Where Does a Seven Hour Drive East Take You to in Saskatchewan?

This morning my eyes POPPED OPEN at an unknown hour until I reached out for the phone turning it over to reveal 6:49am. Too soon for this vacation head to move from the comfortable bed. Rolling over face back into pillow I feel asleep for another forty-five minutes.

Around seven-thirty, I rolled out of the rack headed for the bathroom. Then began pulling together the last few required items for the road trip: deodorant, razor, toothpaste, tooth brush and phone charger.

Backpack in hand I cracked the other bathroom door, “hey I’m leaving in twenty,. Are you going to be ready?”

Wait. What? Your awake?” came the voice behind the Get Naked shower curtain. “Yup, been awake twelve whole minutes, and headed for breakfast now, then packing the truck and getting on the road. You’ll be ready by then right?” she nodded her head and said, “can you please put two eggs on for me?” It was my turn to nod and say yep.

By 8:44am the people were fed and the Tacoma was packed up with supplies ready to hit the pavement. Our first stop before the highway was Starbucks coffee for a grande triple espresso with hazelnut and almond milk for $7.51! (at that price a quote from David Bach’s, The Latte Factor ran thru my mind ‘you’re richer than you think you are when your buying one of these daily.’)

Three hours and thirty-two minutes later we reached the outskirts of Lloydminister. The city with a roadway that separates two provinces Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Before reaching 50th Avenue we pulled over at the local Starbucks to use their bathroom facilities and pickup a couple beverages and a snack. She ordered a tall americano and egg white cheese bites, and I ordered a grande chai tea latte and a package of Justin’s peanutbutter cups.

Back on the road again we hummed along to the electronica music and entered into Saskatchewan. “When would you like to stop for lunch? North Battleford or Saskatoon?” I asked. Thinking for a minute between bites she replied, “let’s do our snacks now, as I’m peckish then stop in Saskatoon for lunch because you said well need fuel by then.” Nodding my agreement I sipped the latte and continued on down the highway.

Our conversation took us from what the cost of electrifying an EV vehicle would cost to the #metoo movement to a documentary about R. Kelly, American Pickers, other Era’s we wish we had lived in, astrology, the four elements and tarot readings before I spotted a sign “Rock Shop & Museum 5 kms ~ Radisson”

Whoa! Did you see that sign?” I said noticing her phone was in hand instead of eyes on the road. “No.Wait. What sign?” she replied. Hahaha I began laughing, “What?” she asked again. “Rock shop,” Replied I with a smile taking my foot off the gas.

Right turn onto Richard Avenue then four blocks down and a left onto Main Street. This sleepy town consisted of a Hair Saloon, Wenner Grocery Store, An Antique shop, A General Store, the Radisson Library, a Town Hall office, the Rock shop & Museum and a Post Office.

Stretching as we hopped out of the truck I said, “I’m going to stretch my legs and get a couple shots of this main street. I love the old architecture.” Nodding she followed to stretch her own limbs and see what I was intrigued by.

After the photos we wandered into the Rock Shop and started poking around. Thirty-five minutes later we had made 2 friends Todd and John whom both worked at the shop as well as their cat Sadie.

Shauna departed with two Chrysophrase, a Mookite and an Epidote. Whilst I bought an Ammolite and was highly inclined to try and find yellow Halite which is a geological stone of this area.

Thirty-five minutes later the low fuel light came on as we reached the outskirts of Saskatoon. As I filled up the Tacoma with $1.689 per litre fuel, I checked the Google map for a restaurant we had previously dined at, during our road trip here last year.

Unable to find the name, I knew approximately its location and drove onward. “Do you need help? What’s the name?” she asked. “I don’t remember the name and I can’t find it on the map. So we’ll just go and hope its open?” I said.

Driving south down Idylwyld Drive North about seven blocks then we turned right getting ourselves away from 3:03pm afternoon traffic ducking into a local neighborhood called Caswell.

Down 29th Avenue we went looking for anything familiar. Turning left onto Avenue H South. Up a short hill past Belford Collegiate School and down a steeper hill to 20th Street were we yielded left. Another handful of streets and banners claiming we were in Riverdale, and I knew we were getting close. Another right and we were briefly back onto Idylwyld then veering right onto Avenue A South pulling to a stop. I looked right then laughed. “What is it?” she asked looking around. “Were here,” I replied, “Driftwood Cafe. Now where do we park?”

Across the street we paid $3.00 CAD for 2 hours of parking. Plenty of time to eat and explore Escape Sports shop next-door for a new Disc Golf Frisbee!

“Today’s specials are Crepes. Buy one get one half off,” informed our waitress named Michelle.

We studied the menu and agreed to get an all Gluten-free order to share all of it. We ordered a Crepe Rancheros, a Brie & Mushroom Crepe, a Full order of french fries crispy, a sparkling water, water with lemon and a turmeric latte.

After dropping $35 plus tip we headed into Escape Sports shop to poke around as I wanted to check out their selection of disc golf frisbee’s.

Sometime later I had made friends with one of their staff members and were shooting the shit about discs, plastics and upcoming tournaments. Thirty-seven dollars later I had purchased a Westside Heritage Approach Putter in red burst (4 speed, 4 glide, 0 turn, 3 fade) and an RPM Disc Kotuku in atomic brilliant orange (5 speed,5 glide, 0 turn, 2 fade).

“Your excitement about disc golf disc’s is similar to my excitement over gemstones,” says the wife as we meandered back to the Tacoma.

Another three hours later we had finally arrived at our destination for the day. Southern Saskatchewan’s best kept secret the town of Moose Jaw and the Temple Garden Hotel and Mineral Spa.

~ Aaron JacksonCrabb

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