This ain't your grandparents' Saskatchewan; fixing the online reservation system for provincial park campsites; the new Mosaic Stadium is going to be one handsome facility, even without a roof; Corner Gas returns; the drones have arrived at Greenwater; and, fresh saskatoon berry pie for every Rider fan on the little blue dot. How does "two in a row'' sound Priders?
Sometimes you have to get away from it all while you're getting away from it all. Especially if you're camping and it's raining and the kids are getting antsy. Well, here's good way to knock off an afternoon when inclement weather threatens to spoil the fun at Lake Diefenbaker. The stated destination is April's Diner in Central Butte. But the real goal is peaceful coexistence through diversion.
The whole television cast is returning to reprise their roles in the Corner Gas movie, and what a wonderful thing that is. I just can't imagine Gordon Pinsent as Oscar. With the movie in the works, it's a good time to revisit Virtual Saskatchewan's last interview with Brent Butt. And it's a good time, too, to remember how this stand-up comedian/actor from Tisdale, Saskatchewan put our little ol' province on the map and showed people across Canada and around the world what a good natured lot we are. Except when it comes to Woolerton, of course. Pfft!
Retreating glaciers from the last ice age left interesting impressions on Saskatchewan's topopraphy. One of the most compelling of these glacial constructs can be seen on the western outskirts of Narrow Hills Provincial Park in northeast Saskatchewan. The Gem Lakes are tiny, deep and beautiful. And while it used to be said, by this writer and others, that the Gems are one of Saskatchewan's best kept secrets, well, it seems the secret is out. Nonetheless, their nature and out-of-the-way location means they're never going to be a big tourist attraction. But it's a safe bet they'll remain a favoured spot for avid park goers and in-the-know hikers.
It's estimated between 500 and 1,000 fieldstone buildings were constructed in Saskatchewan during the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Most were built in the southeast part of the province, many by Scottish stonemasons. In 2009, Coteau Books published an award-winning book about these structures, created with uncut fieldstones largely because imported lumber was not yet easily obtained. Legacy of Stone – Saskatchewan's Stone Buildings, which was co-authored by writer Margaret Hryniuk and building historian Frank Korvemaker with photos by Larry Easton, is both a fascinating history of some of Saskatchewan's earliest Euro-Canadian residents and a beautiful reminder local building materials reflect who we are.
The 120-km Boreal Trail in Meadow Lake Provincial Park that opened to the public in 2011 is a wonderful addition to the recreational attractions in the park and, for that matter, the entire provincial park system. Our group explored just a small section of the trail in the summer of 2012 and there's little doubt we'll be back for a lot more. While it's referred to in government literature as a destination backpacking trail, don't let that frighten you off if you're simply looking for an afternoon outing. Just make sure to plan ahead. . . .
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