Tagged with " Regina"
Sep 18, 2008 -

Waitin’ on the Mail

I was supposed to be heading Saskatoon way tomorrow, but my mail hasn’t arrived yet, so I’m staying at this park until Friday. If the mail isn’t in by then, I’ll move to a fancier park for the weekend, one with internet and laundry facilities. At least, there are worst places to be stuck!

The park where I’m staying does have wi-fi, but only at the owners’ home, where I’m sitting outside freezing my butt off watching an amazing prairie sunset. Unfortunately, my laptop is much to slow to do any real surfing, so replies to comments and updates with photos will have to wait until I can get online with my iMac.

I had a great time in Moose Jaw yesterday and an equally good one today at the RCMP heritage centre, but write ups will wait until I can provide pictures. 🙂

Being out here on the prairie fills me with such peace. There is something about the plains that has always made sense to me. When I first encountered them in North Dakota back in 2005 I found myself wondering if it’s possible to come home to a place you’ve never been before. Everything out here is amplified: the blue of the sky, the warmth of the sun, the sound of the wind… Mornings and evenings are bitterly cold in the fall, but the days are hot. Yesterday in Moose Jaw, I could have have closed my eyes and sworn I was in Las Vegas in June, it was that dryly hot out.

Regina is a nice little city, comparable to Winnipeg. It confirmed to me what it is exactly that makes Winnipeg so special to me as Regina has all the same criteria but one, no strong French community.

The ideal year, it would seem, would be a summer spent in the Prairies, an early fall spent on the Shield, and then a winter somewhere warm and dry.

I cannot believe that I am already a full two weeks into my adventure and that I need to be in British Columbia no more than three weeks from now! I want to spend two nights in Saskatoon and two each in Edmonton and Calgary, so that’s another week eaten up, not counting travel time between the cities. And I thought I’d have time to go to Yellowknife! *laughs* I don’t mind being ‘stuck’ in Regina an extra night or two, but I really hope to be gone by Saturday just because I’m getting to be a little too comfortable here! But after the last two weeks of learning and driving so much, it’s nice to be parked somewhere for a spell and take some much needed time to breathe.

But the road beckons and I know that within the next day or so, I’ll be itching to leave. It’s lovely to know I can, and helps me to enjoy these peaceful moments even more.

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Canada, Communications & Electronics, Internet, Itineraries, Law and Government, Mail, Saskatchewan, Technical, Travel, Weather    1 Comment
Sep 16, 2008 -

Land of Living Skies

First off, let me thank everyone who has commented in the past few days. I’ll answer each one of you. I’m having to rely on a free wi-fi signal provided in SK’s major centres which, unfortunately, is extremely slow. Combine that with the slowest laptop in the universe (doesn’t mean I don’t adore you, Bea!) and I’m keeping my surfing to the absolute minimum this week.

I’m posting from a coffee shop in Moose Jaw. The town opens really late, so I have about an hour to kill before I can start doing the tourist thing.

As it turns out, my location just outside of Regina is absolutely perfect. Moose Jaw is just an hour away, perfect for a day trip. Downtown Regina is barely 20 minutes away, so yesterday I was able to go out for the morning and part of the afternoon, go home for rest, then return in the evening to run some errands.

Monday in Regina is pretty much like Monday in Montreal, at least the way it was last time I was there on a Monday: just about everything of interest is closed. Fortunately, I’d done my homework and had a list of a few things that were open.

Joke was on me when I woke up at 7 yesterday. Saskatchewan has its own time rules, the details of which are fuzzy at present, but it turned out that even though I was still on central time, it was a whole hour earlier than I realised! I was pretty shocked when I got my bill at the pancake house and saw that it was 8AM, not 9AM as I’d thought!

The first thing I dealt with was mail. Being in Regina for the week and being willing to extend my stay if Canada Post is a bit slow, I felt that this was the perfect time to have some mail forwarded to me.

Then, I headed to the Regina Cemetery. Cemeteries are usually one of the first places I visit when I get to a new city. You can tell so much about a community by walking among its dead–what they believed in, what they fought for, what they fought against, major calamities, hierarchical divisions… At this cemetery I was must struck by the fact that simple wooden crosses sat next to large granite stones and by the number of graves belonging to soldiers killed during the Korean ‘police action.’

Next stop was the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, the quintessential natural history museum found in most cities. I found this one to be particularly good, with interactive displays and audio that complemented printed information.

