Saskatchewan

Last fall my cousin Colleen and I went on a month long road trip across western Canada. I flew from Toronto to meet her in Winnipeg, we chose a bit of an off beat path for our trip through Saskatchewan, instead of the much used Trans Canada Highway, we went the more southerly route of highway 18. We made a few stops along the side of the highway at old abandoned houses I found irresistible and any other scenic looking spot I just had to photograph.

We were not just making out way though the province however, we were on a mission to locate the somewhat touristy destination of The Big Muddy Badlands, “a geographically unique and wildly scenic part of southern Saskatchewan”. The travel guides assured us there would be signage indicating the turn off to our destination. Perhaps there was no sign, perhaps we were distracted by the scenery, either way we never did find Big Muddy. We did however spend a afternoon enjoying beautiful scenery, asking locals for directions and doing our best to stay dry when the heavens opened and we were treated to a rain storm. I’ve seen many a rain storm, but there is something special about a southern Saskatchewan storm, watching it roll in for hours beforehand and nothing in the way to stop the storm from hitting hard.

Our second destination, St. Victor Petroglyphs Provincial Park was also a bust. Now, even though there was a temporary reprieve from the rain, it was of no use to us as a thick layer of cloud had settled in blocking any view we could have hoped to have had of the ancient petroglyphs. Unfortunately we didn’t realize this until we’d made our way to the top of the viewing hill where one can catch a glimpse of the petroglyphs on the neighboring horizontal rock face (yes you read that right, there are hills in Saskatchewan). So, We did not get to see “the largest concentration of precontact (ca. 500 to 1750 A.D.). rock art in Saskatchewan”, I did however get a nice little picture of a tree in some fog… so you know, not all was lost.

After two failed tourist destination visits, we made our way to the town of Swift Current. We were forced to cancel our camping plans due to rain and spent the night in our first motel of many on our little trip. It may sound like our day in Saskatchewan was a complete disaster, but it really wasn’t. We both had a great time and keep talking about how we’d like to go back one day to see more. I’ve heard photographers talk about the beauty of southern Saskatchewan and rave about Grasslands National Park (one of the places I wish we could have visited), I’ve seen plenty of pictures of gorgeous sunsets and sweeping landscapes. But really, nothing takes your breath away like actually being there, like standing in the middle of vast prairie and sky and feeling the wind on your face.