Blissfully awoken by the soft cooing of Tony O’s turtle doves made for a tremendous start to the long-ass day ahead of us. With full bellies and laden with a fabulous array of lovely gifts, slaDE~ and I set off for the border. Homeward bound, sort of. The effects of 9-11 were apparent even in this tiny small border-crossing village. Ominous yellow x-ray machines marked the exit and entry into Canada. Gone are the days of flamboyant trust. However, it seems that in our many experiences of crossing the border, we are often whisked through the turnstile without even a check of our physical IDs. With a car — laden to the gills with stuff — journeying to Calgary, I find this truly amazing. I must admit, I’m grateful as well. I dread every single North American border-crossing, whether it be by car or air.
And into the plains we drove …. Long wide swaths of nothingness intermittently speckled with hammering oil-digs. Really quite picturesque with their swaggering cyclical heads of steel bobbing endlessly in their quest for oil.
Almost in a hypnotic daze, I was jarred by the wild hollers of slaDE~ at the realization of Dog City’s passing. It would be quite easy to miss if you didn’t know or understand the importance of this fictional town. Have you ever heard of ‘Corner Gas’?!!
Wikipedia describes ‘Corner Gas’ as such:
Corner Gas is a Canadian situation comedy which has aired on CTV and The Comedy Network since 2004. Deriving its name from the roadside gas station located in the fictional town of Dog River, the series revolves around life in small-town Saskatchewan. It has been compared to Seinfeld for its dry sense of humour and its plots that are “about nothing”.
Dog river is an actual place name with it’s label well-marked on the massive granary. It is ear-marked as being the only gas station for 60 kilometres in any direction. This statement is actually fairly true. A few stranded buildings mark the ‘town’ which is actually host to the series when they set up shop here to shot the series. Otherwise there is a lot of nothingness is these here Plains.
Moose Jaw … a most welcome stop, halving our final travel day’s journey between Minot and Calgary. We stumbled across the giant Moose (of COURSE we stopped to add it to our triple-B series of photos. However, we were in search of gold; our stop here in Moose Jaw was well planned, according to the recommendation made to us by Maureen and Ardy: Temple Garden Hot Springs. What an INCREDIBLE gem this is! It made for a completely restful and enthralling spiritual experience, that has changed slaDE~s viewpoint on travel through the prairies forever!
What makes this such a wonderful treasure? Well, Temple Gardens Mineral Spa is probably best known for it’s world famous “Perfectly Natural Geo-Thermal Mineral Water Pool”. The rejuvenating mineral-rich geothermal waters are drawn from the porous rock formation of ancient seabed’s more than 4500 feet below the earth’s surface. The water actually travels through an insulated pipeline about a kilometre outside of the city to the spa. What I like most about this giant spa pool is that you can enjoy either the inside or outside section of the pool without even having to leave the water. The steam room tops the metaphysical experience like a cherry on a sumptuously decadent chocolate sundae.
HIGHLY recommended … Well worth the sometimes monotonous drive through the eastern plains.
The rest of the afternoon’s drive dragged late into the evening before arriving tired and hungry, finally marking Calgary as our home.