2014 Jun 24 – Day 5 – Regina. SK to Yorkton, SK

Today was a journey day.  We have along on this trip two of my father’s  books.  One is “Backroads and Getaway Places of Canada” and the other is “Handpicked Tours of North America.”  In the Handpicked Tours book there is a drive from Regina to Yorkton that takes you north to Fort Qu’Apelle and Echo Lake, east through Lebret and then south down to Indian Head.  Then you follow the TCH eastward again until Grenfell before turning north on Hwy 247.  We took a little jog east to Esterhazy to get some information about the huge potash mines there then turned around and followed Hwy 9 west and north to Yorkton.  If you don’t dilly dally around and zig zag all over you can drive from Regina to Yorkton in about  three hours.  We took seven; but that is what we like to do; see the little places and out-of-the-way things.  To me big cities are pretty much all the same.

There was a lovely church in Lebret: Sacred Heart Catholic Church and right behind it was The Fishing Lake.  There was a very small town dominated by the large church and a 1/4 mile long cemetery dating from 1895.

We ended up accidentally on a gravel stretch of road for about 20 km.  This was not popular with John as he takes very good care of my Poppy truck and he does not like driving her on gravel.  Needless to say that 20 km took awhile to traverse.I liked the old grain elevator at Indian Head.  They also have their museum in an old fire hall but it is only open in July and August.  We had a nice chat with a fellow in Wolseley where they have a swing bridge to access one side of town with the other.  Wolseley bills itself as “The Town Around A Lake.”

I am very surprised by the amount of water we see; rivers, lakes and ponds are everywhere.  Of course they have had lots of rain in SK lately so where water can be water certainly is, but still there are numerous ponds with bull rushes encircling them in every field.  We see lots of water fowl swimming with their ducklings, goslings and other kinds of ‘lings.’I have learned that there are 100,000 lakes in SK and even though we have the image of miles and miles of flat prairie fields (and that is certainly what we are seeing), over half of SK is pine forest.  Just go north and that is all there is to see.

We strolled through the museum in Esterhazy before going to the Potash Information Center.  I know I am getting old, but it was still a bit of a surprise to see a meat grinder like the one I use at home (even if it was my mother’s meat grinder) in the museum.  The biggest surprise though was to find my doll house!  The very same furniture, the very same rooms!  I wanted to take it home, but they wouldn’t let me.  Talk about a wake-up call to the passing of time to see one of your childhood toys in a museum.The Potash Information Center was not large but it was very interesting.  Saskatchewan supplies 1/3 of the world’s pot ash.  They have deposits that will conservatively last 500 years.  Yes that is right 500 years!  The mines are 3140′ underground and are mini-cities where they drive a fleet of trucks and have borers that use laser beams to follow the potash vein.  Really cool stuff.  So glad we drove the extra few kilometers to go.


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