It’s a great big place full of nothing but space
and it’s my happy place…
Saskatchewan, my home sweet home. You don’t get any more typical (or stereotypical) Saskatchewanian than me. I grew up on a farm, complete with horses, cows, even a donkey (Francis, oh she was a stubborn old girl). My older brother and I were in 4-H and proudly groomed and paraded our calves around a ring in hopes of winning Grand Champion (I’d like to see the Toddlers and Tiaras moms give that a whirl). We hauled bales from the field, cleaned grain bins and cut the lawn with a tractor.
Yes our dogs occasionally ran away, and no it did not take three days.
I rode a big yellow school bus and attended the same school, with the same classmates, from preschool to graduation. Everyone made the track and field team by default just so that we had a complete team. Oh and yes, I actually did go to school in “Dog River”.
The closest town was Drinkwater. I lived in Moose Jaw for many years and I have friends in places like Eyebrow, Elbow, Yellow Grass and Swift Current.
As an adult I discovered fishing and that has taken me to some pretty spectacular places in this province. Brisk summer mornings walking a well beaten foot path to the lake, well, it just doesn’t get much better than that. Blue skies, silence, the sweet smell of crocus. Stopping along the way to pick handfuls of Saskatoon berries, often seeing a doe and her fawn up ahead bounding across the path. That is the life.
But even living in this province my entire life, that’s 45 years if you’re interested, I still haven’t seen it all. Not by a long shot. I haven’t seen the Crooked Trees of Alticane, the T-Rex Discovery Centre or the Athabasca Sand Dunes. And that’s just to name a few. This province is vast and although it may be flat there is no shortage of amazing things to see. So when I had the opportunity to get in a Ford F150 and set out on an adventure to take a photo of a Saskatchewan landmark I was excited! Would they send me to see the Sky Trail Bridge? The Beechy Sand Castles? So many possibilities! Come along on our adventure and find out. I think you’ll be as surprised as I was…
Away we go!
We plugged in our coordinates into the Ford navigation system and off we went. If you’re wondering about that view from the window, we started our journey from Buffalo Pound where we had been camping.
I haven’t been on a motorcycle since I was a teenager but it looks like a great way to explore the province.
I was surprised at how many freshly born fawns we saw along the way. It feels late in the season. This baby was actually nursing when we first approached (from the highway in the truck we didn’t encroach on their space). As soon as mom saw us she took off and a moment later the baby instinctively laid down in the brush.
Old red barns are a classic sight on the prairie landscape so I couldn’t not stop to take a picture of this beauty.
The mirrors on this F150 Lariat are awesome. They are perfect for towing and are heated and power folding. Although you can’t see it in this picture this truck also has the Blind Spot Monitoring System. If there is another vehicle in your blind spot, on either side, a little light comes on the mirror letting you know.
As we continued to head north we headed into my favorite part of the drive. It was a gravelled stretch of the Yellow Head highway near Jansen (does this give you a clue where we were headed?). There was water on both sides of the highway and it was full of an amazing assortment of cranes and other water birds.
We’re just a few miles from our final destination. Are you ready for this? It’s big. Like really, really big.
That’s right. We found Santa. The Watson Santa to be precise. This 25 foot high jolly guy in the red suit was built in 1996 to commemorate “Santa Claus Day” which the town of Watson has been celebrating since 1932.
As you can see my adorable little ham had a great time striking poses. But as cute as she is this super sporty F150 is worthy of a picture all of it’s own.
Before we turned around and headed back home we had one more stop to make – to see another larger than life Saskatchewan landmark that I have never seen before. Just a few miles up the road you’ll find the Tireman Market Garden which is home to, of course, Tireman!
Tireman was built in 1966 and still stands proudly at the entrance to the Market Gardens. Over the years there have been other tire people by his side. A “medium” tireman built in 1996 and a “small” one built in 1993. I’m not sure what became of the smaller tire folks but the big guy is still there! Tireman Market Gardens is a quaint little stop just 11 km north of Watson. It has an old school, but well kept, little playground for the kids to entertain themselves in while you shop for fresh produce, plants and other garden delights. And of course, like every good highway stop, you can get a nice cold ice cream cone!
We had such a fun time on our #GoFurther150 day trip to find Santa. I love exploring our province and before this opportunity I had no idea the Watson Santa even existed. Of course driving the F150 made the trip that much nicer. That truck was fully loaded and we were certainly driving in style. From the twin panel moon roof to the sexy black leather interior, this truck was such a pleasure to be in. My husband really liked the Adaptive Cruise Control feature. It was a nice bonus for all the highway driving we did. When you have the adaptive cruise control on the truck automatically accelerates (to the speed you set) or breaks to keep you a safe driving distance from the closest vehicle in front of you. Honesty I wish every car on the road had this feature because there is nothing worse than a tailgater!
We had one more quick stop to make once we got back in the city. I’ve been admiring the Canada 150 signage in downtown Regina for weeks now and thought it was time I finally get a picture.
I know Canada Day is over but the Canada 150 celebrations are still going on across this amazing country. I hope you are able to squeeze in some celebrating, because just like the Watson Santa, this is a big one!
Disclosure: This post is part of the Ford #GoFurther150 campaign to celebrate Canada’s 150th. This was not a paid post but I was lucky enough to be loaned a Ford F150 to take on the adventure.