From the pics yesterday, did you guess what Medicine Hat houses as the tallest in the world?
The Saamis Teepee standing at 65.6 metres (over 20 stories high). It was constructed for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. The symbolic structure has white for purity, red for the rising sun and blue for the flowing river. You can tell by the photo we took as we cycled out of town that the colour of grey was present. This symbolised rain and we were doused a couple of times. There was no point in seeking solace in the teepee, it doesn’t have sides on the thing!
We departed a little later than usual to wait for the overnight rain to abate and it did eventually. Seeing deer graze on the motorway side burns in suburbia was cute. Bet their pelts would make great teepee sides!
Green growth was definitely present in the landscape ridden to day. Rolling hills with ranches. A lone tree straddling the tarseal had a huge nest with an Hawk perched guarding chicks, there heads bobbing up and down giving us a glimpse of a prairie family. We weren’t close enough to capture a koyote darting across a field. And when stopped, the mosquitos made themselves felt in the bits of skin missed in insect repellent – they were hungry little suckers and unrelenting.
Today we crossed over into Saskatchewan, a new territory, a new map.
We decided to take a short cut detour off the trans-canada highway and for 11 kms, rode a dirt road all the way into Maple Creek. It was a little soggy underfoot from the earlier days rain, however, we got to see bird life not experienced in mass before since starting. We just had to stop and take the mosquito love bites to hear them speak or sing. Others swooped at us trying to defend territory. Even then, there was beauty within arms length.
Maple Creek is a place where cowboys rose with the sun and whiskey traders brewed their own mix. Native Americans moved with the buffalo and where the North West Mounted Police “settled the west.” The Commercial Hotel was established in 1885 and looked western. Walk inside and you can be time warped back to the cowboy and indian days from memorabilia. It had a saloon for us to celebrate a new territory and the steak was fresh off a buffalo out back.
It’s where we tied up our horse for the night.