Quest for the West part 3
April 24, 2013 Regina, Saskatchewan
Talked with a girl in the clothing store. In half an hour I got a pretty good idea of just how screwed up the company is, according to her, in regards to their Saskatchewan stores. They’ve had four District Managers in three years and the current one doesn’t even live in the province. I met two people, no names, so far. In Winnipeg I met an exchange student touring the museum and here an employee in the mall in Regina. Regina, not downtown, isn’t dull like Winnipeg is, albeit old the buildings still have colour.
April 25, 2013 Saskatchewan
I’m a creature that can migrate, but on the way, finds locations to seek refuge in. While I’m sleeping over at the Husky I am going to the same library to access the internet, the same parking lot to sit and relax and write in, and the same place to sleep at night. If I stay a third night here though I may have to choose another travel center to park at, I have a bad feeling it might be in the industrial park though. Qu’Appelle Crossing was symbolic for me, a crossing from the old life to a new one.
This spot I found resembled an old abandoned gas station lot. When I looked at that hold in the ground and wondered what was there I tried to imagine it was a small service station. There was evidence of brick and stone and a photograph of a building, not a gas station, laying in the mud. I couldn’t tell what the building was but it appeared to be from the early 1990s. My interest in history was renewed when I went to the Legislature in Manitoba. I think I would have liked to be a History teacher. Instead of decreasing my budget it’s still out of control at about $84 a day, I need to get that down to $50.
April 28. 2013 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Centennial Mall, Saskatoon, is probably the second most desolate mall I’ve been to ranked after the one I went to in downtown London, Ontario. Spring is here and dust and sand are everywhere and in the air. So when I was a kid and we saw the trains going through Chesley and Bentinck the cars that always caught my eye were the “Canada” ones. I used to imagine the trip they must take across the country to get there. There was a feeling of pride with the CN (Canadian National Railway) cars and the more exotic CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) cars but here was CANADA in bold print for everyone to read. Saskatchewan is nice, but not a place I feel “at home”. I think I need to be near mountains or the ocean facing the sunset. In Ontario that’s Kincardine or anything west of the Blue Mountains. I wish to have a wake, like a town party, a celebration, but I want to be cremated and my ashes released off my favourite spot in Old Baldy so my spirit may soar with the eagles and hawks, for now. No funeral, no pomp and circumstance, but still, a party, figure that one out.
April 30, 2013 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Louis Riel was a bit nuts, okay, a lot nuts, perhaps bipolar or the other. He started out sane but by his thirties he was off the deep end and fortunately some key people saw it or there would have been a war. Museums are dying out in Ontario but out west it seems like every town has one of some sort and the cities all have very good ones or more than one. I had that “feeling” again today, I can’t put my finger on it. Interestingly the character in the movie “The Host” chose the name “Wanderer”. I am that, sort of, a wanderer drifting from place to place searching for a home, perhaps? History is a lot more real when you walk inside of a real soddy and see what it must have been like for the early settlers living in the west.
Two questions received from readers. The first question “Do you drink coffee at night?” The answer is yes. I grab a coffee from the Husky before I go down for the night, it’s my way of paying for the parking space for the night. And, next question “Are you camping or sleeping in the van?” I guess that would be yes and both. I am living out of my van now except for the two nights in the US I spent in hotels rooms. Could I live here in Saskatchewan? No, the winters are too nasty. I mean seriously it’s just spring this week! They are expecting their first day over twenty Celsius on Sunday for the first time in eight months. The winters are brutal here.
May 2, 2013 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
I started into “The Gunslinger” by Stephen King. I’m on page fifty out of three hundred and four. It’s been plot building so far, other than good writing style it’s been passive. It’s interesting how the bartender trades sex for information, I guess a good lay is worth more than gold and silver in the middle of nowhere. Here, in Saskatoon, I’d opt for either currency.
Today I am touring the Wanuskewin Trails. I am on the Trail of Discovery, it has a splendid view of the Valley and several benches to sit and think and reflect. Two Canadian Geese flew within a few feet of me to say hello and my brother the raven flew over and encouraged me to finish the almost four hours of trail walking. Today was the first real reconnection I’ve felt with Gaia in a long time. I wish I could do that more often, hopefully I will now with Spring.
May 3, 2013 Lloydminster, Alberta
When you are young and tell people you are taking a road trip across Canada I think you get the same reaction as when you are mid-life. Some people think you are crazy to take such a risk, while others are envious of you. I don’t know all the reasons “why” I had to go on this latest venture I just know that I needed to. I think the idea of rotting away in a one-horse town waiting til the day I could get overcome with joy at the idea of landing some boring dead end job sickened me. I had explored all over the area and seen everything there was to see. The lake, the sand, the cedars, the park, none of it is going to change any time soon or ever. It has been almost three weeks since I left and nothing has changed.
