These last few days have been closer to what I hope to do for our future trips, both pre- and post-retirement.
My 52nd birthday on Wednesday started with doing laundry and cleaning at a leisurely pace, followed by a visit at TNT Gun Works. We did not find the rifles we were looking for. The one Dan had seen on their website had already been sold and they didn’t have the one I was interested in. An old guy tried to sell me on one he had, but then Management gave him shit for doing that in the store and kicked him out. I guess he’s a repeat offender in that regard.
It turned out The Nut Man was located right next door, and who were we not to take advantage of that opportunity? Spontaneous purchases of nuts and candies we did not need ensued. So far we’ve been relatively successful at holding out on eating them until our drive home tomorrow.
The afternoon was spent at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. It’s not huge, but it’s really well done. It focuses on the history of the land now known as Saskatchewan from the time of the dinosaurs to present. If you’re anything like my son, you can do this tour in less than 20 minutes, but if you’re anything like me and you like to actually read then it can take up to 2 hours. We didn’t even get to the exhibit side of the museum. I highly recommend the visit.
The evening was spent with Martin and Charlene at Agave Authentic Mexican Grill, which was an amazing experience all around. The food was fantastic and the company was delightful. Dan completed my birthday with the gift of Nathan W. Pyle’s comic strip cartoon books Strange Planet and Stranger Planet. I spent the rest of the evening giggling.
We left Kings Acres Thursday morning and made our way to Central Butte via Moose Jaw. It was really windy and later rainy, so Dan drove. We again passed by Rouleau on the way and while we didn’t stop I did manage to get a couple photos of the place where nothing except a sign proves Corner Gas was ever filmed there. It’s really a shame, because I think by not establishing an actual Ruby’s Café (if not also a Corner Gas station) Rouleau missed an opportunity to benefit the community.
We stopped in Moose Jaw to take the Chicago Connection tour of the Tunnels of Moose Jaw. That was a lot of fun and I wish we had time to take the other two tours as well. Given the strong Asian connection in Moose Jaw we thought it appropriate to have lunch at Nit’s Thai Food, which we really enjoyed. Based on the photographs on the wall, some impressive celebrities agreed with our experience: Adrienne Clarkson and Margaret Atwood. We had parked the vehicles on the other side of Crescent Park, so we had a lovely walk.
We arrived at my Aunt Janice and Uncle Dan’s place near Central Butte in a light rain and cool temperatures. We couldn’t remember if we had purchased a 30-amp to 110-volt converter to plug the trailer into a household receptacle and couldn’t find one, so we actually boondocked in the yard. This time we turned the fridge off over night and only used AAA battery powered lights when we weren’t sleeping, only turning the water pump on when we actually needed to use water. Turns out that was all we needed to do to ensure there was enough power available for the furnace to work without draining the battery faster than the solar panels could keep it charged. Now that we know that, we are much more comfortable with the idea of the occasional overnight stay without any services. Of course, in the morning Dan found the 30-110 converter in a corner of the pass-through storage. Turns out we did think to get it when we bought the trailer, but it’s a small attachment that clearly fell out of the swag bag we had put it in. That’ll teach us to keep the storage bags zipped shut when they’re put away (nasty habit that Dan can’t or doesn’t care to kick).
Uncle Paul was also there helping Uncle Dan build the foundation for a new double-car garage, and my cousin Jeff came over for supper as well. We had a really great visit with everyone, chatting and playing cards, and we’ve promised to come back again more often.
On Friday we made our way to Provost, intending to go by Gardiner Dam. But neither Zoe nor Google Maps recognized Gardiner Dam, so we just left Zoe to get us to Provost by whatever route she determined was safest and shortest, while avoiding highways and unpaved roads. I drove the entire day that day, and Zoe decided to challenge me by taking us on the back roads (which on most of the Saskatchewan side were wide enough but bumpy and in need of work – as usual) and across Diefenbaker Lake on the Riverhurst Ferry. That was fun. We haven’t been on a ferry since the Deh Cho Bridge was built. The ferry itself is smaller than the Merv Hardy in bulk, but crossed a stretch of the lake that appeared to be much wider than the Mackenzie River crossing site. It used a winch to pull itself across the lake on a set of three cables strung under the water, which is something I had never seen before.
We stayed the night at Home On The Range RV Campground just south of Provost, which is open year round with full-service sites and two laundry/bathroom/shower buildings. It was actually a very comfortable place, although some of the sites are fairly close together. The cows in the field behind the campground wandered quite close to the fence, the geese were typically noisy, and the sunset was spectacular. We had supper at a Chinese restaurant in town called Mr. Lin’s Family Restaurant. Honestly, I don’t know how we keep choosing these places, but it was another wonderful meal.
The intent on Saturday was to leave early enough to get to Trailblazer RV early enough that we could drop off the trailer and retrieve the retractable shower door from my Mom’s place before they closed at 5:00 p.m. I managed to sabotage that plan when I forgot to actually push the start button on the laundry machine. Everything else was ready to go and we had to just sit there waiting on the laundry. It was almost Noon before we left, and then just to add insult to injury the wind had been picking up all morning and was gusting up to 57 km/hour the whole way, mostly coming at us head on from the northwest. So that slowed us down AND cost us in gas milage, to boot. We did manage to get to Trailblazer half an hour before they closed, but that meant we had to drop the shower door off early Monday morning. Actually, to be more precise, Dan had to drop the shower door off early Monday morning.
We were supposed to stay at my Mom’s place until Tuesday morning, when the work on the trailer is to be complete, but my step-dad caught Covid so we’re staying at a hotel instead. He’s doing okay, but getting grumpy being isolated at home, lol! Since we haven’t been able to really visit with them as planned, we’ve had to otherwise entertain ourselves.
We’ve seen a couple of movies: See How They Run is a good whodunit, kind of like Knives Out but lower key; and Don’t Worry Darling was also a good flick kind of like Stepford Wives with a twist.
We visited the Muttart Conservatory, which we hadn’t been to in a couple of decades at least. That was interesting. I played Poison Plant Bingo, but didn’t find five or six of the 25 plants listed.
We stopped by Cabela’s, where Dan found the shoes he was looking for but otherwise we did not find the rifles we were looking for. However, we did find the rifle I was looking for at P & D Enterprises, so bonus! Getting there through all the downtown roadwork was an adventure in itself, but it turned out to be worth it.
Then we discovered Record Collector’s Paradise and spent more money than intended, but got some great albums out of it. And we took a leisurely walk around the Alberta Legislature building.
Tomorrow morning we’ll probably stop at JimBows Archery before picking up the trailer to put it in storage, and then head out to High Level and arrive home on Wednesday. We’ve had a really lovely trip and can’t wait to figure out when and where we’ll go next spring. I’m going to close my blog for this trip here as it seems like the most practical time to do so. I hope you enjoyed reading. See you on the flip side!
Adelle and Dan