The Greenwater Report for February 18, 2002

Greenwater Provincial Park - Monday, February 18, 2002 - by: Jerry Crawford


February 17th, 2002: I think it is spring; I must have slept through February and March. It was +3° this afternoon, and only —1° first thing this morning. Anywhere there is a bit of dirt or pavement the snow is disappearing rapidly. There are a lot of snowmobilers around, and they are chewing things up.



Well, we are back, much earlier than expected. We had eight days of heavy overcast; it never got cold, and we never got a decent snowfall, but constant slush and mud. The forecast didn’t offer anything better so we decided the stars weren’t right for a holiday, and headed for home. Of course, the sun came out the morning we left Williams Lake and it was beautiful for two days.




We did get in some quality visiting time at Lloydminster, Edmonton, Prince George, and Quesnel, and we stopped and had a visit with Irm Duerksen at Cochrane. I’m glad to report that she is looking well.



We stopped at Mundare, Alberta, for fuel, and right across the street was their town symbol, which looked like two giant pepperoni sticks standing on end. It looked as if there were some neat murals on some other buildings, but the light was wrong for photos. We have been sort of collecting photos of such structures on film. We have a giant Viking at Gimli, a giant turtle at Boissevain (there’s another at Turtleford, but we haven’t seen it yet.), and of course, Quilly Willy. I must say it gives one a reason to stop in at these towns.

At Jasper, they have an old steam locomotive on display, No. 6015 which I believe would be described as a 4-8-2. In my railroading days, back in the fifties, this type of engine was king of the hill, until the diesels took over in 1953. Sometimes they would hook it on behind the diesel when pulling passenger cars, because in very cold weather the diesels couldn't generate enough heat. It had a very distinctive air whistle; they couldn't make it moan as they could the steam whistles. I thought it was a grand machine.






Prince George had snow; they tell us there is more than last year, but much less than normal. The same applied at Quesnel. From Williams Lake to Kamloops there was no snow to speak of; Around Revelstoke and Golden there was more, but to us, who have traveled that road many times when one couldn’t see over the snow banks, it didn’t look like much. Southern Alberta was bare. A bit more snow in the fields as we neared Saskatoon; we were told in Tisdale that there was a three or four inch fall, but when we got home there was less than an inch in our driveways.



We stopped at Jasper to mosey around, and I got some photos of some snow sculptures that were still in pretty good shape. Some of them had been vandalized, and it wouldn’t be long before the sun blurred the rest.


There were some in Prince George, too. Some students from the University of Northern BC built one in front of the courthouse, and there was another just across the street — it looked like a careworn donkey refusing to get up until it had its morning cup of coffee.


Gasoline prices were all over the board, from 59.9 in Saskatchewan to 45.9 around Prince George. There must have been a price war going on there. Most of BC and southern Alberta were just over or just under the 50¢ mark.

to get

On our way home, it occurred to us: Are we doing something wrong? Is this the way to spend a holiday? We get up in the morning and have breakfast in our room or at a nearby café depending on how we feel. We drive until noon, and then stop at another café for a bite. We carry on until it starts to get dark (I find I don’t like driving after dark anymore), find a motel, have supper, then spend the evening watching TV or reading. Shucks, we could do that at home! And a lot cheaper! I think we had better rethink this whole holiday thing. The trouble with being retired and living in Paradise, is that there is nothing to get away from!


Perigord had their “Thrill of the Hills” snowmobile rally last weekend. I phoned Lorraine Beaumont, and she said there were 275 snowmobiles participating, the best they have had for years. Lots of the snowmobilers stayed for the supper and dance that followed, so they consider it a very successful event. They got a good snowfall shortly before the weekend (that ended before it got here) and that likely had a lot to do with their success — plus, of course, the fact that they have a reputation for putting on a good event.


  Doreen & Jerry Crawford
Box 100, Chelan, SK S0E 0N0 (306) 278-3423