It is not too far between Weyburn and Assiniboia if you go directly west (about 163 km or101 miles), but we headed south to highway 18 not far from the American border before going west. We only had one thing we planned to see – the St. Victor petroglyphs about 20 kilometers south of Assiniboia and were taking a bit of a longer route since they were best viewed in late afternoon or early evening.
We puttered along on patchy paved roads through rolling hills, wheat fields and other crops. It was a gorgeous day and we took a ton of scenery photos.
A herd of pronghorn were feeding in the field on my side and they got spooked when John stopped the truck.
We drove into the small town of Conorach and turned onto the main street to go to the visitors center to ask the best route to St. Victor only to discover the whole street closed for a Street Fair.
We were not in any rush so we parked and went wandering.
At the end of the street past all the vendor’s tents there was a car show.
As we left Coronach we saw a long row of new grain cars sitting waiting for the harvest to be brought in. They stretched alongside the highway for almost 16 km. The line was broken whereever there was a road crossing the track.
We arrived in St. Victor about 4, knowing it was not late enough to have the best view of the petroglyphs, but we have seen several examples of them in other places so felt we would be okay with what we able to see.
On the outskirts of St Victor (population 20-30) was a little log cabin with a Red River ox cart beside it, and a sign above the door saying “Friends of St. Victor Petroglyphs.” We decided to stop and see what information they may have. The fellow came outside as we were getting out of the truck and started talking to another couple of men who arrived the same time as us. John thought to himself that the man’s voice sounded familiar. After he finished his conversation with the other fellows he sat on a chair on the deck and asked me where we were from. When I told him he laughed and laughed and told us his name. John had just been thinking to himself that this fellow sounded like Glen, a schoolmate of ours who used to work at the same sawmill as John. And that is who it was. Glen moved to Willow Bush (population 300), which is a few kilometers east of St. Victor, 13 years ago. We had a wonderful chat for about an hour. He helps man the Petroglyph information center in the summertime.
It was only 2.5 km from the info center to the petroglyphs. The information I had said there were 165 steps to climb to the glyphs but the government has since fenced the area and you can now drive to the top. At the gate to the path there was a large stone with copies of some of the petroglyphs on it that shows clearly what they look like and that you could use for rubbings if you like.
Human graffiti, walking, and touching have damaged many of the petroglyphs. Lichens have started growing on the sandstone and acid rain and ash from the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington in 1980 have caused further damage. It was very hard to make out many of them. The best time Glen said was to go at night with a flashlight.
The view atop the hill was amazing.
I think this is Twenty Mile Lake.
I had climbed through a fence to go to the edge of the hill to get a better photo of the lake and when I was walking back I spotted a geocache sitting right beside one of the fence posts. That was a pleasant surprise and the only cache we found today.
When we left St. Victor we drove a gravel road for awhile before connecting to Highway 2 north to Assiniboia.
Since it was now after 6 o’clock we found a restaurant for dinner before checking into the hotel. We are staying here three nights and doing some exploring with Assiniboia as our homebase. Tomorrow is a trip northeast to Claybank to visit an old Brick Plant.