A Day In Moose Jaw (and the Western Development Museum)

I made a rather spur of the moment trip to Moose Jaw today. I just couldn’t stand the idea of another day at home just doing busy work, so late last night, I headed to Trip Advisor to see if there were any museums in Moose Jaw I hadn’t seen yet and found the Western Development Museum, which, as a bonus, was on its last weekend of a traveling exhibit about the Franklin expedition, a topic of interest to me. It has been seven years almost to the day since I visited Saskatoon’s Western Development Museum!

I set off around 8:00 this morning and after a couple of stops in Assiniboia, made it to the museum around 10:00. It’s very easy to find, being the only turnoff between the TransCanada and Thatcher Drive, plus there’s lots of signage. The museum’s name only hints at what is on display inside. In fact, I found very little on western development per se, and rather lots on transportation. In fact, this used to be the Moose Jaw transportation museum.

You could spend hours in this museum with its warren of rooms if you read every placard, but I was there about 90 minutes, only reading up on things that caught my eye.

The Franklin exhibition was a bit small, but still interesting. It focused on the forensics of what happened to the expedition team members and how Arctic survival has, and has not, changed since then. Definitely not an exhibit I would have driven 300KM roundtrip for, but it definitely added value to my $10 admission fee.

Here are just a few things that caught my eye in my wanderings:

The museum's drab exterior belies the treasures within.

The museum’s drab exterior belies the treasures within.

I miss these old phones that had style!

I miss these old phones that had style!

First models of smartphones.

First models of smartphones.

Rather scary looking fella!

Rather scary looking fella!

Snowbird planes.

Snowbird planes.

Homemade plane. Such a tiny cockpit!

Homemade plane. Such a tiny cockpit!

Lots o' planes!

Lots o’ planes!

Telex machine (I've always wondered what they look like!).

Telex machine (I’ve always wondered what they look like!).

Love the midnight blue paint job.

Love the midnight blue paint job.

Ambulance.

Ambulance.

Early snowcat.

Early snowcat.

Autoboggan.

Autoboggan.

Model T.

Model T.

All the difference SK license plates over the years.

All the difference SK license plates over the years.

Just a small smattering of the many cars on display.

Just a small smattering of the many cars on display.

SK is "home of the RCMP"

SK is “home of the RCMP”

I wish I'd lived in the '50s just for the cars!

I wish I’d lived in the ’50s just for the cars!

Car and wonderful trailer.

Car and wonderful trailer.

Look at the woodwork! This is the bunk.

Look at the woodwork! This is the bunk.

Dinette.

Dinette.

Kitchen area and tons of cabinets.

Kitchen area and tons of cabinets.

Even the ceiling is lovely.

Even the ceiling is lovely.

Dinettes really haven't changed much!

Dinettes really haven’t changed much!

I love the bay windows at the front and back.

I love the bay windows at the front and back.

More lovely cars.

More lovely cars.

Old ambulance!

Old ambulance!

Interior of the horse-drawn ambulance.

Interior of the horse-drawn ambulance.

Loved the colour on this one.

Loved the colour on this one.

Electric trolley coach.

Electric trolley coach.

Streetcar.

Streetcar.

The exterior of the trolley car shows that it wasn't a bus, but rather ran along electric wires.

The exterior of the trolley car shows that it wasn’t a bus, but rather ran along electric wires.

Found the Hogswart Express!

Found the Hogswart Express!

Caboose.

Caboose.

Work for $1.50 a day building the railroad... but give up three days' wages for room and board.

Work for $1.50 a day building the railroad… but give up three days’ wages for room and board.

Cozy bunk in a carriage.

Cozy bunk in a carriage.

And here's a kitchenette area.

And here’s a kitchenette area.

See the typo? Bottom right.

See the typo? Bottom right.

Unusual colour.

Unusual colour.

I WANT THIS CAR.

I WANT THIS CAR.

See how the doors open upwards?

See how the doors open upwards?

"The only car for a lady." *snorts*

“The only car for a lady.” *snorts*

Apple II computer.

Apple II computer.

My childhood.

My childhood.

Iron lung.

Iron lung.

Prosthetic limb made from 2x4s, a door hinge, and and rubber tire! The point of this was that the man lost his leg because he couldn't afford medical care and that Medicaid saved future Canadians from things like that...

Prosthetic limb made from 2x4s, a door hinge, and and rubber tire! The point of this was that the man lost his leg because he couldn’t afford medical care and that Medicaid saved future Canadians from things like that…

My neighbour Caroline called me as I was wandering through the final exhibit, needing computer help that I couldn’t provide over the phone. I told her I’d be by when I got home and asked if she needed anything. She had an order for the Bulk Barn. I hadn’t specifically planned to go there, but I was going right next door to the Dollar Tree and nearby to Walmart, so I had a good excuse to go in and buy some nuts! So that was my next stop.

Then I went into Dollar Tree, which I still can’t believe exists in Canada! I was able to get everything on my list for it and even some of my Walmart things, plus a bunch of other things I only realised I needed when faced with them, like a sleep mask! I actually used one of those my first summer in Yukon, but accidentally donated it to someone. I couldn’t get my bedroom on Isla dark enough last year, so that’s the easiest solution. I also got a big tub of ear plugs, but I hope that I get used to the noise this year because sleeping with ear plugs isn’t particularly comfortable.

After, it was time for Walmart, which was chaotic as it appears that they are expanding. There were a lot of people and it was a very unpleasant shopping experience. I didn’t linger, but I loaded up on things I need that are literally twice the cost in Assiniboia and/or that I can’t find in Mexico. It was most of the shopping trip I would have done in Nogales or, more likely, Benson since I don’t like the Nogales Walmart. I also got a bunch of Rubbermaid totes that are $19.99 each at the Home Hardware in town and only $9.99 at the MJ Walmart!

