Sunday, September 14, 2014

Prairie oasis and weird places

We spent the night before last at Cabri Regional Park.  We would have loved to stay longer but water and work kept us on the move.  Water was an issue because, despite the beauty of the park, their tap water is frankly disgusting.  We neglected to fill our tank before we arrived and refused to put their muddy brown solution in our lines.  Work beckoned as well because I’m hurrying to get my Assiniboia Farmland files wrapped up over the next couple of days.  So we only spent one night but we definitely will be back – with a full water tank next time.



A winding trail from the bald prairie northeast of Cabri leads to a little oasis on the bank of the south Saskatchewan River.

After we got set up at Cabri I went for a drive over toward Shackleton.  I was in that area in July but it was so damn wet that I couldn’t get to any of the places I wanted to go.  I even ended up in the ditch briefly on that trip and – horror of horrors – had to be drug out of the ditch by a Chebbie.  In my defence the idiot driving the Chebbie had forced me off the road to begin with but mercifully stuck around to pull me back onto the road.  Its not a whole lot drier now but it was enough drier that I could get to the places I wanted to go this time.  Some of the ruts I made a month ago were still evident.

20140912_152744Western Canada has a lot of really big things which some local welder/artist thought would be a good idea.  I’ve profiled some of them over the years but this one is about the most bizarre example of the genre.  Go ahead – guess what it is before you read the next caption.  You won’t get it right.  Guaranteed.


There …. I told you that you wouldn’t get it.  And, tempting as it was, I decided to give the museum a pass. 

We got a little rain overnight at the park.  It probably amounted to less than a 10th of an inch but it has been so wet down here that even that insignificant amount had an impact on the road.  The truck was just on the edge of spinning out all the way up the fairly steep hill as we left the park.  Then we chucked mud all over the undercarriage as we followed the gravel into Cabri.  I deliberately went slow and managed to keep the front of the rig clean but the undercarriage got blasted.  When we pulled into the Husky at Swift Current I discovered that we only had 3 shoes left.  Somewhere along the way the right front tire on the trailer had completely shredded.  Fortunately the rim was undamaged but all that remained of the tire was strings of rubber around the rim.  The night before I had looked at the tires and thought that they didn’t have much life left in them so we limped from the Husky to the Integra Tire store next door where we had 4 new shoes installed.  It was Saturday morning so there was only one guy on duty, answering the phone, manning the counter and installing tires.  Nonetheless he had us out the door with four new tires in under an hour and for just a shade over $600.   Two more of the tires were on the verge of separating so it was way past time anyway.

Last night we stayed in Notukeu Regional Park on the outskirts of Ponteix.  I’ve got a couple of visits nearby so we’ll spend one more night here before we go back to Regina and then on to Buchanan.  My farming gig fell through – evidently they found another truck driver who was prepared to come immediately.  While I would have appreciated a call to tell me they had found another driver I was actually relieved.  There’s no way they would have paid me even a fraction of what I think I’m worth and I’ve just got too many things to do right now to be doing charity work for farmers.  Particularly so for farmers who can well afford to hire the help that they really need. 

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