Tagged with " Regina"
Sep 20, 2008 -

Regina and the RCMP Heritage Centre

Monday had me at Wascana Lake, in the heart of Regina. It’s surrounded by greenery and has paths along its banks for running, biking, walking, etc. There are a lot of tourist attractions in this area.

Then, the Regina Cemetery. There was a whole section devoted to the graves of children.

This is a native prairie grass garden growing right outside the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Most of these plants no longer grow naturally as the prairie ecology has been changed to accommodate agriculture.

Now on to Wednesday, which was devoted to touring the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Heritage Centre located right on the site of Depot, where all Mounties get their training. The site has a museum that is well worth the visit and visitors are also allowed to wander the grounds of Depot provided they follow the blue Mountie road.

All the buildings at Depot are in the same style of red brick and sandstone.

Finally, if there’s one nice thing I can say about the RCMP it’s that they sure do know how to put on a show.

I was surprised that I was allowed to take the pictures and videos that I did. Must have something to do with the RCMP’s desperate need to improve their public image and seem more transparent.

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Sep 20, 2008 -

Moose Jaw

Moose Jaw is an easy fifty minute drive from the campground where I stayed, so let’s say about forty minutes from Regina proper. I’m so glad I did the town as a day trip rather than moving on to it with the coach. Those five nights I spent in one location really helped me recoup some energy!

I left for Moose Jaw around quarter to 8, getting into town just before 9, only to learn that the town opens late! Thankfully, I found a coffee shop and was able to kill some time there before 10, when the Tunnels of Moose Jaw ticket office opened.

Moose Jaw’s tunnels are the stuff of legends. Please visit the website to get some more information on their history. They were originally built as a way for steam engineers to easily access the boilers that provided the steam which heated the city, but they soon became the domain of sweatshops and bootlegging. These two topics were the subject of the tours available.

The first tour I went on took me on a Chinese immigrant’s journey upon arrival in Canada at the turn of the 19th century. The Chinese immigrant experience at that time is a true black mark on Canadian history. The tour very effectively conveys the exploitation and degradation these immigrants were subject to. There wasn’t a dry eye in the group when we got back to the surface.

The second tour is about Moose Jaw’s connection with Chicago during the Prohibition era. This tour was very entertaining, but was based on conjecture (that Al Capone might have sought refuge at times in Moose Jaw) and didn’t really provide that much historical information other than to set Moose Jaw as being the place for debauchery at the time. It was nice to finish up with that one, but if you can only take one tour, I recommend the Chinese one.

There’s a small heritage museum at the library, which I toured, then I bought a brochure outlining the steps for a self-guided tour of the town. The temperature in Moose Jaw on Tuesday was torrid. I can only compare it to my experience of Las Vegas in June. A real 30 degrees, not a 30 degrees with humidity. I couldn’t keep myself hydrated, so I knew that I was going to be cutting the day short.

Every single street light in downtown Moose Jaw has a voice that in tones: “The WALK light to cross XXX Street is now on. The WALK light to cross XXX Street is now on. The WALK–” It got to be very annoying, especially in the afternoon when I was trying to take photographs of various buildings and the heat was sapping all my patience. It reminded me of the annoying elevator voice at my job that calls out each floor.

There’s an extension on the back of the building for the police station. This addition perfectly matches the style of the old post office.

Moose Jaw came off as a charming, but faded, town. It had a grimy, sun bleached quality to it. Downtown is just a few blocks square and is very walkable. There’s a lovely park called Crescent Park, right in the middle of town, with a casino and spa on its edges. There are a lot of things to do in the environs, so if I’d had more time and had gone to Moose Jaw with the coach for a few days, as I’d initially planned, I would have had plenty to do.

Why ‘Moose Jaw’? The accepted theory is that the town is named after the Moose Jaw river, which has a bend that looks like the jaw of a moose!

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Sep 20, 2008 -

Lost in an Endless Sea of Blue and Gold

I’m in Saskatoon!

The exclamation point is because I was certain I’d be camping out at the Regina Walmart tonight as there was absolutely no way my mail could have arrived. I mean, it would be way too convenient. But it did!

It turned out to be a good thing that I had to spend that extra day in the Regina area seeing as I woke up with a cold yesterday and felt like doing nothing but lounging around at home. I’m still stuffed up today, but at least I had enough energy to pack up and drive the 300 klicks to Saskatoon and to deal with the issues that needed dealing with this morning.

One of them was having my new wheel retorqued at a Regina Kal Tire (amazing backing up manoeuvres were required there). The other is such a classic Rae moment that those who know me are going to burst out laughing when they read about it. After Kal Tire, I parked at a nearby Walmart to have lunch, scope out the parking lot, and call the post office. I did what I needed to do, got hold of the post office who gave me the good news, and stepped out of the coach to check on the toad, ecstatic that I was going to be on the road to Saskatoon within the half hour.

Which is when I discovered that I’d locked myself out of the coach. All my spare keys were in Miranda. All the windows were shut. My cats can’t open a door. I just stared at the rig for a moment dumbfounded and in complete disbelief of just how absent minded I can be sometimes. Then, I realised that I wasn’t really locked out after all!

When I park somewhere like a Walmart, I crack open a roof vent instead of a window. This afternoon, I just happened to open the one above the kitchen sink. It’s the only one I can fit through! So, I climbed up onto the roof, opened the hatch all the way, and lowered myself down to the counter (discovering at the same time that I’m definitely getting back into shape!).

That was the extent of the excitement for today, thankfully. I do want to say that I am in the market for a device that will activate at the same time as my turn signals and which will scream out: “This coach is moving into the left/right lane! Get the *beep* out of the way!” I cannot believe the number of people today who blatantly ignored my turn signals and purposely sped up to close gaps that I was about to merge into.

Today was a good day on the road. I love waking up not knowing where I’m going to sleep that night.

Please stay tuned for posts about Moose Jaw and the RCMP Heritage Centre!

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Canada, Cats, Funny, Health, Itineraries, Law and Government, Mail, Maintenance & Repair, Personal, Saskatchewan, Technical, Travel    3 Comments