This past weekend, I joined Gary and Jody on a road trip to visit some members of Gary’s family who live near the small town of Humboldt, SK, which is a little under two hours north-eastish of Saskatoon.
Gary and Jody have done this trip many times and know the Saskatchewan road quality, or lack thereof, very well. So, they decided that the less bumpy way to get there would be going through Swift Current, Moose Jaw, and skirting Regina, and we would come home by way of Saskatoon and Moose Jaw.
Mid-afternoon Friday I loaded my stuff into my car and headed to Jody’s workplace. There, I moved my gear to her car and we took off for Gary’s workplace. There, we loaded up their rig, a 20′ travel trailer and truck, and headed east. We were on the road towards Medicine Hat by about 6PM.
The drive to the Saskatchwan border was pretty uneventful. I looked forward to doing the bit between Medicine Hat and Moose Jaw on the TransCanada since that was the only section of it I haven’t done, except for whatever’s in Newfoundland. I have to say that south-east Alberta looks a lot like southwest Saskatchewan.
Jody ran the deli Friday night and I was so hungry by that point that I didn’t think to photograph my dinner until I was halfway through:
It was coming onto 9PM when we hit Swift Current, and Gary was beat, so we pulled into the Walmart for the night.
Jody made up for the previous night’s late dinner with this breakfast:
Complemented by oranges, coffee, and yoghurt. I have been well fed since landing in Lethbridge!
We pushed on eastward through Moose Jaw, the Qu’Appelle valley, and then we skirted around Regina before heading north. The roads were so bad I thought we would be launched into orbit!
I was put on deli duty and discovered that is not easy to make a sandwich in a moving vehicle. Notice how smooshed my lunch is:
We passed through the town of Engelfeld, which hosts an annual pig roast to raise money for charity.
I really enjoyed this drive; there is just something about the Prairies that awes me.
We arrived in Humboldt in late afternoon where I was introduced to my hosts and was settled into a guest bedroom. We were served a very yummy dinner and then my hosts took us out to see the sights. I think that might actually have been more for my benefit. I’m very thankful!
The first thing we saw were pelicans! I had no idea you could find pelicans this far north! Unfortunately, they were super off in the distance and even my trusty zoom wasn’t able to get a good shot of one.
We then went to Waldsea Lake. Saskatchewan has been very wet the last few years and there has been a lot of problems with flooding and rising waters. So, this lake, which used to have a nice day use area and lots of cottages around it, was allowed to spill out from its berm. The cottages were all moved to a temporary holding area and will be relocated. The road to the lake just… ends.
We then drove around Humboldt a bit so I could get a feel for the layout, seeing some of the major stores, the schools, hospitals, etc. The town is almost full-service and has a population of 6,000.
Before heading back, our hosts pulled into the drive-thru at McDonalds to treat everyone to shakes. This drive-thru has to be unique since it has an alley cutting right through it!
We ended the evening with a dice game that was very quick to learn. Beginner’s luck was not with me!
I was the first one up Sunday morning and I took the time to get some work done. I had internet through my USB modem, but it was a very sloooow connection. It seems like Dawson City has better cell coverage than does rural Saskatchewan!
Once we were all up we had a HUGE brunch. I didn’t even want to think about food until early evening!
The afternoon was a bit lazy and I caught up on my reading.
Late afternoon, friends and family showed up for a bonfire and wiener roast. What a perfect day for that; we’d hit the mid 20′s, with sunshine!
Before dinner, I was taught how to play a gruesome Saskatchewanese game of Russian origin called Bunnock, or Bones. Originally played with horse hooves, this cross between bowling and curling is now often played with plastic bone replicas. I was quite good!
After that, a little boy wanted me to go with him to check out the barn cat’s hideout. There, he discovered tiny kittens no more than a couple of weeks old. They were so cute; no bigger than a mouse, with eyes still shut.
For dinner, I learned how to roast hot dogs over an open fire. Or, rather, how not to. The first one was a tad burnt. I also enjoyed some burnt marshmallows, but that was on purpose. Marshmallows just aren’t worth eating if they haven’t been set on fire first.
We ended the night chatting around a campfire. One person showed up with a mini marshmallow thrower and I got to learn how to use that. I was a natural, hitting my target (Gary) with my one and only attempt.
The evening wound up around 11. Everyone seemed intent on sleeping in Monday, so I stayed up late to finish a book. Of course, everyone else changed their mind and I was the last one up!
Our hosts live on remote lake-side acreage that is partially flooded right now. Access to the house is through a narrow causeway. When Gary awoke to rain, he was worried we’d get flooded out, so that propelled the early start to the day.
We were fed another ginormous brunch and then it was time to hit the road, sometime in mid-morning. We drove straight through to Gary’s workplace, stopping only to get fuel and use the bathroom. We were all stuffed from breakfast and only lightly snacked all day.
This was an awesome weekend. Thank you!
LOTS more pictures below!