Thursday, June 09, 2011

Where the Deer and the Antelope Play ... by Barbara (Ruth)

I am just back from a whirlwind trip to the West and back, the goal of which was attendance at my nephew David's graduation from the University of Calgary. Rather than fly out to Calgary directly, I decided to shake things up again, by flying first to Saskatoon for a couple of days, and then hitching a ride with my sister and brother-in-law as they drove across the prairies.

Aside from the graduation ceremony, I was really looking forward to seeing the prairies. Now stop rolling your eyes - it's a beautiful part of our country's landscape, and I wanted to see it! The drive is less than 7 hours, and on a beautiful day, it is truly BIG SKY country. 

Of course it rained.

Saskatchewan's Highway 7 is an undivided highway that travels across to Alberta (becoming Highway 9 at that point), and passes through towns with fantastic names like Crystal Beach (there's a beach in the middle of the prairies?), Flaxcombe, Cereal, and my favourite, Zealandia. 

There are gorgeous fields, historic grain elevators, tree "islands" (trees planted around farm houses to give variety to the landscape), buffalo and deer (but we didn't see any antelope, actually). The road is dead straight, ending as a pinpoint on the horizon.

Now the Jean in Barbara Jean is ticked at me for not getting out of the car in the rain to take proper pictures. It was just miserable, and I didn't have the heart to ask my bro-in-law to stop while I tried to get a great shot on the side of the road. I did however, take a few through the window. When you look at them, imagine the sky being a gorgeous pure blue. I managed to pretend for a while, but I think I'll have to go back to see it for real.


  1. My oldest childhood friend went to school in Saskatchewan, where he met and married a woman from Moose Jaw. A mutual friend who was in the wedding party rode a motorcycle from Toronto to Moose Jaw via Mexico (yes, it was a very long trip) for the ceremony. He swore the prairies were his favourite part. Having been there, you can now see why it plays such a central role in Canadian literature and our national psyche.

  2. What a great road trip! I'd love to do that too, although hopefully in the sun. Is it Elizabeth that you travelled with?

  3. I love the Prairies! Of course, having been ``Born & Bred`` here, it`s no wonder. There is no place I would rather be. I`m glad you got a small chance to experience it. Welcome back anytime!

  4. And on the way back, buffalo, antelope and - wait for it - sun and unending blueness, were all in undisputed presence.... better luck next time, says I!