My friend Andy moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba in early 1991. He invited me to visit him in his new Canadian apartment when I could get away from work. It turned out that the last two days of June and the first portion of July fit into my workplace’s vacation schedule.
I told Andy that I owed a visit to my friend in western North Dakota and would swing through Saskatchewan because I had another old buddy who lived in Weyburn in that province to also see.
Saskatchewan has been a frequent destination of mine due to its relative proximity to Nebraska. Its wide-open prairie seems to go on forever. The only drawback is that driving Trans-Canada 1 through the province is mind-numbingly dull. To relieve some of the boredom, I periodically pulled off the road to compose photographs.
I had my trusty Canon AE-1 loaded with Ektachrome 200 slide film for the entire journey. In order to save money and film, I shot most of these in auto-exposure mode. As a result, many of the frames turned out more artistic than I had planned. Couple this with repeated showings in a Kodak Carousel projector, there has been some degradation over the past decades. This effect is apparent in a view of the highway through south central Saskatchewan.
I’m always stricken by the naturally abstract quality of the views in the massive rural areas of that province. The vastness of the Canadian prairie makes me feel very tiny, in a good way.
A rest was necessary. I spent Canada Day (July 1st) in the provincial capital city, Regina. It’s a pleasant city that seems like an oasis in the middle of the flat agricultural land. While exploring Regina on foot, I noticed a sign that mentioned the city is a “Nuclear Weapons Free Zone”.
Along the route to Weyburn the prairie was even more stark and humbling.
I’m one of those travellers who pulls off the road in order to read landmark signs. In this case, the sign gives an overview of the town of Weyburn.
Back on the Trans-Canada as I neared Manitoba, this scene grabbed my attention. It seems to represent Saskatchewan at its visual best.