A beautiful day today, sunny and 25 Celsius but feels hotter. We are on our way to Grasslands National Park. It took us about 6 hours but we arrived at the Grasslands Visitor Centre and booked two nights @ Frenchmans River Valley, site 17. The drive to the campground took about 30-40 minutes on a gravel road with lots of Texas Gates. Only about 20 sites with hydro and a bunch of tent sites across from us in a field. This area is very flat and lots of prairie dogs.
We decided to do the Ecotour Drive which is about 80 kms. We saw a coyote and stopped to see him and lots of deer and more prairie dogs. The prairie dogs run this place I think!
We watched the coyote chase a prairie dog across the road and into a field; the prairie dog was able to escape down his hole but the coyote did not give up.
We also saw so many hawks, unbelievable, just one after the other. One was sitting on a pole with a poor little (dead) prairie dog in his clutches. We saw a beautiful fox and a pronghorn deer. I don’t recall seeing a pronghorn deer before, they are quite something.
I did not think there would be so much wildlife here but there is a lot. It’s amazing how many different kinds of animals are in this Park. We saw Burrowing Owls and Bison as well as all the other animals I have mentioned.
Wednesday we got up and out by 7 and drove the other driving loop in the park. This loop is about 70 kms long and a very narrow dirt road. There are a couple of ranches out here with lots of cows. We saw the coyote again and 2 big bucks and assorted other deer and of course the resident owners, the prairie dogs.
We stopped at many different places on the way and drove to the Borderlands Lookout to the Red Chairs. National Parks Canada puts these chairs in their different National Parks, kind of cool. We did see a herd of buffalo but they were in the distance. Very flat landscape with some small hills and lots of Texas gates. the road is not really fit for a car but our truck made it okay. Wide open spaces and blue, blue skies, just beautiful. We saw 2 hawks sitting on a hill and we watched them for a long time. They didn’t do anything, maybe digesting their breakfast of prairie dogs.
We went home for a bit and then out again at 4 to do the first loop again. We saw all the usual suspects and kept going back into the little town for gas. We passed another farmers field and there were at a minimum 15 hawks just sitting in the field. Maybe eating something in the field? We saw all the same wildlife we saw yesterday but we also saw burrowing owls this time and we saw a pheasant and her many babies scurrying along the road. Oh my gosh, they are so little !
The next day we got up super early again and were on the road by 7 to drive around the Park. We saw all the same wildlife and enjoyed every minute. This is the quietest spot we have ever been at in our entire lives. I can’t explain it, even the campground in the evening with other people around, it was just dead quiet. One of the most unusual places I have been; I would definitely come back here.
After our drive we packed up and headed to MooseJaw. We stayed at the River Park Campground in Wakamow Valley at site 47. It was $105 for 3 nights with hydro and water. It’s an okay park, we are close to the city.
The next day, Friday 8 September we headed to MooseJaw to go to the MooseJaw Tunnels. We decided to do both the Al Capone Tour and the Chinese connection Tour. It was $15 each or both tours for $25. They don’t allow any photography of any kind which sucks because these were very cool tours and the Al Capone tour had animatronics people and the tunnels themselves were quite neat. Both tours were excellent and we had to walk across the street to the Common Cafe and Bakery to access the start of the Al Capone tour. The tour guides were both terrific at their jobs and it was quite interesting to learn all this history. I mean who knew that Al Capone escaped Prohibition Laws by coming to Canada and building tunnels? We didn’t !
After we finished both tours we went back to that cafe and had a coffee and a pastry. Their baked goods are easily a 9 out of 10. The best scone I ever had.
We drove around the city a bit and saw the coolest house; it’s called the Wedding Cake house. There was apparently a couple of more of these houses but have since been demolished. This house is breathtaking, I wish we could have had a tour inside.
We went to the Great Western Development Museum and what a well done museum, well worth the $10 admission fee. We were there well over 3 hours; they had an automobile section; Canadian Forces Snowbirds section; Trains and different sections depicting eras of Saskatchewan. Really well done.
The weather has been getting hotter again, 33C and sunny today, Saturday. We drove to Regina because we wanted to go to the Legislative Building. This building opened in 1912 and they used 34 different kinds of marble. Beautiful building and the tour was free. Really spectacular actually.
We left to go to Bushwakker brewery and tried a bunch of different beers but none of them really appealed to either of us. We did the bar itself and our bartender was great. We had lunch there and it was a very interesting menu and everything was well done.
Off to Rebellion Brewery and we liked some of their beer and the girls working there were super nice, great place.
We drove past the Government House and stopped to go in. What a beautiful house although the Lt Governor doesn’t live there anymore. The furniture, decor, everything was gorgeous. I would love a house like that.
We went to the Last Straw Brewery to check it out but when we walked in, it didn’t look as though they made their beer so we left and went to Malty National Brewery. Such a cute place and it’s a coffee-house as well as a brewery. We liked their beer and bought a growler of a beer called New Money. The owner was super nice, a really great guy. This is the nicest little neighborhood brewpub. Just a great place. We left for home then, it’s only about 60 km back to MooseJaw.
Tomorrow we head to Brandon, Manitoba.