For a couple of days before heading out onto the 401, I guess I was a little hesitant. I’ve done this drive so many times, several times alone, but I still feel somewhat jittery, knowing that I will be far from home and that I’m heading out into the unknown because, while the landscape rings familiar, it is always, somehow, different.
On July 27, I woke, thinking about Mom. The car was packed the night before…quite a bit of art stuff in the way of panels, tools and media…but I was happy about it all.
…and all I had to do was load Max and his things up and we were on our way, first for a final walk around the pond and then out the Trans Canada highway.
It was a perfect day to head for Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. I drove past the most beautiful scenery; golden Canola fields contrasting with the purple flax. I met one of my favourite friend-guest teachers under the giant teepee on the outskirts of Medicine Hat. Marilyn? Are you kidding? I recommended the hotel with the huge water slide for the entertainment of her grand children and she told me, laughing, that they had already checked in. Marilyn is good people.
We made it easily into Moose Jaw, at a decent hour, with the only stop being a fuel stop at Swift Current. While I guess I think of the first day’s drive as straight and easy going, I could have stopped a hundred times along the highway. It was so very beautiful. My thoughts were of beautiful camping on the edge of Buffalo Pound Provincial campground and my daughter, Erin’s, amazing food preparation.
On the Main Street of Moose Jaw, the young guy at the reception desk was very helpful as I shared with him the fact that in the morning, I would be touring about some of the places my father knew as a high school student. I headed to my room with a great map to peruse. Stopping off at the Super 8, Max and I were just happy to be safe and off the road for our first night. I poured myself a glass of wine and did a little painting, inspired by Purdy’s words.
I had been captivated by the brilliant yellow flowers reaching up tall from the ditches and creating such a sparkle on the landscape…the Cypress Hills stretching south to the border. It was a magical first day!