I have never been to Saskatchewan

A lot of people have been posting maps of where they’ve been in the world, via the map generators at World 66. Hey, I like going places, and I like maps, so I might as well do it too.

Here’s where I’ve been in Europe:


(Obligatory link: create your personalized map of europe)

As you can see, there are a few glaring exceptions. I’d like to visit Spain and Ireland sometime soon, as well as the countries along the eastern Adriatic coast. Plus I’ve had a very long fascination with Scandinavia (in Particular, Norway and Sweden), and I’d love to visit St. Petersburg, Russia.

Here’s where I’ve been in the United States:


(Obligatory link: create your own personalized map of the USA)

I’m less concerned about the gaps in this one, although there are a number of places I’d love to re-visit (California, New York), and I’d love to see some of the landscape in the south-west, such as the Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon.

Here’s where I’ve been in Canada:


(Obligatory link: create your own personalized map of Canada)

One honking big gap there. Sorry about that, Saskatchewan. Nothing personal.

I haven’t been boycotting Saskatchewan, I’ve just never had any reason to go there. And lest you snobby urbanites think there’s nothing to see in Canada’s breadbasket, guess again. “The land of living skies” has a lot more to it than just fields of wheat, at least according to Tourism Saskatchewan. And incidentally, I’d love to stand in one of those wheat fields where everything is flat and seamless all the way to the horizon.

There are plenty of smaller things to look at too, such as Wallace Stegner House, in Eastend Sask. Stegner was one of Martine’s favorite writers, so why wouldn’t I like to look at his house? Well, his parent’s house actually, as Stegner only lived there for a few years when he was a kid. But hey, as writers, Martine and I qualify to rent the house at the special artist’s rate of only $250 a month. That’s only $125 each!

Then there’s Saskatoon. Who wouldn’t love to visit a place called Saskatoon? I once heard that Saskatoon has more bookstores per capita than any other city in Canada. Perhaps that’s what prompted Yann Martel to pull up stakes from Montreal and spent a year in “Toon town” as a writer in residence. Apparently he liked it so much he decided to stay. Just think – I could stop in for a visit and tell him that I did indeed reach the rost of maxus.

But I can’t honestly say that Saskatchewan will be my highest priority when it comes time for my next vacation. Rather, my hope is that someday, something will come up that gives me a specific reason to go there, such as a trade show or a conference of some kind. Maybe a writer’s workshop. Once there, I’ll do what I always do on such excursions and take some extra time to look around and learn about the place. After all, that’s the only reason I know my way around such luminous cities as Cincinnati, Minneapolis, and Orlando.

So how about it, Saskatchewan? How about a grant to go to one of those workshops? Does the Saskatoon Public Library need another writer in residence? Any Prairie folk need lessons in how to make a nice Spanish paella under that endless blue sky? I’m your man. You can find me here at the Blork Blog any time you want.

5 thoughts on “I have never been to Saskatchewan

  1. If you get there, two words… Prairie Oysters!

    Still upset I missed the Turkey Testicle Festival by only a day on my recent trip to Florida.

  2. While you may want to stand in that flat, seamless wheat field, from what I hear, you most certainly don’t want to drive all the way through it. One word: b-o-r-i-n-g. But, I’ve never done it myself, so I can’t say for sure.

    I always imagine that a cross-Canada trip (especially the praries part) would be slightly David Lynch-esque…you know, kinda eerie and strange, with weird characters, but visually captivating, kinda cool and perfect movie material.

  3. I grew up in the flatlands and it gets old mighty quick. Anytime you want to go somewhere interesting, you have to take a long straight road with scenery that passes by but never changes. Kinda similar to the drive to Quebec city, but that drive still has trees every once in a while.

    We did that cross country drive a few times (south of the border) and it was always the most difficult part. It’s the part I dread if we ever try it again.

  4. Not saying I’d necessarily want to live in the flatlands, but I like the idea of being stuck in the middle of it. At least briefly.

    It all depends on how you do it. I imagine arriving at about Mach 2 in the co-pilot seat of an F-18 Hornet that sets down in a secret airstrip in the middle of a wheat field. Then I climb into a Maserati MC12 which I drive at 200 MPH across the Prairie for 30 minutes or so until arrive at a small clearing where my sweetie is sitting under an umbrella with a freshly popped bottle of Prosecco and a nice arrangement of hors d’œuvres. We take in the wind-swept wheat fields and the wide open sky, toast the clouds and the golden light, and spend some time smooching. Then we get in the Maserati and drive back to the airstrip, where a very civilized Challenger 300 is waiting to fly us back to Saskatoon.

  5. I spent my entire life in Québec and when we drove, yes, TO Saskatoon, I found nothing boring. Not one thing. Flatlands, first of all, are not what you’d expect. And just the fact that there are no mountains on the horizon was awe-inspiring — think about it, in Québec, there are *always* mountains on the horizon! (Mind you, Saskatchewan is NOT all flat, and NOT all prairies. And in Saskatchewan, people know how to drive, meaning they don’t pace like Ontarians and they get out of the way when they see the Québec plates coming up fast behind them!) For someone who enjoys road trips, it’s an awesome trip. I know, I know, everybody says it’s “far”. Yeah. Well this commenter usually drives 1,500 km in two days to get to her annual vacation spot, so my idea of what “far” is might be different from yours, but whenever people say “oh, but it’s sooo far”, frankly I just roll my eyes and think “fine then, just stay where you are and do and see nothing!”. Oh, in Saskatoon, people are SO Canadianly polite that there are few stop signs – they’re usually just yields, and you could pick your nose at a crossroads and people would wait until you’re done to go if you got there first – wouldn’t want to look impolite! – that drove me a little nuts (pun!). Oh and in convenience stores, cigarette packs are behind black boards or curtains, so minors can’t see them. Porn mags, though? In full view.

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