Trans Can HWY #5: Sage is in the air

Two years ago this past August, my mother and I ventured on a cross country trek in my brother’s Jeep across Canada. We drove west from southwestern Ontario to Vancouver, BC over the course of two weeks, and then down to northern California to meet up with the men in our family. The following are taken from emails I wrote to family and friends.

Day 5: Saturday, August 4, 2012

I heart Saskatchewan. There is some kind of magic in the long grasses, flat plains, and gentle rolling hills* … or maybe it’s just the sage.

IMG_1982Left Moose Jaw early-ish this AM and drove south to visit Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village and Museum, much to mom’s chagrin. I so badly wanted to see Tom Sukanen’s wooden steam vessel, “Sontiainen,” he built in the 1930s and wanted to sail back to his home country of Finland (ahem, from SASKATCHEWAN). I had hoped it was just plunked in the middle of a field, this thought puts a smile on my face. It was indeed in a field, but with a whole lot of other stuff – cool stuff though. I went in alone to snap oodles of pics of the 40-acre complex: museum, old pioneer homes, antiquities, leaking wooden crazy Finnish man’s boat, and a kitten.

IMG_2206We continued on south through some beautiful farmland. Saw many a cow, squat lil’ duckies, some horses, and a couple Pronghorn deer. Right before we entered small town Assiniboia we entered a swarm of white insects that popped and crackled as they hit our windshield and hood like rapid fire. (Having gotten out of the vehicle at the end of today’s driving, what was once a black Jeep, now is a yellow one.)

Made it to St. Victor’s Petroglyph Park, NW of Willow Bunch, to see some prehistoric carvings from an unknown culture  of animal prints, faces, turtles, etc. Unfortunately, because they’re so old, it was hard to make them out. Saw a face that a kind French speaking Manitoban woman pointed out to me. Yay.

We scooted west – and by scooted, I mean I was flying (140+ km/hr), this could also contribute toIMG_2200 the bug juice  factor – along the Red Coat Trail, south and parallel of the Trans Canada HWY.

By 4:30 pm we crossed into Alberta, made our way to Medicine Hat and did some drive-by photography of their old downtown core. Very scenic: hilly like San Fran, but spacious, green, and with a river (the Saskatchewan River), and a sandy cliff in the background (where I imagine buffalo once ran off of). Medicine Hat was quite lovely and so clean, like toothbrush scrubbed clean.

We wanted to stay the night in Lethbridge, but alas, we are zonked and are now staying at the Sage Motel in Bow Island, just west of MH. And yes, the air outside is perfumed (naturally) with sage.

*Yes, hills; we were surprised too. Common misconception that Sask is all flat and “boring”

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Kilometres achieved: 668 km

 

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