation made with someone with hearing like mine. "A grain elevator?! I could have sworn you said to build you a light house!"
As out of place and not necessary as it is it provided a good workout for us as we had to climb 152 irregularly spaced and occasionally high steps to get to it. Once there I took one shot and was informed the battery was dead. Did I have another battery? Of course I did, I'm not an idiot. It was in the car - and so was my iPhone I could have used as a backup. So yes, I went back down, then up again because I certainly could not visit such a place and not take photos.
All's well that ends well!

Monday, 16 September 2019

SASKATCHEWAN TRIP - DAY 13


Another gorgeous day for our drive to North Battleford. I must say though, there are thousands of small wasps everywhere we go. They are annoying but the biggest drawback is the ones that end up on the windshield and grill of the SUV. I don't know how or if I'm ever going to get them clean. Saskatchewan back roads proved interesting again as we drove leisurely along.
In a landscape that is often devoid of trees this isolated stand of crooked aspen trees is nothing short of amazing. Accessible only by a 70 kilometre trip on gravel roads my only concern was, "Oh no! My new SUV!" No one knows for certain how this happened. One popular explanation involves aliens landing and destroying the growth forcing future flora to be twisted and deformed.
Good enough for me!

Sunday, 15 September 2019

SASKATCHEWAN TRIP - DAY 12


Today is our last day in Saskatoon before heading north so a final trip to the rural area surrounding allowed us to enjoy another sunny day. Farm lands and flatlands that go on forever pretty well sums it up - but it's all glorious. The grain elevator with a waiting train seems to be a classic.
Manitou Beach is one of those places I'd never have heard of if not for Jonny Harris and his Still Standing show. He visits Canadian towns that are dead or dying and if nothing else brings joy to the residents even if it is fleeting. This town may very well be beyond revival but as we walked around it was easy to see what it had been in its heyday.