There's a story about a Saskatchewan farmer who's farm was right up against the Alberta Border. A Federal government surveyor knocked on his door and told him he had just done a new survey and it turns out his farm is actually in Alberta and not Saskatchewan after all.
" Fantastic news". he replied, "I was just saying to the wife last week, I didn't know how I was ever going to get through another one of those Saskatchewan winters"
First, the weather is what every body starts a conversation with out here. Secondly, for the first time in its history Saskatchewan is not regarded as "the poor cousins next door"
Their economy is actually growing while the rest of us are sucking in and tightening our belts.. Good for them, they deserve it. Potash is still a hot commodity and when oil prices go up again, they've got lots of that too.
Even their portion of the Trans-canada highway look new. There used to be a visible change in the road surface at the border, Lots of potholes and patches.
The first town in Saskatchewan is Maple Creek, although it’s not right on the highway. Peddling down a gradual slope about 10 Kms southward, it appears on the horizon. It’s just beginning to feel the welcome winds of change. . I looked for the center of town, which normally has an old railway station to mark the spot, but I couldn't find it. Instead, there is an older building in front of one of those new grain elevators and an old marker.
This is " Mountie" country ". Commissioner James F McLeod and his tracker, Jerry Potts came into this area in the 1870's after Sir John A MacDonald, passed a bill to bring the West under control. Thus began the famous North West Mounted Police trek consisting of 275, men and officers, 142 oxen, 93 head of cattle, 310 horses, 114 Red River wagons a 2 nine pounder cannons and a lot of mosquito repellent.
We'll cover more of that story when we get down to Fort Walsh next week
Have great Easter weekend