Big Sky


Waking up in Winnipeg was startling. Just a couple of hours before, when sunrise shone through the cabin window, there were still trees and rocks. I closed my eyes for a just a bit, and opening them, saw buildings and towers. Where did Northern Ontario go?

The trip through Manitoba and Saskatchewan is startling because it is so different from what you see just twenty-four hours before. The land is not as flat as I was led to believe (though there are stretches of table-land), but it is no less beautiful. It is, however, very clearly worked. And rich, too. The soil, just planted, is a deep black. West of Winnipeg, we travelled up the Qu’appelle valley, which gave us plenty of high ridges for its own distinctive look.

This is big sky country. In Saskatchewan, we saw our first iconic grain silos — a sure sign of the place. The blue and the white above them stretched on forever. At sunset, we saw a developing thunderstorm, with rain curtains misty against the pink backdrop.

We haven’t done much work. We’ve been spending a lot of our time just unwinding. I had been afraid that we’d be bored, but I am grateful that, for a short time at least, there’s nothing to do but watch the scenery pass us by. This may mean that what we hoped to get done this week won’t get done. But it should recharge our batteries for when we get home.

Tomorrow, we wake up in Edmonton, then disembark in Jasper for the next two days before heading on to Vancouver.

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