Even when you have a plan, unexpected things happen. Like a flat tire on the trans Canada Highway just east of Grenfel, Saskatchewan. Somehow the tire got a gash about 2 inches long on the side of the tire facing away from the road. It went flat quickly but we were able to get to the side of the road safely.
The shoulder was just barely able to accommodate the width of the Saturn. So after calling AAA, we slowly backed up to a safer spot down the road. A local mechanic was able to reach us, take off the tire, put on the donut tire, and inflate it within about an hour.
We then drove at a slower speed to Regina, Saskatchewan. It took us about 90 minutes. The Internet says that Canadian Tire was open until 7 PM. We got there at 5:30 PM. We arrived just before a young gentleman wearing a yellow shirt. The sign on the door, however, said that the store closed at 6 PM.
The store clerk looked at the time, listened to me and agreed they could take care of our problem before they closed. He then informed the other gentleman that they could not satisfy his request that day. The gentleman in the yellow shirt indicated his dissatisfaction in no uncertain terms. A store manager was required to talk to the other man and tried to work out a compromise. I’m not sure of the final resolution but he left. I think, frankly, that he was trying to game the system and have his tire repaired under warranty that was no longer valid.
We paid for the two tires. Of course, the credit cards were rejected because the anti-fraud unit at the credit card company didn’t understand why a purchase was being made in Canada. Oops. I had forgotten my own checklist and did not call the credit card company before we left to tell them our itinerary. Luckily our cash card worked and we got out of the store with no major loss to our pride.
We made it to Swift Current Saskatchewan at 8:30 PM. We will remember Saskatchewan in our trips. Or, as the T-shirts say, Saskatchewan. Hard to spell. Easy to draw. (It is in the shape of a rectangle.)
The first part of the day was easy. Flatland. Flat land. Flatland. The crops are looking green. There are some fields still with standing water in portions of them. Major highlights included a massive power plant complex. There was a small saline lake, smaller than mono Lake in California.
At the very end of the day, we were starting to see some slightly rolling Hills. In general, the towns are extremely small except for major complexes like Regina and Winnipeg. Those towns are very populous. They must have dramatic development controls because you go immediately from farm fields to dense housing developments. Very little suburban sprawl.
We are staying at grandma Bep’s B and B. Grandma is a 73 year old woman who has been working since age 12 and widowed for the last eight years. Her family is from Holland and she is following in her father’s footsteps as a master baker. She at one point owned five businesses in downtown swift current. She now bakes for several locations as well as selling at the farmers market. She bakes over 1000 pies per month in addition to other goodies. All are baked from scratch.
Her B and B is like staying at aunt Charlotte or grandma Kondzior’s house with the addition that we hear the roosters and ducks as we wake up in the morning.
Oh, we did call the credit card company and provide them with information so we should not have any future issues. And to answer another question arising from yesterday’s post, we did take the Canadian money with us. It was in my suitcase, just not in my wallet.
On to Canmore and Banff.
Ed and Chris. June 30. 8 am