Saskatoon to the Manitoba Border
Jul 17, 2007
|We started the day with a short tour around downtown Saskatoon then once again headed down a long straight highway towards the Manitoba border. The scenery was pretty much identical as yesterday with miles and miles and miles of very little to look at other than canola and wheat fields.
We had planned to have lunch then turn north onto a gravel road at Chill Lake, SK. The thoughts were perhaps there would be something a little more interesting to explore if we left the highway. This route would also take us into Manitoba north of Duck Lake Provincial park which contains the highest point in Manitoba; Baldy Mountain, 813M. (By comparison Red Deer is 887M)
Since there seemed to be little change in scenery on the horizon looking north (and we could see a long long way north as ther was nothing blocking the view)we decided to stick to the highway.
We stopped at a little town called Margo and could see rain clouds to the north and east. It was still very hot and we decided to leave our rain gear packed rather than put it on. We figured that either the rain would miss us or if it did a little shower might be refreshing. Well...
The rain did not miss us and the "little shower" turned out to be a deluge. As we reached a little town called Invermay it was comming down so hard all the traffic stopped on the highway in both directions. We pulled into town and found some refuge on the downwind side of a building but not much.
With-in 15 minutes or so the rain had moved on and the sun was shining. We were soaked to the skin but actually enjoyed beeing cooled off in such a dramatic fashion. We carried on down the highway, air drying our riding suits.
As we approached Canora, SK the terrain was beging to become a ltlle less flat and there were more and more shelter belt trees and wooded patches. The road was still dead straight and pretty boring.
As we approached Kamsack, SK about 5:00 PM I thought Janine was just leaving on me for comfort but soon realized she was fast asleep! The heat, the long straight roads and the lack of interesting scenery had finally taken it's toll. Once I woke her up we decided it was time to stop and get a room for the night.
While we were dring our clothes we met a local lady in the hotel laundry who recommended a resturant a few miles from town called the northern lights so headed out there about 7:00 PM.
Northern lights was 5 miles east of town then a mile or so off the highway on a gravel road. Without directions you simply would not find it.
As we rounded the little gravel trail to the resturant we were surprized to fing at least a dozen cars in the parking area, way out in what seems to be the middle of nowhere. In fact when we entered we were told there would be a wait but we could enjoy a drink on the deck while we waited.
We walked out onto the deck to an amazing sight. The resturant was located on the ridge of a hill overlooking a huge valley we did not even realize was there. You could see for perhaps 30 km or more and views were spectacular. The valley was a mix of treed areas and cultivated land. In a large clearing just below us a herd of elk were grazing. At last we have found someing unexpected in Saskatchewan!