Thursday, August 22, 2013

Walk into the Past

After getting pepperoncini beef cooking in the crockpot we headed out for another drive – destination Eastend, Sask.

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Almost as soon as we left the park we passed the path of a cowboy driving his cattle, two dogs by his side. This sent my imagination into overdrive – oh to be living a life like that! I’m sure it is hard, hot and cold, dusty and sometimes miserable… but a dream for me!

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Much of the landscape we drove through was open, rolling prairie with some coolies punctuating the land. As you are well aware by now, this is my favourite. With the vision of that cowboy in my head I traveled the land by horseback.

Many people have the idea that the prairies are flat – there is very little flat about much of the land we have travelled on. Perhaps in the mid of Saskatchewan there are some flat patches – but they have their own outstanding beauty as well. 

We passed some wheat fields that went on for miles. Some was already harvested, but there was much still standing.

Eastend is situated on the Frenchman River in a little valley. It is a sleepy little town with the typical wide boulevard, leaving room for angled parking. There were a few little cafes and restaurants, some art galleries, a gas station, two grocery stores, and a population of less than 600.

You may recall a book I’ve talked about a few times – “The Perfection of the Morning” – the author, Sharon Butela’s, ranch in is the area. I’ve used this quote recently, but I have to use it again today (and will most likely use it again…)

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Another of the residents, and the one we were coming to visit, is the T-Rex discovery centre, a museum featuring a t-rex, named Scotty, that was discovered in the area. It is a lovely little museum with life-sized reconstructions of several skeletons. You can even watch the palaeontologist work with newly discovered fossils.

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We took the same route home to avoid an hour’s travel on gravel, but since we were going the other direction we got to see it differently. On our way back into the campground we stopped for an ice cream cone (we’ve made a tiny habit of it while staying here) – since it was way past lunch I was tempted by deep-fried pickles, and homemade crisps… but I resisted the fried food… for now!

Tonight I will make a picnic lunch for tomorrow and we’ll get as much outside stuff packed away, as early tomorrow morning we leave for Brandon – a long 8 hour drive from here.

It’s a good thing Carm doesn’t mind driving – we hit the 4000 mile mark this afternoon and we are a long way from home!

 

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I was merely looking at the prairie as a human being, savouring it for its beauty which engaged all the senses and brought with it a feeling of well-being, contentment and often even joy.
Sharon Butala - The Perfection of the Morning