31-Jul-2001 -- After our previous adventure of the day at
all of us were hoping for a bit of dryness. Our clothes were not drying out as quickly as we had hoped and it didn't help when we discovered the heater in the van wasn't working ... and today we could have used it! Undaunted, we set out to find our second confluence point of the day.
As we headed north the rain began to let up and soon we were in an area that had apparently had no rain at all that day. After our experience this morning this was good news. Our route took us along highway 637 through the scenic Qu'Appelle Valley and past the town of Esterhazy where we could see two potash mines off in the distance. Saskatchewan provides approximately 25% of the world's supply of potash. We had encountered potash mines on two of our confluence trips - see
N52° W106° and
N52° W107°. Continuing north past Esterhazy we headed for a town call Bredenbury. Upon arriving there we discovered it was a rail head for the Canadian Pacific Railway and we were surprised to see all the rail cars "parked" on the siding. No time for sight seeing however ... we had a confluence to track down so we pushed on.
Approaching the site from the south we noticed a farmer working the field adjacent to where the confluence was situated so stopped to ask permission to walk through the crop. We pulled up and waited for the swather to approach us and then had a short visit with the driver. It turned out that the confluence was not on his land after all but he couldn't see any problem with us going through the crop and was sure the owner wouldn't mind. I inquired as to what he was swathing was informed it was mixed silage. It is swathed then gathered up and chopped into small pieces to be fed to the cattle in the winter.
We continued north and parked the van at N51° leaving us a walk of about 430 m straight east to reach the confluence point. The wheat crop looked excellent and we remembered some of the crops we'd passed earlier that day where we had seen what is called lodging. This is where sections of the crop has fallen over due to excess rainfall. The straw is weakened by the moisture and cannot support the heavy heads ... an indication of a very good crop. Not wanting to do any more damage to the crop than was absolutely necessary, Gladys and Grant elected to wait behind and let just Carolyn and me proceed to the point. Unlike our first stop of the day, I took the precaution of lathering up liberally with mosquito repellent! The trip in proved to be a relatively easy walk and we managed to zero in on the spot with little or no difficulty. Pictures were taken, although to be very honest, the scenery from this spot looked pretty much the same in all directions. We headed back to the van following the same route we had taken in and were pleased to look back to see minimal damage had been done. Thanks to the repellent we'd not added too many more mosquito bites.
Two out of three had been achieved. So far the day had been a success. Okay, the legs of our jeans and our shoes were still soaking wet, our socks were too soggy to wear, but our mosquito bites were calming down. The day was slipping away from us but we had met with success. Will we be third time lucky? It was 4:00 PM and time to head west.
N51° W103° here we come!