“We say there are two seasons in Saskatoon: winter and ‘construction’,” said my prairie friend Steph. The idea, of course, being that all the building and roadwork that accumulates during the long winter must be completed in the brief burst of summer. When I arrived in Saskatoon, construction season had begun. The skies were clear and the bright sun was smiling down at the flat, dusty landscape. There was reason to celebrate. In winter, temperatures colder than -30 celcius are commonplace. My mother was born in Saskatchewan and has relayed stories of locals tying a rope between their front door and their front gate in order to find their way through the yard in a blizzard. My grandfather has told me that a person ‘snowed in’ in their car would probably die – if the car was off, then of cold; and if the car was on, then of carbon monoxide poisoning.
But enough of that misery. Saskatoon in the sun was a delight and it was showing on everyone’s faces. I could only imagine the whole place covered in ice, but it showed few signs of that on the day that we walked along the South Saskatchewan River. There is a sculpture park close to the banks. The Bessborough is one of the oldest buildings in the area. Very stately. A beer, liquor and food festival called Top of the Hops attracted a whole lot of locals and was pretty raucous fun. As it turns out, the province has plenty of breweries and distilleries – and people who love to have a good time. Little glimpses of old-world prairie life are there, too – like the “two-step” that everybody started dancing at the end of a Friday night. I might be returning in August – the summer festivals and parties will be mostly over, but the open space and friendly spirit will surely be the same.
I walk along those train tracks and across the bridge everyday with my dogs. I only live a few blocks from the river. When my husband and I were dating, we’d go to that sculpture park every night and bring a blanket and coffee and lay under the stars for hours. Also, did you snap the picture of that little critter by the train bridge? I see one just like him every morning and my dog tries to chase him down his hole that he dug.
I love this post for all of those reasons! I love where I live. 🙂
Thanks for sharing!
I just noticed this comment! I can imagine the sculpture park would be lovely and romantic in the evenings. And yes, I took all the pictures and never pass up an opportunity to capture something little and cute 🙂