May 4, 2005
We finally started our journey about mid-afternoon. This was the middle of summer, when it was supposed to be scorching hot, but the strong prairie wind started blowing, and we canoed about 1km in 2 hours, as we were paddling against the current. The wind settled after these 2 hours, and the easy paddling began. Passing by nothing except grassland and the occasional mini "cliff," we canoed until about 9pm, just as the sun was setting. That's one of the greatest things about Saskatchewan - the summer days are LONG! We picked a piece of land in the middle of the river, set up camp, and hoped that the dam's flood gates wouldn't be opened while we were sleeping. We brought all our own food with us, along with tents and sleeping bags, and just made a campfire to cook over. At sunrise, about 6am, we made pancakes before continuing on northwards towards Saskatoon.
We weren't exactly sure where we were, and the sandbars, along with the lack of water in parts of the river, made the trip a little slow. Often, we had to get out of the canoe and pull it over the sandbars. It was extremely funny to see all these avid canoeists pulling their canoes behind them!
At about 5pm, we finally found a landmark! The Berry Barn, which is one of the most fantastic restaurants you may ever go to, is certainly the best and most unique place in Saskatchewan! We "parked" our canoes. Another great thing about Saskatchewan is that you can leave almost anything around and there's rarely any stealing, and we went and had a great meal. We then continued our journey in the canoes and finally saw the many bridges that are trademarks of the city of Saskatoon. As we neared downtown Saskatoon (where else besides Saskatchewan can you paddle a canoe into the heart of a major city?!), we let the current take us along as we basked in the warm sunshine. It was a terrific 2 days. We were hot and tired, but ecstatic that we had just maneuvered our way through some of the most amazing scenery - and we got to see Saskatchewan from a totally different point of view.
From journal Saskatchewan - Land of the Living Skies!