(This is a reading heavy post at the beginning. Those of you who prefer pictures can skip ahead. I’ll never know. Unless I see you sometime and ask you probing questions about the drive I took from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Yorkton, Saskatchewan, which is highly unlikely to happen).
The plan for Friday was simple: head from Winnipeg to somewhere in Saskatchewan (specific destination TBD), with a stop at Riding Mountain National Park along the way to look for wildlife and take a hike. Things did not go entirely as planned (for example, someone is going to be getting the screen on her iPad replaced for the 4th time this year).
After spending a nice late-morning and early-afternoon at the Park, Choppy and I headed to Saskatchewan, continuing our westward trek.
And now for some randomness. First, I always think Manitoba (the province in which Winnipeg and Riding Mountain are located, as an aid to my geographically-challenged American friends) sounds like a random animal. In my mind, it’s some sort of moose-like creature. I have no idea why I think this. Nor do I know why I felt compelled to add this random bit of information into this post.
Second, in terms of the names of the provinces, Saskatchewan is easily the province with the most amusing name. Also, I kept seeing small roadside stands selling saskatoons while I was driving on Friday. It turns out, Saskatoon is not just the name of a city in the province, but a berry. I’m definitely going to see if I can find some while I am here. The Internet informs me that they have only recently become a commercially-viable crop, suggesting that I need to get in on the potential future acai craze that may be in the making here while no one knows about it.
Neither of those things has anything to do with the story I intended to tell at the start of this post. That story involves my stop at the border of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, to drop by the Visitor Center and see about potential places to stay. The helpful woman at the Visitor Center immediately informed me that there were no campsites along my proposed road, as this is a long weekend in Saskatchewan and apparently everyone uses it to go camping. She helpfully suggested I get a hotel room in Yorkton, just down the road, as my other option would likely be sleeping in the car at some truck stop/gas station between the border and Saskatoon (the city). I was happy to use this excuse to get a hotel room.
However, her mention that this was a three-day weekend in Saskatchewan piqued my interest, and so I turned to the always accurate Internet to figure out what sort of holiday goes on that allows Canadians to take a seemingly random day off in August. It turns out, this “holiday” is really not much of a holiday, but, as I suspected, is just a random day off. Here in Saskatchewan, they call it “Saskatchewan Day,” a holiday when everyone in the province apparently goes camping. In other parts of Canada (I’m looking at you, Northwest Territories), they don’t even attempt to justify taking a random day off in August. Instead, they just call it a “civic holiday” and, apparently, come to Saskatchewan to go camping.
Relatedly, I think Indiana needs “Indiana Day” where everyone gets an entirely random day off of work. I’m thinking the Friday before the first ND game would work best for me. And, speaking of football, much thanks to the CFL for some Friday night entertainment. It’s like American football but with highly random differences (I’ll never get used to those three downs. Or all that running around in the backfield).
And now, some pictures.