Sunday, September 16, 2007

It was standing room only

...when we walked into the Java Shack in La Ronge for the reading last night and it's no small place. They brought out extra chairs. Then more people came. It was great. And they had live music! Rick Bell, Gareth Cook and Felicia Daunt of The Deadbeats were warming up the crowd with songs I didn't know, but boy did I like them. And the readings were great, too. The readers were Robert Calder, Dave Glaze, Harold Johnson, Greg Marchildon, Ken Mitchell, Sid Robinson, and me. It was a fantastic event. Hats off to the La Ronge Wild Rice Writers' Group and the Saskatchewan Writers Guild and everyone involved.

There was a photographer there already, so H only took pics of me chatting after the readings were over. Oddly enough, my mouth is open in every one of them.

(Left to right: Amy Nelson-Mile, me)

But that's not surprising after the trip we had. My jaws were pretty limber by the time we got to La Ronge. Initially things looked pretty good.

And for the first 40 km of gravel, things were pretty good. But I think this sign sums up the rest of the trip pretty well.

Mind you, the sign should have one more line: ROOTS AND HOLES.

And then H took a turn for the worse.

That trail wasn't bad compared to the last 55 km of road. H managed to dodge the rocks and roots and holes, but the road was so rough at one point that the passenger air bag light came on, saying it had turned itself off. By the time we hit the highway, the car was screeching at us. What horrible noise. I'm sure people could hear us coming a mile away. Poor car.

I spent most of today in a board meeting at the Harbour Inn. We had our lunch outside, the dock just steps away.

I'm happy to say the grader was out and the road was in really good condition for our trip home. Only rocks and roots to dodge this time.


By the way, for those of you who don't know the region, there is a beautiful smooth highway to La Ronge and we could've chosen to stay on nice highways for the entire trip. However, that would make the trip over 300 km longer than it was (over 600 km extra on the round trip). I can't remember how far we traveled as it was. Anyhow, my post describes the shortcut we took. Like I said in the previous post, we'd had lots of precipitation in the north in the days prior, so we knew what we were in for. Hats off to the people who keep that road in good shape. They do a remarkable job.


Anita Daher said...

Apart from the road, it sound like it was a lovely journey. Isn't Lac La Ronge beautiful? Aren't the Ricers awesome? Did you make it to the impromptu cowboy poetry recital at Kosta's afterward?

GM said...

Caption for that first photo:

"Wait, just let me check....Shh... Shh! ... ... ... Nope, I am definitely not dead."

Alternate caption:

"No way! Are you sure? But it looks like such real hair on the About page!"

Brenda Schmidt said...

It was lovely, Anita! And the Ricers are lovely! And Lac La Ronge is lovely! And the conference room we met in overlooks the lake. Nice! We were at Kosta's for a while, but I needed sleep, so we walked back to the inn and missed out on the cowboy poetry. Bummer. There was a good crowd in Kosta's, too. What a treat that would've been.

I should apologize for the quality of the videos. Since we've been renovating, etc, and this was a quick trip, we packed in a hurry. As luck would have it, the battery crapped out on our good video camera and the spare battery was in another camera bag, so we had to resort to an old camera that we carry just in case. The sensor and old digital technology does not deal with bright sunlight very well, as you can see. I look like an apparition in the last video.

Uh, G, are you trying to say something?

Zachariah Wells said...

Ah the sound of a Twin Otter taking off always makes me nostalgic.

Brenda Schmidt said...

On Sunday I was going on about all the things I miss about southern Saskatchewan at this time of year. The smell of grain dust when combining wheat, the crickets, the smell of freshly cut sloughs, the smell of freshly baled hay, the massive flocks of sandhill cranes and geese, the way the wind hits you. I could go on and did at some length. Someone asked me what I'd miss about this area when/if I leave. I said I won't know till I go. It's hard to believe I've lived over half my life up here.

Mom said...

That's worse than the road that I'm hauling grain on !

Mom said...

The sandhill cranes are now on our side of the coulee.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Wish we were there!

The cranes are on your side of the coulee? Why is that? They must like your crops better.

Mom said...

They are only on the fields that we have combined. Maybe that's where the wheat went(all on the ground) They usually stay on the other side of the coulee.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ya, that's unusual. Well let me know if you spot any whooping cranes. Of course then you'd have to dodge throngs of birdwatchers with the grain truck...

K.A. Random said...

I really have to go up to Northern Saskatchewan at some point in my life. The scenery looks amazing.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Yes, you must!