Sunday, 22 April 2012

Sunny Saskatchewan

The skies of Saskatchewan are phenomenal to say the least. The cotton candy clouds you can almost reach out and touch. They are crisp, white and drastically detailed. They coin the phrase "The Land of the Living Skies" an understatement. Saskatchewan is known for it's glorious sunshine as well as the dramatic stormy skies. We were not fortunate to see a storm, but the sun is more than welcome.

St. John's School & Cemetary
St. John's School
Off the beaten path...Dirt roads, gravel, and who knows what. The Jeep will need some tender loving care and a good scrub when we return home. Amidst the Saskatchewan Prairies we came upon this deserted school house from another era.  St. John's School was built in 1924 and sadly closed its doors in 1965.  It was the last of the "one room" schools in the district.  St. John's was the only parochial in the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church in Saskatchewan.  In 1942 St. John's became a separate school due to declining enrolment.

We drive down a total of26 kms on a plowed sand road.

The Great Sand Hills
The Great Sand hills.  That they are!  The temperature has warmed dramatically under the clear skies as we tied up our hiking boots for a Great Hike.  Up the first hill as our breath becomes heavy and the wind is blowing tiny grains of sand on our faces.  Dunes, upon dunes of rippled sand.  Grasses the the odd tree weaving through the landscape.  A different kind of beauty.
The Great Sand hills was cared for by John Booth (1926 - 2007)
""John was caretaker of the Sand hills Stockman's Association from 1950 - 2001.  He was a rancher and lived in this area all his live.
57 years of boots!

John was 81 years old and rode saddle horse at every round up for the last 57 years.  He believed in the preservation of this natural habitat.  He understood the fragility of these great hills.."No one should judge another person until you've walked in his boots...that's the start of a great day"
John lived his life to the fullest.  He build an archway of his boots, a cowboy's way to show his appreciation and love for life""  written by Gordon Booth.
After our hike we again, drive down plowed sand weaving through cattle, and rolling hills towards a paved highway. 
Salt hills of Chaplin

We arrive at Chaplin, a salt mining town.  Lakes are beginning to appear.  Lakes with a salt base and snow like mounds cresting the water.  This is salt.  Chaplin is home of "Salt of the Earth" 

We carry on through Moose Jaw, where we stopped for a refreshing cup of java and chocolate chai and finally arrive very tired in Regina, where we spent the night of restful sleep.

It's on the road again. We're not sure where we will end up or how far we will drive today.

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