Browsing "Saskatchewan"
Sep 21, 2008 -

Saskatoon

I wish I had time to share all the pictures I took of Saskatoon, but I have to be out of this site by 11! 🙁 Every other place I’ve stayed, checkout has been a much more civilized 12 o’clock.

At any rate, let me take you back to Regina one last time, to the set of ‘Laundry Day On the Prairie’.

Even though I haven’t blogged about it since I bought it, I’ve been using and absolutely adore my Wonderwash. I use it to keep on top of the cleaning of small items like dish cloths. The machine cleans things beautifully. I should have taken a before and after picture of one of the cloths I cleaned; it was so filthy after washing a BBQ grill that I thought it would have to become a rag. My Wonderwash got it back to brilliant white! At any rate, I woke up Thursday to discover that Ms. Tabitha had been sick all over the bed. Yay. Not. I decided to wash the sheets in the Wonderwash. This was not as tedious an endeavour as one might imagine even though it took about an hour. The sun was shining so hard that I barely had to wring anything out; within an hour everything was bone dry.

The owners came by at one point because someone had told them that a tenant had strung a clothesline, an apparent no no. They laughed when they saw I’d strung the line from one of Miranda’s mirrors to a utility pole. That was fine; the no no is to string a heavy line between their precious tiny poplars. I can’t believe that I can believe that some idiots would have done that. Me, I’m good at improvising. 🙂

Croft will be happy to see a white hose in this picture. I had to use my green hose for black tank related matters back in Manitoba, so since I needed a new hose anyway, I made it a point to look for a white one. I hate it, it leaks at the connection where it screws to the tap and Canadian Tire won’t take it back. I’ll have to fix it next time I stop; thankfully I have the parts to do that.

So, Saskatoon. I’m going to have to move here since it hosts my dream home!

I decided that the only thing I absolutely had to do in Saskatoon was the Western Development Museum’s ‘1910 Boomtown’.

It’s fantastic!!! The museum is a recreation of a street in a circa 1910 Saskatchewan town.

You can go into each building and see a typical commerce, service, or home from the period.

That took up the entire morning. As I was coming out, the lady at the admissions counter ‘had’ to introduce me to her other colleague as ‘the gal RVing across Canada with her two cats.’ Without prompting, she then told me I had to visit the University of Saskatchewan campus and pulled out a map showing me a walking route I could take. That sounded fantastic. I needed the exercise and I wasn’t in the mood for more museums.

The walk was quite long, about 7.5km, if I reckon correctly, and was breathtaking. I started at the Saskatoon Weir (dam) and climbed up to the CPR Bridge.

I discovered here that there is no way I am ever going to be able to make it up the Eiffel tower. The stairs are metal mesh that you can see through. I barely made it to the top, and that’s because I finally had the smarts to close my eyes. The view from the top was breathtaking, but I couldn’t get off that bridge fast enough. If a train had come by as I crossed, as one did an hour later when I was safely on the ground, a rescue crew would have been needed to get me moving again!

Once I got across to the U of S campus, the daring bridge crossing was all worth it. I got some fantastic shots of Saskatoon.

It was past lunchtime when I got back to my car, so I decided to head to the ‘trendy’ Broad Street area to scope out a place for a nice lunch, which I found at the Broad Street diner, where they have some amazing fries. Just off Broad Street I found a used bookstore with an owner who is quiiiiiite the character. He talked my ear off about how people today, especially politicians, know nothing about our history. I’d picked up a book on ancient Egypt and he told me I could have it free if I bought the autobiography of Nellie McClung, a suffragette, which he had seen me pick up (and put back down because it was pricey). I hesitated just long enough for him to offer me an even better deal, so I walked out with both books. In my defense, there were so many books on my ‘wish list’ in that store that if I was still living in a real house I could have easily bought a couple dozen!!!

Since I still have that nasty cold (better today, thank you), I was pretty exhausted by this point, so I went home to do laundry and come up with something fun to do in the evening.

The Saskatchewan activities guide mentioned boat tours, but that these tours stop on Labour Day weekend. That said, I’d found the launch for these tours on my walk and a sign there seemed to indicate that there would be a tour at 7PM. A quick phone call confirmed that, so off I went after dinner for a 1 hour cruise up and down the Saskatchewan River. It wasn’t a particularly good cruise in that we had to get any information we wanted from a brochure that was given to us. The brochure was great, but it’s hard to read and look at the scenery at the same time! That said, it was a lovely hour on the water and the weather was mild. Unfortunately, my pictures didn’t turn out.

I have to be off within the next hour. I’m Alberta bound! Tonight’s destination: the Walmart in Lloydminster, a border city of which one part lies in Alberta and the other in Saskatchewan! Tomorrow, I’ll get to Edmonton.

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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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