Friday, July 08, 2005

Fort McLeod Alberta to Estevan Saskatchewan

Before I tell you about today, a short word about Fort McLeod. With the RCMP Museum, Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump, the Frank Slide site, live theater and numerous things I have yet to discover, I’ve put this place in my plans for a three or four day visit sometime in the not too distant future.

We were on the road by 6:30 this morning. It was a little cool by a nice morning all told. I checked the tire wear before I left and found the rear Elite 3 is only showing 4/32nds tread left. At this rate it will barely make it home and the tire will be done at about 8,000 miles, which is less than the 12,000 miles the stock D250 gave and well below what I had hoped. Maybe the E3’s are not the answer for me. I have some figuring to do when I get home.

The first tank of fuel took us to Medicine Hat where, as is our style, we stopped for our usual Mickey D breakfast. The Redhill McDonalds was the worst experience I have ever had in that chain. There was only one person ahead of me in line and it still took ten minutes to place the order. And the order was wrong anyway. Many people were milling around in the back, but nobody seemed to be accomplishing anything. I took the time to fill out a comment card.

From Medicine Hat there was not a lot interesting. We traversed several hundred miles of broken down asphalt masquerading as the Trans-Canada Highway. Saskatchewan needs a bigger roads budget. At Moose Jaw, we swung southeast on 39 bound for the US border.

After about 40 kilometers, a grain elevator appeared on the horizon. It took another ten klicks before we reached it. When we did, this was right across the road.

We had found the legendary location where they film the externals to the Canadian TV show Corner Gas. The town of Rouleau Saskatchewan, a wide spot in the road, subs for the fictional town of Dog River as the elevator will attest.

Here I am in gas pumping mode.

This is probably the show that most typifies Canadian humour today. At the start of Episode One, an Ontarian pulls in and comments “Pretty flat around here”. Brett Butt, playing Brett Leroy the proprietor, looks at the linear horizon and replies “Really? I hadn’t noticed”.

The temperatures continued climbing as we continued towards Estevan, where I had reserved a site in a Regional Campground. As we hit town, someone said the humidex was 42C, about 107F. We’re set up here now with the weekend camping crowd and it has cooled of as the sun got lower. The mosquitoes are now out.

Tomorrow, we will cross at North Portal and head down to Minot North Dakota. From there, we will follow US 2 across ND, Minnesota , Wisconsin and will catch 28 in Northern Michigan. This will take us to the Soo, hopefully Sunday evening. From there, it’s a short hop home on Monday.

No comments: