Serjeant home near Summerberry
The once-grand home of the Serjeant family was built in the late 19th century near Summerberry. From the tower is a commanding view of a picturesque lake nearby.
Nine hundred and counting. My journey began in 2005 — Saskatchewan’s centennial year—when it dawned on me: why not visit 100 Saskatchewan towns? So I did, but that was only the beginning. My travels inspired a plan to explore every dot on the highway map below the 54th parallel just north of Waskesiu and maybe even a few beyond. Now, only 22 to go!
Accompanied by my husband Lorne, my friend Leslee Newman or my sister-in-law Roxanne Bitner, I’ve been to Kandahar, Stonehenge, Amsterdam and driven the road to Avonlea without ever leaving Saskatchewan. Did you know Eastend is in the west, Northgate is in the south, West Bend is in the east and Southend is in the north?
We drove the loop through Grasslands National Park near Val Marie on the lookout for prairie dogs, burrowing owls, and bison. We hiked the wildflower-strewn 70 Mile Butte in the glow of a summer evening. With a map hastily drawn by our B&B host, we set off for a buffalo jump, much of the way through no-man’s-land.
We’ve seen the mysterious petroglyphs of St.Victor and wondered, “Whose hands carved these ancient symbols and what do they mean?” At the little-known Killdeer Badlands along the 49th parallel south of Gravelbourg, we roamed the valley rim mesmerized by a strange and foreign-looking landscape. In the north, we marvelled at the rushing waters of Nistowiak Falls east of Stanley Mission. And we limped into La Ronge on a tire that barely held air; the lonely Nipekamew sand cliffs some 60 kilometres southeast of town were none-to-kind on our car.
We’ve slogged through the Nisbet Forest bog south of Macdowall in search of elusive orchids, picked our way through patches of cacti at Saskatchewan Landing, meandered among waist-high ostrich ferns at Pasquia Regional Park near Carrot River, and looked for lilies along the riverbank near Langham.
Sometimes small places offer big surprises.
To read about the rest of Ruth's adventures, buy the digital edition of the Spring 2017 issue of Prairies North, or order a print copy from our store. For more Saskatchewan adventures, check out our review of Larger Than Life: Saskatchewan's BIG Roadside Monuments by Robin and Arlene Karpan.