My ride from Consort across Saskatchewan to Saskatoon was uneventful. (Wow… just reading over the last sentence: what a mouthful! I’ll give any Aussie 50 bucks if they can say that perfectly after a couple of beers). Like Alberta, Saskatchewan is characterised by endless prairies and big skies. Again, it is very much like Queensland in a good season, beautiful and green. Loved it, except for the wind. I guess because this part of the country is so flat, there is nowhere for the wind to go, that is, no wind breaks apart from me, my bike, and the big yellow thing on the back. The YT really affects the handling of the bike when it’s windy, sometimes scarily so. It is so @#$% heavy! But I made it to Saskatoon yesterday, a nice city in the middle of the province.
I had these wonderful grandiose plans to thoroughly explore Saskatchewan during this trip. The route included northern Saskatchewan, primarily Prince Albert National Park. On the way east I was going to head to a town called Flin Flon, on the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border, mainly because the name amused me but also because it’s so remote. From there I would ride south to Winnipeg and so on to the Great Lakes area.
Alas, this cannot happen. I was trawling Google Maps and discovered that Pelee Island, Canada’s southernmost point and a must-see, is 3,000 kms from Saskatoon. It is now early July, and I don’t have forever to see all I want to see. I also want to see Quebec, including Montreal and the Gaspe Peninsula, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. Something has to give, so it’s time to put in some long riding days and, in doing so, bypass much of Saskatchewan.
Sorry Saskatchewan. I love your big skies and your endless prairies, the scenic and tasteful layouts of your towns and cities, and the memories you evoke of my homeland, but you are part of a country which is too big to see in one summer.
I spent much of yesterday trying to keep the bike upright against the wind, so did not stop for photos. However, here are some scenes of Saskatoon. It is probably one of the nicest cities I have come across to date. The downtown area is tree-lined and the buildings, of an older style, have been carefully restored and maintained. It has a great atmosphere:
There are quite a few statues around. I was interested to see what they were about and the history behind them. This one’s a memorial to a couple of important Saskatchewan people. The bloke on the right is Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister of Canada between 1896 and 1911. The young fellow on the left is John Diefenbaker, Prime Minister of Canada between 1957 and 1963. The statue commemorates a meeting between Diefenbaker, at that time a paperboy, and Laurier, the very important PM. The blurb below the statue records Laurier’s memory of this event: “He talked to me for half an hour at the railway station and then said ‘Well Mr Prime Minister, I can’t waste any more time. I have to deliver my papers’.”
Interesting story eh! I enjoyed reading about it. I like the young fella’s work ethic too.
There were a couple more statues/sculptures in this particular street; one was of Mahatma Gandhi:
Immediately across from his statue were these:
The above was created by sculptor Leslie Potter, and entitled, “Visionaries”. The plaque below one states thusly: “These stones represent archetypical figures expressing the need to develop peace in our time. They are waiting for the world to enter a state of peace“.
I can never pretend to understand abstract art, so don’t really get the meaning behind a bunch of stones waiting for world peace. But contrast this with the previous statue, of Mahatma Gandhi, whose actions spoke louder than words; who led his people through a bloodless coup d’etat against the British at a time when the British would draw arms at the drop of a hat, and often without provocation.
All pollies, from whatever country, would do well to take a leaf out of the book of Mahatma Gandhi, instead of running around invading countries, or blowing things up, or threatening violence of diverse kinds, or generally carrying on like schoolyard bullies.
Tomorrow, Winnipeg. From there, the Great Lakes, or as many of them as I can see, anyway. Thank you to those who take the time to leave comments. ‘Bye for now Blogees.