Then, I was beyond ready for lunch and headed to DK Sushi. There was quite a crowd there today and they mixed up my order with another table’s. I got my sushi, no problem, but instead of two pieces each of yam and crab tempura and two dumplings, I got the yam and a double order each of crab and shrimp tempura! By the time the mistake was realised, it was too late, of course, to give the order to the correct table. I cancelled the dumplings and said that I would do my best with the seafood, but there was no way I could eat it all, not with all the sushi I had before! This is what was left over when I’d had my fill!

IMG_0696

It’s an all-you-can eat menu, so there was no extra charge for all this food, but the waste was a shame. I actually took most of the batter off of what I did eat so I could have more seafood, but I can only eat so much!

After lunch, I walked a couple of blocks over to the Salvation Army and decided that I won’t be going back. It’s just not as good as the one in Assiniboia and has a lot of crap. I almost bought a tee-shirt for $5.75 that had a huge stain under the armpit. $5.75 for a used tee-shirt! I did pay that for another one that still had the label on it, though, and got good deals on a few other things.

I headed back to my truck, with the plan being to take it to Kal Tire to have the wheels retorqued, as per their instructions. As it turned out, the Moose Jaw Kal Tire is on the same street where I park my truck when I go for sushi (Fairford), just a couple of blocks past the Safeway. Talk about convenient! They were able to do the work right away and it took all of five minutes. I had to have the wheels retorqued after 100 to 150KM and was already at 175KM, so I didn’t want to wait to get back to the Assiniboia Kal Tire.

My final stop was Safeway for a bathroom break and to grab a cold drink from Starbucks since it was super hot out. I like their passion tea, which has no caffeine, and I always ask for it unsweetened. But dang, it’s pricey up here compared to in the States! I took a sip and must have made a face because the barista laughed and said, “Do you want sweetener after all? It’s really tart, isn’t it?” Actually, no. I thought that she had messed up and added syrup to it! So it doesn’t taste the same up here as it does in the States either. But it was still a very refreshing treat and one I was glad to sip on as I returned to my oven. I mean truck.

At the last minute, I decided to pop into Giant Tiger to see if there was anything interesting, but came out empty handed. Then, it was time for the drive home, which always feels like it takes less time than the drive to MJ. I stopped in at the grocery store  in Assiniboia for drinking water and cereal, which was on mega special. They have opened up the new entrance and it hints at big changes when the renovations are done…

When I got in, I went to C&C’s to give Caroline her Bulk Barn order, have wine, gets lots of canine and feline love, and troubleshoot her email issue. It wound up being very easy seeing as it was a ‘Gmail is programmed by morons who think that alienating their users is the way to get them to switch to other Google products’ issue with Thunderbird that I troubleshooted for myself recently (hint allow ‘non-secure’ apps). Caroline was rather impressed with how quickly I sorted that out, but she has no idea how many hours I put into it at my end!

Then, I went out and helped her and Charles try to get Charles’ motorcycle into his new barn, but the slope into it is too steep so we gave up. I wound up exerting a lot of energy and muscle. So between that and the walking, I should sleep well tonight!

That was my Saturday. Hope y’all had an equally lovely one!

12 thoughts on “A Day In Moose Jaw (and the Western Development Museum)

    • We’ve had them out west for a couple of years now! Same products as at the U.S. ones, for the most part. Prices have gone up to 1.25CAD per article; still a good deal for most things!

  1. Ahhhh…the cars of the past. I learned to drive on a 57 Chevy….but it was in ’65. The colors were so fun back then. Now all we have is black, white, silver, bla,bla,blah!

      • The big problem with trendy colors is resale. Remember teal in the nineties? It looked so out of place in a couple years. I guess red is safe. No white in winter in snow country. No black down south. Are you still thinking Transit? I love those for some odd reason???

        • I don’t like red, white, black, or silver for a car. 🙂 The apple green I had is more common now, along with a more limey green, but it’s still pretty rare. What I didn’t like about it is that in a small town, everyone knew where I was! Sure, people recognize my truck, but it just doesn’t stick out as much. I love my dark green and I would have also been happy with midnight blue.

          Still thinking about my Transit, but I will be purchasing it in Mexico, if they are available there…

  2. Really enjoyed your visit to Moose Jaw Museum, very interesting stuff there. I used to use a Telex machine at different jobs I had years ago?? Survived our four week trip to Grande Prairie. A lot of driving. Closest we got to your place was Regina. There’s a Dollar Tree (1.25 tree) in Brockville. Looking forward to hearing about your winter in Mexico. Safe travels. I loved the cars in the 50s and still love those colourful cars today. We live in a black/grey world nowadays.

    • Thanks, Norma. Glad you had a good trip! I guess they should rename Dollar Tree to Buck and a Quarter Tree? 😀

      It’s also a silver world, when I think of electronics. Getting harder and harder to find coloured quality bits. I miss the candy coloured Macs Apple used to put out!

  3. Hi Rae!!!
    You always have great reviews, I came back for a 2nd look.
    Food looked great too.
    I love Dollar Tree or whatever they call em. I always find something I need. Ha!
    Sounds like your getting ready to leave as I’m just getting here.
    So you’re thinking about getting your van/rv in Mexico. Cool 😀
    TTY Soon

    • Hi Vicki! So good to have you back online now. 🙂

      Yes, I am thinking of getting my Transit Connect in MX, if they’re available there! And if my bank will give me that kind of a loan for a purchase in MX… We shall see. 🙂

  4. Our first computer was a candy pink. Loved that thing.

    The RV Park we stayed in in June was 1/2 mile past the Western Dev. Museum in MJ. I wondered at the time what it was all about and now I know. I can’t believe how many cars they have in there.

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