At the end of June, my older sister visited for a few days, and having her here was an absolute delight! She hadn't visited me in Regina before, and her trips to Saskatchewan had been few and far between. If you know me in real life, you know that I have a deep love for the Prairies. It isn't always perfect, but the people are wonderful, small cities are so nice, and the landscape is just breathtaking. I will defend the Prairies until I am out of breath, but thankfully my sister was as excited to see Regina and the surrounding area as I was to have her here. My sister is the type of person who is really aware and appreciative of her surroundings, and I really loved that someone from Vancouver was so excited to see Saskatchewan. As I don't drive, we rented a car for a day and visited Rouleau (the town where Corner Gas was filmed!), Moose Jaw, and Lumsden Beach, and spent a solid twelve hours out of the city.
If you don't watch Corner Gas (and I imagine many of you don't, as it's a Canadian show and is pretty regionally specific), you might not get why I'm always so excited to visit Rouleau (aka Dog River), but I assure you it's amazing! It's very hyper real, parts of the town do feel like props, and when we were in the Corner Gas the television show was playing. So weird. So good. It seems like the town attracts a fair amount of visitors because of the show, but I imagine it would be odd to live there. The prop-police station has a "warning: not a real police station" sign, and although the water tower does say Rouleau, the grain elevator is still devoted to Dog River.
After Rouleau, we headed to Moose Jaw where we just wandered down main street and through an adjacent park. We ended up getting a bit lost leaving Moose Jaw, we had intended to go to Buffalo Pound Provincial Park, but missed the turn off, and ended up on a series of unmarked gravel roads between Moose Jaw and Lumsden. I must ask, though, who makes a driving map of Saskatchewan that doesn't include gravel roads? Still, while looking for a road we could identify, we stopped to eat lunch near a small rural graveyard, chatted with a woman on a bike ride with her dog, and stumbled across an old, deteriorating barn. My sister saw an owl in the barn, but I missed it and the only wildlife I experienced there was far too many mosquitoes.
We finally re-oriented ourselves, and made it to Lumsden Beach, which was suggested by friends because it's a lot smaller and less busy than other nearby beaches. They were not wrong! The beach was very small, and we were the only people there. It was a bit cool to find the cold lake water especially refreshing, but it was still so nice to go in for a quick dip and spend a few hours on the beach reading. Before we left, we sat at a small golf course at the top of the valley to eat some berries and watch the sunset. It was breathtaking. I discovered my iPhone camera's panorama option, and was really impressed with how well it photographed the sun. There is nothing like a beautiful sunset to leave you in awe of this world we live in. Simply amazing.
I could talk about home and location and cities and the Prairies and how these all relate to identity forever, and I often do, but I think that's for another blog post. It was really wonderful to have my sister visit, and I loved the opportunity to get out of the city and enjoy the landscape. I wish I did that more often.
PS. If you think the Prairies are boring, I think you might be the boring one. Have you seen that big sky?