05-Oct-2003 -- A great sunny Autumn day with temperatures of 26°C should not go to waste. It was time to head for this confluence, only 63 km from our home, to record its Autumn beauty.
As we drove along the Qu'Appelle Valley, on our way north, we stopped at one of the many market gardens in the area. The one we visited is known for the large supply of pumpkins available each Autumn. Some families were buying pumpkins to make into pies for Thanksgiving Dinner on October 13. Others were choosing pumpkins to carve into Jack O'Lanterns for Halloween on October 31. Some people were purchasing a selection of the fresh vegetables - corn, potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, peppers, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions - grown in the fields of fertile soil along the Qu'Appelle River.
At the junction of Highways 20 and 322 we stopped at Last Mountain House Provincial Historic Park. It is closed for the season but we were able to read the information plaques outside each building. The buildings on this site are a reconstruction of Last Mountain House which was built by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1869 as a fur trading post. Its main focus was collecting and shipping bison hides. The post took its name from nearby 85 km long Last Mountain Lake.
Soon we were following gravel grid roads and admiring the Autumn colours as we got ever closer to our destination. We parked our van on the edge of a grid road 555 meters straight west of the confluence. There wasn't even a barbed wire fence to cross. A ten minute walk and we were there. This confluence is situated on rolling land in tall prairie grasses. Nearby are stubble fields that have already been harvested. A pond situated 100 meters northeast of the confluence is surrounded by a few trees, some bushes, reeds, and bulrushes that have burst open exposing their myriad of seeds. The crest of a small hill in a stubble field is situated exactly 100 meters southwest of the confluence making it a perfect vantage point for the overview photo.
Back in the van we headed 10 km west to Rowan's Ravine Provincial Park on Last Mountain Lake. We enjoyed a walk with the dogs through the falling leaves in the spacious park and picnic grounds and then along the waterfront. After a relaxing time in the park we headed east to drive around and admire the small thriving town of Strasbourg. We then drove home to Regina for a round trip total of 5½ hours covering 217 km. It was one of those beautiful Autumn days to be treasured.