Sunday, April 3, 2011

Echoes of trails, battles and spritual hope.

I will just lead this little beauty from the china shop.

We ventured into a little piece of Canadian history  this weekend.
On our drive north we went through Paradise Hill and encountered what could be the world's largest Red River Cart. Reading about the "Carlton Trail" and the hardships endured made the fact that my coffee mug would not fit into the cup holder a little less annoying.

The Northern Boreal forest made a fascinating contrast to the open agricultural land around Lloydminster. We saw plenty of deer, a skunk, something that resembled an otter  but the elusive moose escaped us again.

A stop at the Steele Narrows Provincial Park provided an opportunity to learn a little of the conflict between the settlers and The Cree. The hills around the pass was the site of  the final skirmish  between Plains and Wood Cree and "Steele's scouts" - an elite group of troops lead by Commander Sam Steele from the Alberta field force.
Double click and you may not need your glasses!

Near Loon Lake - site of the last skirmish of the North West resistance.

We next visited Makwa Provincial Park. Plenty of beautiful lakes, forest trails and wildlife.

Hanneke telling the time by pretending to be a sundial.

Al Fresco at Makwa's

 We have seen and photographed many churches in the local agricultural communities, however the "Shiloh Church" is one of the more unique. Situated north of Maidstone the church is the site of the first black (African American) settlement in Saskatchewan. The "Shiloh people" (a named attributed in the 1970's) emigrated from Oklahoma in 1910 to escape segregationist policies. They started building the church in 1911. It was recently restored by descendants of the settlers.
The "Shiloh Church" - not too many parishioners lately.

Inside the restored Church.

The resting place of more than 40 of the settlers.

A moving tribute to an amazing story

As the warmer weather has arrived (the day temperatures are being quoted minus the minus) we are making the most of the cross country skiing. In fact Hanneke has started her own club.
To join my club - first you need a set of cross country skis.

Making the most of the remaining snow.
Cross country skiing - you take what you can get!!


The bad news is that if the sun keeps shining we will be cross country swimming for the next few weeks.

Whilst at the Mekwa lakes we came across this unusual nest. About the size of the average cantaloupe (rock melon) it was attached to a branch about 30 centimetres from the ground near the lakes edge.
Mystery object number one - a nest of some sort? A lost blow fish? 

1 comment:

  1. Michael, you have to ask some co-workers (Ryan, Tracy, Derek,Leslie) about a past student who collected hundreds of wasp (also called yellow jackets) nests.
    P.s. Under the deck we had one and I was stung a few times before I donned a ski suit to protect myself and went on the attack with insecticide.