‘Saskatchewan: you are uninspiring.’
Said by Mike just a few, admittedly slow and frustrating, miles across the line.
Queue 2 of our best wild camp sites so far, a close encounter with a wolf, a lot of very friendly folk, a gift of groceries and some free fishing supplies and advice. Ok Saskatchewan, you’re not so bad.
We’ve been a bit slowed and beset by head winds which are incredibly infuriating but did inspire what I think is one of my finest poems (material not appropriate for this site). In the midst of it all, however, was the heady promise of a resupply stop in the Battlefords – two towns astride the river. Sadly the pull in was in a less than salubrious part of the park so Mike decided to stay with the boat and I was dispatched for the shopping. It looked like there was some sort of centre a few km away so off I set for the longest walk I’ve had in 2 weeks. And hottest. And probably grimmest. However, resupply was achieved and that meant beers, steak for dinner and even some wine to go with it. Whoop!
Headwinds are infuriating but the one benefit is that we see more wildlife on account of us approaching from downwind. On a couple of occasions now we’ve rounded a bend to see a wolf yards away having a drink or sniffing the air. They are utterly beautiful.
We’ve mostly been camping up on the riverbank as far from civilisation as possible but sometimes we’ve had to stay near a house or road bridge. Apart from being noisy (the trucks are constant and huge!), it feels a bit intrusive but actually anyone we’ve come across has only been kind an interested – including Rod Adams, who was hauling boats off the river late one evening and who stopped for a chat and then returned a couple of hours later with food! Bread, cheese, chocolate – we were delighted! Several other folks have stopped for a chat to find out what we are up to, give advice and warn us about things – usually the bugs!
Speaking of which, there are a number of disadvantages a girl finds herself at in the wild, one of which is the necessary exposure of certain regions and subsequent very displeasing mosquito bites. It was on waking early one morning to me furiously scratching my thighs that Mike shouted: ‘Tiger balm! Stat!’ You can take the boy out of the hospital…