In Regina we had to make a stop at the RCMP Heritage Centre, also known as the Depot as Sharon’s Dad did his RCMP training there. The new building was partially shaped like a Stetson. We went through one exhibit hall and then went to see the Courage in Red movie. It was well done although quite an old film, it gave good insight into what’s required during training and how not everyone can survive what’s required. After that we took the tram ride around the campus and saw where they practice high speed driving, the chapel, parade grounds, the dorms and mess, and we even saw a practice pull over exercise underway. Each troop can have up to 32 recruits, each week a new troop starts. There are currently 23,000 RCMP in Canada. The training takes 6 months and is the equivalent of a 4 year university degree in that time period! Next we went back in to see the other 6 exhibits but of course we ran out of time as they were closing at 5. We really like the Virtual Reality Musical Ride area, the dress up area, and the forensic section where you had to try to solve the murder. When we left it was pouring rain so we were really glad we got to do the tram ride.
We drove on to Moosejaw and found a fantastic RV park along the river close to the city centre, Wakamow Valley River Park Campground. After dinner we did a walk along the river and got some great reflection shots.
The next morning we went to see the Moosejaw Moose (so we could add it’s picture to our “biggest” collection) and the Snowbird plane. Since we were heading to more remote areas we made sure we did a bunch of shopping. One reason for stopping here was to do the tours of the Tunnels; “Passage to Fortune” – which was about the Chinese immigrant labourers working in the tunnels under the city, and “Chicago Connection” – an embellished story of Al Capone possibly being in Moosejaw to get alcohol during prohibition in the US. Of course the one tour made us a bit thirsty so we found the Liquor Mart which was in the old train station where they were even used the old wooden carts to move cases around.
Back on the road to travel to Grasslands National Park. We decided to camp in the West Block campground which was new and there was no problem Self Checking in as it was only one third full. They had common use BBQ’s so we cooked up some hamburgers and then went for a walk to the Day use area to watch the sunset. The next day we decided to do the 80 km dirt road loop around the park and also did 5 separate hikes for a total of about 12 km. We started off with the Larson Ranch interpretive hike where we found out about the early ranchers in the area and saw some of the homestead buildings. Then we did the Two Trees hike where it rained most of the time and after lunch did the Riverwalk hike when the rain stopped. We finished off the day with the Eagle Butte and 70 Mile Butte hikes. The weird thing is that we did not see a single person on any of the hikes all day! On the way back to the campground we did some of the interpretative stops on the Eco Tour and saw the rock where the bison would rub up against. We did see Pronghorn Antelope, Mule Deer, White Tailed Deer, and of course tons of Prairie dogs and cattle. A tiring but really enjoyable day;-)
The next day we drove to Cyprus Hills Interprovincial park (Saskatchewan side) and found it the nicest campground of anywhere we’ve stayed so far. We went to a couple of viewpoints and we also had a special visitor who joined us for dinner, a white tailed deer who walked all around the RV eating grass.
The second of this week will be about Alberta.