Drove through Wilkie and across prairie to Luseland (pleasant
little town) where Eleanor's mother came from. Went round little
museum which had some interesting stuff and got some family information
from very helpful staff in Rural Municipality Office. Went to
cemetery for family graves then to see Eleanor's grandfather's
quarter plot. Back through Unity which has interesting Heritage
Museum with very helpful curator.
Glen Wasmuth took us for a fascinating drive round the farm in
his 1931 Dodge. Very sorry to leave here. Drove on to Saskatoon
for three nights and went to Beaver Creek Conservation Area which
was interesting with helpful wardens but time there short. Now
very hot (32°). Colonial Square Motel, Saskatoon.
Only average place on main road. No breakfast but microwave in
reception. Chosen for location as close to family so served its
Saskatoon WDM today, disappointing. Boomtown street over-rated
as a bit dead and lighting in buildings very poor. Old machinery
good and galleries very good. Excellent cafe.
Dull morning, went to Sutherland Forest Park but not a lot there.
Went to find natural prairie area, not sure if we ever did find
it but what we did find was a bit unexciting and rain threatening
so gave up and went to WDM cafe. Headed south of town to Cranberry
Flats Reserve and walked down to river, quite interesting botany.
Weather now good so on to Beaver Creek again and got some reasonable
Drove to Outlook and interesting walk over Sky Trail Bridge.
On via Lake Diefenbaker and its information centre. Saw interesting
looking church and ended up in ghost town of Brownlee. On to
Moose Jaw for three nights. Went to Burrowing Owl Centre which
was fascinating. Super 8 Motel, Moose Jaw. Robotic
receptionist but reasonable room and good breakfast.
Long day driving to Big Muddy Badlands to see Castle Butte which
"we can't miss" but we did. Went looking into back
of beyond, didn't know where we were but decided to retrace steps
while could remember how to. Saw lots of coyotes. Ghost Town
of Big Beaver for wander then on to Rock Glen and north over
Wood Mountain through good rolling hills. Wood Mountain Police
Post interesting as were St Victor petroglyphs. Drive back over
very flat, very boring prairie.
WDM, this one based on transport. OK rather than good. Open day
for kids so plenty of staff on hand to talk. Afternoon saw older,
not very well behaved kids so left. Had a look round Moose Jaw
town centre which is pleasant. (Avoided the tunnels. Nobody who
said we must go seemed to have been themselves, those who had
been said they were theatrically naff.)
Turned cold and very grey. Headed south to Gravelbourg, interesting
Francophone town with good RC cathedral, then on to Val Marie
through isolated rolling country. Now very cold and threatening
rain. Went to Grasslands National Park (helpful staff) then drove
through park interesting to see but very cold and windy, too
much so to be out of car for long. Back to Val Marie's old school
for a cup of tea and some toast to warm us up. The Crossing
Resort, Val Marie. Flatlet upstairs in house right at entrance
to Grasslands NP. No breakfast, but pack can be bought from them.
Nice place, helpful owners, recommended.
Very, very cold and starting to snow when we left. Drove via
Highway 18 which is gravel and got a bit tricky with snow and
ice and seemed very, very lonely (conditions probably nothing
to Canucks). Had planned to drive through park at Cypress Hills
but not a good idea in snow. Tarmac roads welcome but little
traffic and quite a bit of snow on them. Made note never to complain
about English summers again. Roads ploughed into Maple Creek
where we stopped for tea and toast then onto Medicine Hat . Snow
gone but cold and wet and horrible. Went to Historic Clay District
Museum, 2 for 1 entry otherwise would have been poor value. Holiday
Inn Express, Medicine Hat. Obvious from main road but then
quite hard to find way in. Pleasant, big, good breakfast but
Wet start so leisurely breakfast then headed to Brooks Aqueduct
which was interesting and weather improving rapidly. On to Dinosaur
Provincial Park which was impressive and did a few trails. Called
in at Dorothy ghost town and went to see Hoodoos on way to Drumheller
for two nights. Newcastle Inn, Drumheller. Excellent
B&B in quiet position with nice rooms. Very friendly. Breakfast
is DIY continental from ample supplies in family kitchen. Recommended.
Quick look at Drumheller (OK) then Midland Mine site where not
a lot to see but still worthwhile. Called in at McMullan Island
where park is supposed to have trails but these not signed and
no map, still had pleasant wander. Little Church is very little
but hasn't got much going for it. Drove round Dinosaur Trail
via Bleriot Ferry. Reasonable country but not special, although
some nice viewpoints, especially at Orkney. Heavy rainstorms
but good weather between. Went to Royal Tyrrell Museum but it
did not live up to its hype, although the dinosaurs are superb.