The ongoing story of a girl and her van on an epic journey across Canada.
Day 28 (Sunday June 6th)
As I rolled out of Viking, Alberta, I saw a hand-written sign on bright pink poster board in a pharmacy window that read, “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!” Oh, crap! Is it Father’s Day? This was bad on two counts. The first being that I hadn’t sent my own dad a card or anything (bad daughter! Bad, bad daughter!) The second being that I was planning on dropping in on my sister Angie’s friends in North Battleford, Saskatchewan that day. They knew I was coming, just not when. I was already pushing my luck showing up unannounced. But on Father’s Day? Bad house guest! Bad, bad house guest!
When I called Shelley for directions, I asked her if it was, indeed, Father’s Day? The panic in her voice matched my own feelings on the subject? Is it? Shoot, I didn’t do anything for Dan! She quickly asked google the question and we got a relieving negative response. Phew! I guess Viking is either a few weeks ahead of schedule or 50 weeks behind with their signage…
Shelley and Dan and their twin boys welcomed me very graciously into their homes, and didn’t even give me a hard time for the extreme last minuteness of my arrival. I think this was either because A) they thought I was Angie (we do look a lot alike), or B) I was happy to play D&D with them. I soon found myself playing a halfling rogue scout in the 8th Calvary on my way to investigate an abandoned military fort deep in Gnoll territory. FUN!
I’m assuming that most of you gentle readers aren’t nearly as big of a dork as I am, so I’ll spare you the details. But if you want to hear some funny stories about cat-scratching a Gnoll to death or failing your perception rolls so badly you can barely find your own feet, drop me a line.
A-hem. Back to our regular, none gaming subject matter…
Sadly, other than the wonderful people, there isn’t much going on in North Battleford. I spent a day in Saskatoon, which is a very cute little city with the friendliest waitress in the world. If you are ever there, go to Mulberry’s for breakfast. Really good food, and you’ll leave with a new best friend.
Day 31 (Wed, June 9th)
I spent the night at Beaver Glen Campground, in Prince Albert National Park. (The Black arrow is the park.) This park is just full of — you guessed it — lakes. And mosquitos. And black bears. Oh my!
The campground has something like one million sites, and I made up half of the campers that night. I guess early June in the middle of the week isn’t a hot time for camping around these parts. The kindly ranger let me drive around and pick my own site, and in my infinite wisdom I selected the only one that bordered its very own swamp. The ten billion mosquitos that lived in that swamp were so excited to have a neighbour, they kept coming over to visit.
Funny side note — when I was in Ecuador last summer with Angie and Nathan, there were some pretty nasty bugs. Every time I got bit I’d get a tiny little red bump that I didn’t really even notice. Angie and Nathan would swell up instantly and be in itchy torment for days. I figured it has something to do with the low dose of antihistamine I’ve been taking for the last 20 years to control a weird skin condition I have.
So a few days after my slumber party with the Prince Albert mosquitos I was at the gym. While changing, a girl saw my feet and gasped. Oh my goodness! That must hurt! I looked down and for the first time noticed the dozens of mosquito bites circling both of my ankles.
One of the few plus sides to being constantly medicated, I guess.
All photos by Sarah Gignac
Helpful Map of Saskatchewan
This article was first published on Raggedy Threads in June 2010.
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