Hello and Goodbye, Saskatchewan :-(

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: 

Mahatma Gandhi, man of peace

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.

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13 Responses to Hello and Goodbye, Saskatchewan :-(

  1. Kimberlee says:

    It was nice seeing your face Mum!! Those statues are a little….hmm…… I wonder what will happen when/if the world will reach a state of peace. They can wait for it because that’s what they do all day. Just sit there. Waiting. I’d get bored after 5 minutes and go off wandering in search of shops. Saskatchewan looks lovely! I’ll take your advice and look into working over there.

    Good to hear your voice. I miss you xxox

    FACE…. Love you xxox

    • Janette says:

      Well Kimberlee, the shopfest would happen very quickly if you were here because the mall is just a short two minute walk from the statues. Saskatchewan is beautiful, just like the rest of Canada thus far. Love this country. And remember, you need to Google “working in Canada”. I recommend you both look for jobs in the Jasper or Banff areas because it has the most spectacular scenery I’ve seen.

  2. Lucy says:

    Enjoy the Great Lakes – I hear they are wonderful! (except for the American side LOL)

    • Janette says:

      Reckon I will enjoy the Great Lakes. Won’t have time to see all of them of course. Just looking at Lake Winnipeg on the map last night; I knew it was big, but seeing it on the road map I got yesterday…wow.

  3. Denise M says:

    I have been paying particular attention to the weather you might be enjoying: None of it good. There have been some very intense rain storms with a lot of wind; and an occasional tornado or two. So how has it affected you? Did you ride into anything significant?

    • Janette says:

      Hi Denise – I’ve been very fortunate with the weather thus far. Also, I check the weather online and the Weather Channel when possible. (You Canadians provide nice detailed weather info, especially online). So when they forecast thunderstorms or strong winds I don’t go anywhere! Today looks like a nice one, sunny and no wind, perfect riding conditions.

  4. IT"S ME says:

    what a lovely town Saskatoon must be. In fact all of Canada is so diferent from anything we have here. Most envious of you.! Keep the blogs coming, so interesting.

    Enjoy, travel safe
    love always
    Mother. xx

  5. IT"S ME says:

    re my email a while back, ……. Meerkats ? Gophers ? Why, Prairie Dogs. !!! ( with thanks to the person who put that on your reply.) Sorry if I made you cringe Janette, with my ”knowledge” or lack thereof !
    P D, a gregarious ground squirrel that lives in burrows in the grasslands of North America”, so said my well thumbed copy of Reader’s Digest word power dictionary.”
    Whew !! got that cleared up !
    Thinking of you always. xxxxxx

  6. matty says:

    Hey mum, could never find your blog but bill has showed me now… took me ages to read it all… its pretty bloody good. everything is going pretty good from our end. We are moving out to Maroubra tomorrow but other than that nothing new.

  7. J.P. says:

    Every stage of your journey reminds me that it is time to get cracking myself!
    Your pics and beautifully descriptive writing leads the imagination into all sorts of imaginative experiences. I’ve revelled in every detail of the journey … especially the mountains and the silence you spoke of earlier… now, that really touched me.
    Travel safely and live dangerously,
    J.P.

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