Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Canada here we come

Monday June 16th We got up early Sunday morning and drove from Minot ND to Turtleford Saskatchewan making it in 12 hours!! That was 552 miles! Because we were driving west we entered another time zone and were now 2 hours different from Michigan. We only made 3 stops. The first was customs with no problems at all whew, the second stop was for fuel and then refuel ourselves with a sandwich. The rest pulloff had a LOT of what I think are prairie dogs. They are bigger than a chipmunk, but smaller than a groundhog. They were fun to watch as they ran in and out of their holes and started wrestling with each other as puppies or kittens do.

With the time change and all we got to my cousin Joan and her husband Ralph’s house in time for supper. We stayed up til the wee hours of the morning (our time) visiting with her family, there was her son Steven and his wife Paula and their two sons, Mark and Konrad. Evelyn, Joan’s daughter was also there. I have only met Joan and Ralph once and have never met their kids. It’s really funny how families have the same sense of humor and just click together as if we’ve always known each other.
Steven took us on a tour of the farm in the truck. On their 1000+ acres they raise beef cattle and have some Clydesdale horses. I don’t know how we didn’t get lost – there were no road signs lol. I love the pictures of the mama’s and babies.

Monday morning we were treated to a lesson on tractor tire repair. Those tire are huge and of course it had to be an inside tire. MM got a shot of the supervisory staff.

Once the tire is off and Fred repaired the inner tube he found the culprit in the tire.

Putting the outside tire back on was no easy task.

Removing the last of the blocks and jacks after a job well supervised.

We spent much of the day with Paula and Steven. In the evening we went to Evelyn’s home and met her husband Glenn and son Jeff (earlier in the day we met their daughter Cary). Glenn raises registered Angus bulls.
I felt I had a special bond with Evelyn in a lot of ways. I found we had a mutual interest in gardening and even had many of the same plants around our yards.
All three couples were very gracious and welcoming. Canada is such a beautiful country. There are so many wide open spaces and the sky is mammouth. The vistas that my family enjoy daily are breathtaking.
We had another late night and wanted to get an early start for Betty and Al’s place in Alberta.


B Boys Mom said...

Oh I love the pictures of the horse and cow with their baby (as good as the Pioneer Womens). Now you are getting some where with your trip. It's looks so beautiful. Thanks for including us in the tire repair, I thought it very interesting. The weather is cold here. It went down to the 40's last night. The house was very cold this morning. What has the temperture been up there? Keep writing I'm loving reading about your trip.

Michelle said...

Looks like a beautiful place to live and visit. That's great you got to reconnect with your family and meet some new family members at the same time. Sounds like you are enjoying your trip. Love all the animal pictures.

Harmony said...

Sounds like fun! Betty is already gloating that you're there ;)

Shari said...

Hey Judi, it was nice chatting with you this morning for a bit!

I love the pictures that you are putting on of your big adventure. The one of the 'prairie dog' that you have is one of the best I've ever seen. It is in fact a Richard ground squirrel but we in Canuckville call them gophers. In spite of their cuteness with running and wrestling like kittens and puppies, they are a huge menace to livestock. Livestock tends to fall in their holes and break their legs and have to be put down...not so good if they are your livlihood but definitely cute for sure.

I remember when I was out on my farm, I would go out everyday to the field and drive my car back and forth in the midst of the gopher holes and shoot them at point blank range with my .22 calibre rifle. I would average 50-100 per day. I did decrease the population quite a bit by the end of the summer too!

siteseer said...

I can see why you'd not want those critters anywhere on your property. They had thousands of holes and like you said they can be deep and cause harm to livestock as well as people. But they were cute in the turn off lol.

whoever said...

Great pictures of the Saskatchewan farm sites and family! Its been several years since we have ventured out that direction but it was definitely always my favorite place to be as a child!

There was always food on the table and people everywhere! Never a dull moment. Its so nice for Ralph and Joan to have some of their sons and daughters close by!

Your blog is a historical document... its like a family reunion and site-seeing trip all rolled into one and we can live vicariously through you both! Such fun!