Tuesday, October 9, 2001

Hello from Plentywood, Montana!

Start time: 0730

Start odometer: 17498

Weather: It was another mostly clear morning allowing for a beautiful sunrise, with a temperature of 34 degrees F. 



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BACK IN THE USA!!! Just seventeen miles from the Canadian border, Plentywood is the business center for this area.  The town is surrounded by endless miles of ranches used for both agriculture and livestock.  This is also the town I drove through on August 12 to see the lady with the fainting goats and miniature horses.  Oil drilling is active in the vicinity as well.


I started the day by heading into Saskatoon to take a look around.  One thing I learned was that though Saskatchewan is located in the Central Time Zone, they do not honor Daylight Savings Time.  But I did not realize it until this morning, after having moved my time devices forward one hour upon entering the province the previous day.  That would explain why the school children were walking  to school at "0920" instead of 0820!  Thank goodness the radio stations can tell time!


There are at least seven bridges crossing the South Saskatchewan River that flows through Saskatoon, so it has been dubbed "The City of Bridges."  The town has constructed quite a few pretty parks throughout the city, including some along the banks of the river,  Also provided is a nice drive along the river for several miles.  This is another place to put on my return visit list.


I drove out of the city on Route 11, transporting me past miles and miles of prairies.  The viewing range is quite broad, and trying to identify items in the distance is a bit challenging.  I noticed smoke far off the west side of the highway, and it took a while before I approached the smoky area that spread east beyond the road.

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Smoke from a fire far away from the road.


My first road stop was in Davidson, Saskatchewan.  There was another one of those large displays along the road I seem to find!  A visit to the Post Office and the grocery store gave me the opportunity to meet some of the friendly townspeople.  

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I was getting ready to take another step when the timed shutter engaged.


Further down the road, I came upon this lake covered with birds.  I stopped at the boat launch and listened to the amazing sound made by all these birds calling!  There were at least several hundred, if not more than a thousand!  Quite a unique racket!

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The white in the water the birds that were visible from this angle  Many more were on the lake.  Also, many dark feathered birds  where there that cannot be seen in this picture.

My next visit was to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and the Western Development Museum's History of Transportation.  Saskatchewan has four Western Development Museums, each representing a different part of province history.  They have great displays of railroad, water, land, and air transportation.  They have also included displays of the support system for these various modes of transportation, such as garages, hangers, communications, and restoring facilities.  I especially enjoyed the aviation and communication sections, and learned some new information from the other exhibits.  Additionally, they have a separate area specifically for the Snowbirds, Canada's armed forces aerobatic team.  The museum provided fantastic presentations of the team, including several aircraft.  Finally, I learned that the Snowbirds are based at the Canadian Forces Base just south of Moose Jaw!  While I was allowed to take pictures in the museum, the staff unfortunately said I cannot post them on the web.  They suggested a visit to their web site to see pictures of the displays.

Just to the south of the museum is the world's largest moose (how do I find these things!?!?!?!)  The total height is thirty-four feet!  I noticed scaffolding in the front of it, and was told by a staff member of the visitor center where it is located that repair was being performed on part of it.  They recently discovered structural problems not previously anticipated.  They are now deciding what to do, because funding may not be readably available for the repair.

After driving through Moose Jaw, I headed south on Route 2.  This took me past the Canadian Forces Base.  I did not see any of the Snowbirds, but several NATO trainer jets and prop planes were doing touch and goes.

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The exterior of the Western Development Museum in Moose Jaw, Sk.

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The sick moose!  I did not want to stand too close...Pieces of his stomach were lying on the ground underneath him!

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The 15 Wing Moose Jaw Canadian Forces Base south of the city.

Heading south today the landscape contained more hills, with larger ones as I approached the United States.


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Peaking on some of the hills provided for long views where level prairies were still present nearby.

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The road south as I approached Montana.

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Plaque describing The Willow Bunch - Big Muddy Trail.

I crossed into the United States at the Port of Whitetail, Montana.  I arrived twenty minutes before it closed, and other than asking for my passport, received only a few extra questions.  Then we discussed lodging options in the area, and talked about Dorothy and her fainting goats!  There were no welcome to the U. S. or Montana signs, only the border marker pictured below.

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Other than the crossing station, this was the only indication of the international boundary.

I am now in Central Daylight Savings Time, my twenty-second time zone change!

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The first sizable town in Montana!

So tonight I am in Plentywood.  I had dinner at the lounge in the Inn and talked with Joe Blankenship, who is here on business.  He is a Feed Consultant originally from Montana, now living in South Dakota.  I was able to get an interesting perspective on life here in the northern ranch country.  

Tomorrow I will head south.  I should reach at least the North Unit of the Roosevelt National Park, if not also the South Unit.

Thanks for visiting the report for the day!  


Routes traveled today: Saskatchewan 11 - Saskatoon streets - Sk 11 - Sk 2 - Sk 36 - Sk 13 - Sk 34 - Montana CR 511 - Mo 5

Hotel: Sherwood Inn -

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