May 5, 2013 Lloydminster, Alberta
I am the gunslinger and this is my desert. The raven he watches me from across the road, near but far. Bear watches me as I sleep. Husky leads me down the path. The geese they speak on nothing to distract me. They seagulls long to take what little is mine and make it theirs. The wind coaxes me from the west to continue. The sun embraces me to sleep to rest here a wee bit longer. “No hurry” she says “no hurry, rest”. No clouds, no rain. Do they lead me, or follow me?
I wondered, near the end, did she speak of me, of my journey, of what I would see. I think when I see her picture I might lose it but for now there’s a blankness, the tooth has occupied my thoughts today, that and the dullness of this city.
May 6, 2013 Edmonton, Alberta
There’s a train passing by this shopping district within sight of my van, on the outer edge of the shopping centre parking lot. I felt the small storm approaching earlier, the first one I’ve felt in ages. I miss that connection to Gaia I had before. I’ll have it back again soon, once this tooth issue passes I’ll be free to explore it.
Tonight chickadee spirit is with me, I hear his song comforting me.
I noticed a tree ring at the museum, growth of the tree was strong, until the white man first explored the region and then the rings grew thin. I wonder if the other trees are like that, this tree was over four hundred years old.
May 8, 2013 Edmonton, Alberta
I’m here at the Grand Trunk Park about to watch a slow pitch game. I haven’t sat and watched a ball game since I was barely a teen, not counting the games I went to in high school as those were field trips. I mean baseball down at the diamonds in Chesley. I can hear the train cars coupling in the yard a couple blocks from here. The whir of the wheels on the tracks and cracks like thunder.
May 11, 2013 Edmonton, Alberta
I heard the train horn tonight as I stepped out of the Husky and it took me back. I paused for a moment and felt the cool breeze. It’s been a long day of doing nothing. I went and saw a movie tonight.
May 15, 2013 Cline River, Alberta
It feels, well I was going to say it feels longer than thirty days have passed but not all of it does. Some days, some experiences, seem to pass by with barely a thought while others time slowed to a crawl. This morning went by fast because I slept it away but these last two hours have pleasantly lingered on.
Yes, one must conclude when it comes to drawing I would fail miserably as a Voyageur. There’s a trail running all the way along this ridge, right down to Lake Abraham. This end of the lake is devoid of any substantial water. It’s mostly mud flats as far as the eye can see. The sun is hot but there’s a cold wind blowing. Some of the mountains have pines half way up, some all the way. Some are barren granite rock but out of the eleven peaks that I see only one is now free and three have enough to ski on – if you were insane enough. The pines behind me are about forty to fifty feet high. In the small part of the valley below me, in view, I’d estimate five to six thousand, that means I can see over half a million pines in my view.
May 15, 2013 Cline River, Alberta
Storm, if there is any, appears to be settling either on the western side of the mountain or skipping over me to land beyond Lake Abraham. I hope it does that every time. I have two thirds of a bundle left, should have bought five and not two. It’s hard though when you realize that every stick of wood is one dollar literally going up in smoke. The radiating heat brings some comfort but not enough to counter the nine-degree Celsius chill in the air. I miss the space heater. I saw a mosquito a short time ago so I have one of those coils burning, or trying to, the wind keeps putting it out. If I can think of a safe way to do it I’ll put it near the tent tonight. I’m going to work on the book some tomorrow I think, perhaps the dark one, perhaps a fluffy nature one. I’d like to merge this journal and the nature poetry, a life journey. I remember the mosquito coils and that night at the lodge back in 1989.
The heavy clouds have moved east leaving thinner streaks across the sky from west to east. Sunlight reflecting off the clouds, continues to be visible above the north-west pass. I can hear the helicopter out there too, he came in to land an hour ago and then took off in that direction.
This is not the end of my journey. As beautiful as it is here and with my brother and sister raven and deer to talk to it is certainly a great place to recharge. But my home lies to the west, I think perhaps in Vancouver. Now the log burns, snap, crackle, the flames flicker from the underside.
I found out that the police services in Kincardine saw my video documenting the traffic issues west of Tiverton at that one intersection. They want the video sent on to the offices of the Mayor and the Bruce County roads.
May 18, 2013 Cline River, Alberta
I think I need some sort of plan before I get to Vancouver. Yes, by then I will follow the synchronicity and I’m sure “something” will be provided, but even a trusting Saint has a plan. You know, just in case, the plan IS the plan.
Ad Revenue / Orange Key Fund Pending Donations to Charity:
of that balance the total donated to charity was:
Open a Tangerine account with my Orange Key
and get a bonus!