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Old 04-12-2008, 10:42 PM   #1
Moving Pictures OP
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finding ice and Love in Northern Saskatchewan

It's a chill Saturday morning, but a hint of warmth is wisping over the remnants of snow collecting in the shaded areas of the yard. Lawn? It's been months since I could use that word... and it's going to be a little longer.

Today may be the first day of the year where the temperatures at Chez Pictures do NOT drop below zero at some point. It's not quite spring in Saskatchewan, but it is getting there. Sorta.

Anyhow, I have a job to do, but it's one of those jobs where I can snag the bike and get a little riding done. Destination? A place called Heritage Lake, off in the toolies of Northern Saskatchewan.

But first, the official ADV breakfast.



By the time I hit the road, it's already getting late. Suck back a last cuppa coffee, and hit the road.

The south of Saskatchewan is pretty boring in terms of riding. Straight roads, no hills, flat land with nothing much for vegetation. But there's something in the air, today, a hint of possible double-digit temperatures that seems to make the diminishing snow gathered between the stubble of last year's crops seem less hostile.

There's some good, varied roads in forests way to the north, but I'm not going deep enough into the toolies to find 'em today. I do, however, find trees.



Not far from here, I run into a highway. In this case, a gravel road - 1/3 of Saskatchewan's "highways" are, in fact, gravel. This one is actually a bit mucky, and after the Wee's back end gets a bit snakey, I stop to deflate the tires. Down to 27 at the back, 23 in the front. Off I go.

By the way, whenever you see some DL650 owner whining about how the stock tires are crap, tell 'em to deflate tires on soggy ground.

It works:



This road leads down to a frozen lake. A couple trucks are there, and four guys out on the ice.

Laying all around the trucks are shred-ends of some kind of work in progress: boots, clothes, fuel tanks, ice augers...
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:15 PM   #2
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:41 PM   #3
Moving Pictures OP
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MOre than a few folk have, I am sure, pondered my sanity. A week into April, I was riding in -7 and minor snow flurries.

But I am not the only one whacky in this area.



Just a buncha guys goin' for a dip in a lake... a lake covered in three feet of ice.



Yeah, I may be a news guy, but occasionally we do video too.
Sometimes, work is hard.
This is not one of those days.

The melting ice and snow on top of the ice has created lots of puddles - some of them pretty large: perfect for testing my new boots.



Vega Nitro. On closeout from Iron Pony. All my big gear (jacket/pants/boots) is Nitro. Quite pleased with the brand.

After nearly three hours takin' pictures of these guys, doing interviews - and eating a bite of lunch - I pack up and leave.

But, the sun is still bright, and I have gas in the tank. Screw it. I ain't going home, at least not yet.

So, when I run into the road that goes east-west, where west goes home... I go east.

It's been a long time, a tough winter. For an hour - almost two, I get some good thinking done, revelling in the constant thrum of the able, efficient v-twin.

The time comes to stop for gas. These Co-op stations are a staple of Saskatchewan.


It's a holdover from the early pioneer days, when farmers would form collectives - co-ops - to buy materials and goods. It's the foundation for the strong socialist movements that define Saskatchewan's history, and, to a degree, is tied to the history of Canada's politics. Saskatchewan is the birthplace of Medicare - state-funded health care.

I decide to forge ahead to a place called Nipawin for dinner. Once there, I achieve the desired eatery, a westernized Japanese-operated restaurant at a motel, with bar. Apart from the fact I am unable to order mayonnaise - the proprietor's English doesn't include such things - it's an OK meal. I was going to take pics, but a couple of drunks made the (common) mistake of assuming I am a cop and their attitude makes me want to move on.

But, on the plus side, at least I found something everyone always wants: a little Love.



No. Really: it's a legit place. Love, Saskatchewan. In fact, the postmaster at the post office tends to get deluged in January and early February, with people sending cards and other things from here, just to get the coveted "Love" postmark.

I plotted a different route home through the dark - a long day, but an eventful one.
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Old 04-13-2008, 04:43 AM   #4
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:32 AM   #5
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Looks like you found both love and ice!!

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Old 04-13-2008, 11:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Looks like you found both love and ice!!

In Nipawin, I was offered love. At least, I think that's what the drunk lady begging for a ride was after.

Well, maybe not love, per se, but something akin to it.
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:13 PM   #7
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Yeeaaaaaahhhhhhhh!

Hey Vern! Dagnit! looks like fun. This looks like a great day. snow, a road to ride on and NO BUGS!!!! What morre can you ask?

It looks like you are enjoyimg SK's riding and ar having a good time! I have been laid up for almost 2 weeks. managed to ride a bit but can't do anything. something about my Achilles Tendon being crushed by a 2500 lbs pallet and the wall of a trailer. Go Figure!

Here the weather is great and it pisses me off that i cannot ride! But hey? it is all good! Any day above ground is a good day and i am lucky to still have my foot. Are you coming to VI this summer? I am going home for family stuff at the end of May and I am riding Frosty back! YeePee! I miss her

let me know if we can meet in SK somewhere! you have me cell but i do not have yours!

We should meet and shoot merde for a bit tabarnac! you know Sacramant! yes sireee Sincreme de soeur blindee!

Talk to you soon me amigo!
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moving Pictures
In Nipawin, I was offered love. At least, I think that's what the drunk lady begging for a ride was after.

Well, maybe not love, per se, but something akin to it.
Just make sure you do not fall in Love!!!!!

Well you know! Fall in love in Love but don't fall in love. you know!

Ok................................................ I'll shut up!!
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Old 04-13-2008, 02:30 PM   #9
Grainbelt
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Nice ride, Vern. I'm enjoying relative warmth in MN, but itching to get out on the bike.
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:38 PM   #10
Moving Pictures OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmondor
Hey Vern! Dagnit! looks like fun. This looks like a great day. snow, a road to ride on and NO BUGS!!!! What morre can you ask?
Shorter winters?
Quote:
It looks like you are enjoyimg SK's riding and ar having a good time! I have been laid up for almost 2 weeks. managed to ride a bit but can't do anything. something about my Achilles Tendon being crushed by a 2500 lbs pallet and the wall of a trailer. Go Figure!
A repeat of last year. Ride across the Trans-Canada highway, encounter blizzards, whiteouts, nasty cold and all other perils and emerge unscathed. Come back to work and drop a tire on your foot... Man, you gotta stop working.
Quote:
Are you coming to VI this summer?
I may bring my daughter back to VI from here, at the end of her summer vacation with daddy.
Quote:
I am going home for family stuff at the end of May and I am riding Frosty back! YeePee! I miss her

let me know if we can meet in SK somewhere! you have me cell but i do not have yours!
Ah, we're on the same ground. I accidently lost your number a third time. I'm sure there's a few other flatlanders that would be in for a gathering.
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:45 PM   #11
Moving Pictures OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmondor
Just make sure you do not fall in Love!!!!!

Well you know! Fall in love in Love but don't fall in love. you know!

Ok................................................ I'll shut up!!
Actually, the road was paved, which makes it kinda hard to fall. And, if I deflate the tires (like you told me) it's hard to fall on gravel, too.
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Old 04-16-2008, 08:30 AM   #12
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I think I have both your numbers...

Paul, end of May??
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Old 04-19-2008, 08:11 PM   #13
Moving Pictures OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZZR_Ron
I think I have both your numbers...

Paul, end of May??
Paul asked me to assemble some of the local inmates.

Any flatlanders want to escort a lunatic Paul through a few hours of relentless, unwinding roads our wonderful province?
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