The RSM is located on the shores of Wascana Lake, a beautiful urban playground with paths for running, jogging, walking, bike riding, etc. I walked around there for a spell and went to see if the science museum was open (no). So, I returned to downtown for an hour and checked out a few antique shops (it’s so easy to resist temptation when you live in an RV!).

Which brings me to this glorious sunny prairie morning in Moose Jaw. I have a full day of activities planned and tons of photos to share. Stay tuned. 🙂

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Canada, Communications & Electronics, Computer, Internet, Law and Government, Mail, Saskatchewan, Technical, Travel    No Comments
Sep 14, 2008 -

Little RV On the Prairie

I’m presently just east of Regina, Saskatchewan, within very easy commuting distance, and will be here till Thursday.

The last few days have been quite the adventure.

I thought I would be rested and ready to go when I left the campground on Saturday with Brandon as my destination, but something felt off. The feeling got worse as I got closer to Brandon. The drive there didn’t help as big wind gusts made it difficult not to sway. But there was something else.

Since Thunder Bay, I’d had one of my bad feelings about my left rear tire. No reason for it; pressure was good, tire was in impeccable condition, it was a Michelin. So, when it blew just as I got into Brandon, I felt immense relief as that feeling of being ‘off’ dissipated almost immediately.

I was able to limp into a big empty parking lot to assess the damage. Tire was definitely a goner. Okay, fine, need a new tire. I knew I was lucky. I wasn’t in the middle of nowhere and chances were I’d be able to hunker down in this parking lot until I could get going again. I hadn’t needed to use one of my precious ‘free’ roadside assistance calls and I didn’t have to try to put on the spare myself. I was home. And didn’t tire places offer a mobile service? As crummy things go, this was pretty non-crummy.

So, the first thing I did was hike across the tarmac to the grocery store there, get a few things, then politely ask if I could spend the day in their parking lot. Indeed. I was even welcome to stay through to Monday morning!

Okay, so I now had a place to securely leave Miranda while I went for help. I asked Majel for directions to the nearest tire place. It was closed, so I moved on to the next. Kal Tire. Go there if you ever blow a tire in Brandon!

I told the service tech what happened and where I was. He looked very apologetic and informed me that he couldn’t possibly get someone out to see me for at least four or five hours and it would cost 60$ to do so. I told him that was fantastic and that I was thrilled that I’d be able to get service that day. I gave him my cell number (another thing to be grateful for), told him I was going exploring in my toad, and to give me a shout whenever his tech was ready to head my way.

So, Saturday I was able to do what I’d planned to do in the first place: explore Brandon. There was absolutely nothing to see. Really. It was too cold and rainy to walk along the river and all the interesting exhibits and shops were closed tight till Monday. I drove around a bit to orient myself, found a movie theatre, and then returned home to comb through all my literature on Saskatchewan to plan my next move.

The tech guy arrived around 5, as promised, and made quick work of getting the new tire put on, even though he had to return to the shop to pick up a tool he hadn’t thought to bring. They didn’t have a the exact kind of tire I have, but something equivalent… that was almost double the cost. To compensate me for that (!) I just had to pay for the tire, the service call, and the taxes. They actually waived the hourly work fee! The total bill wasn’t pleasant, but it was fully half what I had thought a blow out would cost me.

By this time, it was going on seven. I’d had dinner between the tech’s two visits (he told me I could be in the rig while it was on the jack) so I went to the movies then came home and had an early night.

Which brings us to this morning. I was a bit disoriented when I woke up. I’d slept 9 hours straight through. That is absolutely unheard of for me.

I had a pleasant and absolutely uneventful 450km journey to just outside Regina. The park I’d spotted in a campground guide turned out to be perfectly located (and cheap!). Walmart and any other store I could possibly need is just 10 minutes down the highway.

Tomorrow and Wednesday I’ll explore Regina while Tuesday I’m taking a field trip to Moose Jaw.

If the adage that bad things happen in threes, then I should be good for a while. 🙂 At any rate, I’m on the prairie where it’s warm and sunny, the aspen are giggling outside my door, and the beer is cold. All is right once again and I can’t believe I’m almost halfway through this first portion of my great big adventure.

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Canada, Maintenance & Repair, Manitoba, Nice Folks, Saskatchewan, Social, Technical, Travel    4 Comments
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