Motorcycle Road Trip 2011 – Day 11

Old, abandoned farm equipment, Saskatchewan, Canada

Old, Abandoned Farm Equipment or Prairie Sculptures?

Day 11 of my motorcycle road trip, and it’s very clear that I’m now in the Canadian Prairies. It’s also obvious that I’m in farm country. I stopped at an information center after entering Saskatchewan and saw these old, abandoned pieces of farm equipment. Since they were all newly painted, I’m assuming this was someone’s idea of Prairie Sculptures.

Many people joke about how boring it is to drive through the prairies. For me, there is something soothing about being able to see the horizon. I guess when you grow up in the prairies, anything blocking your view of the horizon is considered an obstacle, including trees and mountains.

Riding along the Trans-Canada Highway through Saskatchewan, I’m glad that my BMW R1200RT motorcycle has cruise control. I just had to sit and watch the scenery go by. Many of the small towns I rode through looked the same. The prominent feature in the skyline was a grain elevator. Not terribly exciting, but important to farmers.

Mid-morning I stopped for a break in Herbert, Saskatchewan. Good decision. Herbert had a Train Museum. The first thing a saw was a train engine with a large snow plow on the front. After all my years of living in the prairies, I never thought about trains needing to plow snow off the tracks. The train museum had been an operating train station until 1986. It was then turned into a museum. It even had old telegraph equipment in it.


Riding through the prairies can be a little boring, since there is very little change in scenery. I saw what appeared to be snow on the side of the road. Given the temperature was close to 100 degrees, I thought it must be some kind of optical illusion. As I rode closer, it definitely looked like snow on a lake. I stopped to check it out. It turned out to be a salt lake, the 2nd largest salt lake in Canada. Chaplin Lake has the largest deposit of sodium sulfate in North America. The town of Chaplin also has a shore bird conservation area that is home to 30 species of shore birds, with over 60,000 birds, such as plovers, sandpipers and killdeers.

Well, if seeing a salt lake was unusually, the next sight was just plain funny. Further up the Trans-Canada, I rode into Moose Jaw. A funny name for a town. I can only image how it got the name. Even stranger, was the gigantic Moose statue. The largest moose in the world, according to city marketing propaganda.

I reached Regina late afternoon, but decided it was too early to stop. Around 5:00 pm, I stopped for gas in Indian Head. And yes, like the big moose in Moose Jaw, they had a big Indian head in Indian Head. I asked the gas station attendant about hotels. He pointed to a half burned down building across the street. I decided to pass. About 40 minutes up the road, I saw another hotel. It had a big sign, “Under New Management,” and no cars in the parking lot. Not a good sign. The next town had a hotel sign on the highway, but after riding around town, I couldn’t find it. I decided not to stop unless I could see the hotel from the highway. Finally about 7:30, I rolled into Whitewood, Saskatchewan. It was a long and tiring day. It made me realize I can’t always plan on finding a hotel when I decide to stop. In the future, I need a little advance planning.


Road Trip Previous and Next Day Posts

Motorcycle Road Trip 2011 – Day 10

Motorcycle Road Trip 2011 – Day 12 to 15

Motorcycle Road Trip 2011 – Day 1


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