Just south of Crooked River Saturday afternoon (FTLComm)

The Greenwater Report for July 18, 2005

July 17th, 2005: Sorry about missing last week, but as you can see, we have been on the road. I found it’s not that easy to find Internet access in the boondocks.

Touring again! After our wild weekend at Mozart, we spent Sunday night at home, then took off again Monday morning, Sandy and Blaine in their motor home and us in ours. We tootled along at a pretty relaxed pace. We checked out the museum in Kinistino and it was just as good as we remembered it from a couple of previous visits. We ran into the fringe of a wild rain, hail and wind storm just west of Birch Hills. We stopped to photograph St. Louis’ big bison on the riverbank. Then on to Bellevue where we toured their visitor’s centre and had supper (Their house specialty, tourtiere, poutine and chocolate cake with ice cream and caramel sauce). Bellevue is famous for wonderful wood carvings (and tourtiere, poutine and chocolate cake!) Tourtiere, by the way, is meat pie smothered in syrup!

We stayed there overnight; they have a very nice campground, not treed but well-grassed and level, and only $12! We left Bellevue thinking it must be one of the friendliest places in Saskatchewan.

On to Batoche, where we watched their audio/visual depiction of the famous battle of 1885. We walked down to the church and rectory, and had tours of each place. We would have liked to tour the cemetery, but I wasn’t feeling well so went back to the motor home. We have toured Batoche several times in the past so didn’t feel cheated.

All the ferries were shut down due to the high, fast water.

We went to the Seager Wheeler farm, just east of Rosthern, and toured it. Again, we had been there before and nothing much had changed except for three turkeys, four pigs and several geese sharing a very muddy pen.

At Rosthern, we bought tickets to the evening performance of
“Chicken”, did a little shopping, and then went to the Valley Regional Park. It is an outstanding park, with lots for kids to do as well as adults. Looks like a lovely golf course, but we didn’t try it out. All the campsites are level and well treed; we were nicely shaded. A super campground.

“Chicken” was a riot. It was described as a “Blue-grass musical based in a henhouse”. I don’t know about the blue-grass, but there was every other kind of music from country to boogie to classical. Music was supplied by a young lady on the piano and a young man on guitars and banjo, and they were good!

On to Fort Carlton, where we found some very well informed people working. While looking at and admiring all the hides hanging in the trading post, I wondered at one. The attendant said it was a cross fox. He then explained that the red, cross, silver and black foxes are all colour phases of the red fox. The cross fox is so-called because it has a dark cross on its shoulders, and that is exactly what someone at coffee row had said. I am satisfied that the one we saw a couple of times near Bjorkdale was a cross fox; also the one Beaumonts spotted near their home. Our interpreter said off colours could occur as often as one kit in ten.

From there, we went to North Battleford. We toured the Allen Sapp Gallery, always a must for us, then the Western Development Museum, and finally the Fort Battleford Museum. A girl there explained to me how the breech-loading flintlocks worked, and a young man in NWMP uniform played a tape on the 1885 battle and led us around, though it was closing time.

We stayed overnight at Kramer Campground in Battleford (excellent) and went on to Glaslyn next morning. There we toured the museum, another great one, and the town; then found sites at Little Loon Regional Park. We loved it; stayed there for two nights.

The clubhouse and office is in the former First Glaslyn Rural School building, which functioned from 1918 to 1932; Doreen’s mother taught in that school for a year when she first came to Canada in 1924. We checked out the cemetery, vowed to bring shovels and levers and fix up the family graves, as we have been vowing for twenty years or more.

To St. Walburg, where we visited the Berthold Imhoff Gallery. He was a famous painter who tired of European and American city life and homesteaded near St. Walburg early in the last century. He painted the interior of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Muenster, as well as many other churches. Heroic work!

We had been to Frenchman Butte a couple of years ago, but it was off-season and the museum was closed. We saw enough to want to see the rest, so went there from St. Walburg. This time it was open and we had the grand tour. It is an outstanding museum and well worth a visit.

There is a little stone church a half mile south of the Frenchman Butte access road, and it is a work of art in itself. So, we stopped there and took some more pictures.

All this touring is done with two motor homes; however, ours is smaller, so when we want to tour a town, for instance, we park the big one and use our smaller one. It can even angle-park on Main Street and doesn’t stick out into the street any more than some of the 3/4- and 1-ton pickups.

At Maidstone, we visited with our granddaughter and her husband, who owns and runs Maidstone Meats. Of course, we had to have a tour of the meat market. It is brand new; their first one burnt not long after they opened it so they bought the building next door and renovated it. We also bought some pork chops and bacon and ate them over the next couple of days. Incredible!

Sandy and Blaine left us at Maidstone, so we carried on to Lloydminster, and then down to a little regional park just this side of the Alberta border called Suffern Lake. We thought we would see if we could catch any Suffern Catfish, or maybe find some Suffern Succotash, but no luck on either score. We did find bluebirds, brown thrashers, and peace and quiet so we stayed there and rested for two nights. Suffern Lake is very small, likely less than 100 acres, but deep in spots. Speed limit is 5 kmh, effectively limiting motors to the electric trolling variety. It is stocked with rainbows and splake. Trees are short and look drought-stressed, though they have had lots of rain this spring and summer. The lake is surrounded by sandy hills, some carpeted with juniper and cactus. I almost stepped on some cactus with my sandaled feet, but saw it in time. Access is by about twenty miles of gravel road, some of it pretty rough.

After some of the roads we saw in our travels, I am not going to complain about highways 38 and 23 again!
On our way back to Saskatoon, we did stop briefly in both Unity and Wilkie, but found we were museumed out. I guess the holiday was over about then. At Saskatoon, we turned the motor home over to Lloyd and Louise for their trip to Craven, and we borrowed their car and house.

We took Lucille up to Glaslyn one day to visit some old friends and pay our respects at the cemetery, and another to see the Crooked Bush northwest of Hafford, then decided we had done enough traveling for awhile. We can’t wait to get home!

Saturday afternoon looking south from the hills south of Greenwater Provincial Park (FTLComm)

Doreen & Jerry Crawford
Box 1000, Porcupine Plain, SK, S0E 1H0
telephone (306) 278-2249
fax (306) 278-3423


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