05-Jul-2001 -- Another typical Saskatchewan
summer day, hot and windy. What better way to spend the day
than tracking down another confluence point? Today we set
our sights on 51°N 106°W. Having read several of the
adventures of others tracking confluences in their countries,
we wondered what adventures would await us in our search.
We knew there would be no mountains to climb, no jungles to
fight our way through, no deserts to traverse ... maybe we'd
find a swamp or at least a marsh or a thick grove of trees?
Time would tell.
We set out just before noon and headed north on Highway 11
(recently renamed Louis Riel Trail after a famous Metis from
Saskatchewan's history) and headed for the town of Craik.
Craik lies just off the highway approximately 110 km from
our starting point. After refreshing ourselves at the local
Co-op Service Station we turned west on highway 732 toward
the confluence point. About 14 km later ... much of which
to our surprise was on pavement ... we turned south on a
grid road for approximately 4.2 km. This brought us to a
point directly west of our confluence. A quick walk through
a field (looking very much like it could do with a good
heavy rain) and we located our spot just 311 m off the road.
Looks like another confluence without adventure!!
After taking the prerequisite pictures we returned to our
van and decided that we would take a few pictures in the
area since once again the point we had chosen was on a
pretty flat, somewhat boring piece of land. We'd noticed
how interesting the farm we'd passed earlier was so decided
to go back and take pictures of it. Just before we did so
a truck pulled up wondering if we were experiencing difficulties.
We explained to the driver what we were up to and ended up
having a nice visit with him. He explained that the land
was farmed by his son and it was his son's farm we were
planning on photographing. He told us about a few of the
other "sights" in the area and we said our goodbyes.
After taking pictures of the farm, we headed a bit further
south where we came upon an old homestead. The contrast
between it and the farm we had just seen was amazing. It
proved to be another photo opportunity we couldn't pass up.
From there we headed back to Craik (more refreshments ...
this confluencing is hard work!) where we took pictures on
their main street. The grain elevator at the end of the
street is one of a dying breed. Recently these elevators
are being replaced by huge concrete "inland terminals". The
destruction of these elevators has removed sentimental
landmarks from the prairie landscape. One used to be able
to tell how big our towns were by the number of elevators
they had. This is no longer the case as many towns now have
none and it seems they have lost their identity.
From there we turned south toward Regina and home. On our
way we stopped in at Regina Beach, a local "resort" area
situated on Last Mountain Lake, and had supper at the famous
(locally at least) Bluebird Cafe. This cafe has been in
operation since 1928 and little has changed in all those
years. Their specialty? Fish and chips!
We arrived back home just before 7:00. My GPS showed us
having travelled 315 km and total trip time 7 hours
13 minutes. Although we encountered none of the adventures
we had hoped for we felt satisfied that at least another
Saskatchewan confluence point had been conquered. Maybe
next time ....