Hwy 21 Saskatchewan
Only in small town Saskatchewan can you get a club house, a full tank of gas, and a brand new 2015 f-150 with zero percent financing within ten feet of one another. Ok… you could probably do the same in other parts of Canada I just thought it was funny when I stopped in Kindersley. I’m in Kindersley sitting at a diner called the Coliseum Restaurant which is attached to the Esso station and next door to the Ford dealership. I arrived around 2pm and needed a little break to plan my next course of action as I could not decide on two possible options. Either I head directly North to where the roads eventually are non-existent, or head south as close to the US border as I can get without actually arriving at the border. That is always the tough decision when you go on a trip with no real set plan, sometimes everything just works out in your favour, and sometimes you make a small mistake such as missing turn-off and before you know it, you have lost two days worth of driving. One thing I have always told myself is to never force a decision when your blinded by your preconceived notions of the possible out-come. ALWAYS and I mean always trust your gut and let instinct be your guide. The rest will fall into place. Well that’s my approach, philosophy, whatever you want to call it.
As I sat in a booth for six, quietly sipping my un-seasoned coffee, struggling to finish my club house, I curiously started looking at a detailed map of Saskatchewan to get a better sense of where my I might want to go. I didn’t know this but Saskatchewan has over 100,000 lakes and I found this very hard to believe at first, however after looking at that map, the province is covered in them. After about 45 minutes I payed for my food, thanked the waitress for the service, and started my truck. I pulled out of Kindersley feeling refreshed and excited to hit the highway. By now I made my decision and that was to head South on Hwy 21 where the road transitions veering west turning into Hwy 44, and then veering back into Hwy 21 just as you pass a small town called Eatonia. From there it continues South all the way to the Cypress Hills. As I started driving the sun was high, it was hot, not a breath of wind, and the odd puff of cloud offering little hope of shade for anyone working outside. I had the music playing and was really enjoying the scenery. As I was on Hwy 44 I noticed a couple grain elevators a half km or so off the highway to the south and thought why not check it out. I pulled down a gravel road and as I started to get closer, I realized these two grain elevators were in amazing condition given on how old they looked. Once I stopped my truck within 50 feet of the structures, I noticed two other men loading a big engine looking object on to a loading trailer. I approached and asked if they knew any history about the elevators. Turns out the land was sold to the Hutterites and the generator that these two men were loading up was the last of the agreement in the property deal. The two men were very friendly and said the elevators dated back to the early 1900’s. Once they left I decided to have a look around myself. Walking through the tall grass, it was like being a kid again and discovering a place that was nothing short of incredible given the size of the structures, the condition the two elevators were in, and not a single person, car, or other building in site. I’ll let the video do the talking (The sound is a bit terrible for the first 15 seconds but significant;y improves once I’m out of the wind).
Now you’re probably wondering why this post is called “Hashtag Highway” well there are not enough #hashtags to describe this stretch of road from Kindersley, over the Trans Canada, and past the Cypress Hills. Hwy 21 South was nothing short of breathtaking with countless abandon houses to explore where I imagined myself spending weeks exploring every homestead. And this is only what I saw from the highway. The road itself turned and twisted like you were on a kids roller-coaster never wanting it to end. As soon as I crossed over the Trans Canada (HWY 1) the scenery just kept rewarding me. The sun was setting showering the wheat fields with the most amazing golden light I have ever seen. Large hills and gully’s engulfed the surrounding environment with endless skies and cricket sounds that could drown out the noisiest of vehicles. The light is different in Saskatchewan and I encourage anyone to drive early in the morning or two hours before sunset. Some people ask why I don’t take pictures at these particular moments. My answer to them is the camera is a great tool for documenting and creating, but it can sometimes be distracting and when it becomes distracting, I like to enjoy these moments for myself.
I ended day two of “Back To The Land” in Consul pulling my truck onto a patch of grass on the outskirts of town, pitching my one man tent before calling it a night.
If you have any questions feel free to email me or post a comment below. And I mentioned in my previous post… Day three of “Back To The Land” will have a portrait… I promise.
Stay tuned & Cheers!