Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chasing the moose in Moose Jaw

Okay not really...sadly they did have a beautiful sculpture of a family of moose in Moose Jaw's lovely Crescent Park downtown but it was always being vandalized so now it sits in storage.  How terrible is that...

The name Moose Jaw isn't really the jaw of a moose but comes from a Cree name for the place, moscâstani-sîpiy, meaning “a warm place by the river”. The first two syllables, moscâ-, sound remarkably like “moose jaw”.   Or it could refer to the shape of the Moose Jaw river which resembles a moose jaw. Hey I looked it up for this blog post because I didn't know either! 

Moose Jaw is a city of about 33,000 and lies 77 km west of my "resting place" of Regina, Saskatchewan.  It has turned into quite a little tourist town now that they have "discovered" tunnels that were supposedly used by Al Capone (guess there was a direct railway from Chicago up to Moose Jaw) and also tunnels used by Chinese employees of the local laundrys.  These were workers brought over to work on the CPR railway that was completed in 1885.  They could not afford the fare to go back to China so sought work around Western Canada.  Many came to Moose Jaw.  They worked for slave wages, lived and worked underground.  Prejudice was so strong against them that it was easier to live underground than go up to face the wrath of the local Moose Jaw residents.

Yesterday I went to do our CVF club walk in Moose Jaw and switch it around a bit.  I also set up a new walk highlighting the many murals there.  It was quite the day!!!  A couple of weeks ago I took my friend Darlene there as well so twice in two weeks...unheard of!!! We did the tunnel tour highlighting the plight of the Chinese - sadly  no photography was allowed.  However it seemed to be more authentic than the "Chicago" connection.

As I am car free and only rent a vehicle when needed or desparate to drive  I took the STC bus which got me there at 8 a.m. and I got the bus back at 4:15. Perfect!!!  (my big excitement for last week was discovering they have lowered the seniors discount to 60...not only do I get 25% off but now I qualify for the ten dollar specials that are held from time to time - woohoo - I will be exploring Saskatchewan!!)

First of all I walked in the beautiful Wakamow Valley.

I added this trail to our walk

More of the "new:" trail

An old favourite...I love this trail in the valley!

Boardwalk leading into the park

Such a pleasant walk

This cute ceramic turtle has had MANY a behind on it's back posing for a picture - including mine!!!

Mural - salute to the settlers

Salute to the Air Force - there is a base in Moose Jaw

A controversial Metis "hero"

Salute to baseball

On SaskTel's building...

Tribute to fire dept.

This was on the side of a fire station needless to say

Tribute to railway

Tribute to settlers

Crescent Park in all it's summer glory

Crescent Park
Another lovely view of Crescent Park 

As you can see I then walked around downtown getting a few shots of the many murals.  It really makes for a fun day out.  Even more so if you manage to get a soak in the mineral waters at Temple Gardens Spa.  I didn't get a chance this time as I was too busy walking! 

A nice respite for the day but much more exploring is on the horizon....

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Being a tourist in southern Saskatchewan

I just had my long time friend Darlene from Vancouver (originally Winnipeg) staying with me and I got to be a tourist in my own home town and surrounding area - always fun.  And hey, I am desperate to play tourist!

I recently bought myself a new camera - a Panasonic Lumix - only mine is turquoise blue. (my favourite colour!)  I have been having fun playing with it.  Still working on the quirks on the zoom lens; not feelin' the love on that part of it but it could be me. 

We walked around beautiful Wascana Lake which is a stone's throw from my home..lucky lucky me...I never ever get tired of walking in this park.

This fountain was originally in London's Trafalgar Square!
Then we went to Regina Beach, walked along the old railway bed trail for about an hour and then had fish and chips at the local iconic Blue Bird Cafe.  

Along the trail

A lovely walk!

We didn't put our toes in

Far from the best I've had but it will do

A Regina Beach legend

On the way home Darlene was blown away by the puffy clouds in the sky so we had to stop the car and take some photos.

Restless Prairie Girl

Darlene in the Land of Living Skies
 Later that evening we drove up Goose Hill in Wascana Park for an amazing sunset view

The next day we went to Moose Jaw however I didn't take as many photos and I do plan to go back and take photos of the murals - watch for that!!

For now this will have to do...it was fabulous to spend time with Darlene again and explore a bit of southern Saskatchewan. 

This summer is going to be very exciting - stay tuned.

Another great big adventure coming right up! (2019 version)

Yes, it's time to hit the road again for my annual multi-month adventure.  This time I will be away just less than three months. I don&...