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!

Visiting the Assiniboia and District Museum

I took the bulk of the day off from work. After breakfast, L and I headed into town for some supplies and to visit the Assiniboia and District Museum.

It’s quite small, but the exhibits are interesting, especially if you have a farm boy like L on hand who can further explain the farm equipment to you. I enjoyed the small exhibits showing early 20th century scenes like a barbershop, general store, and dentist’s office, but my favourite bit was the classic car display. For $5, the Assiniboia museum is a great way to kill an hour or two.

After the museum, we headed out to lunch. Caroline had warned us against going to 121 Steakhouse, but L wanted to form his own opinion so we went there. Service wasn’t great, but the food was good! L started with a French onion soup that was a 9/10, followed by fish ‘n chips. My chicken and bacon club with yam fries really hit the spot. I’d go there again.

We also did some window shopping at The Bargain Shop!, Fields, and the Sally Ann.

Not a very exciting day by big city standards, but it was plenty of fun for simple folks like us. 😀

Friends and RVs

Jody needed to run an errand in Calgary today so I came along for the ride. We stopped in Mossleigh to visit Donna. She is working at Aspen Crossing this summer and gave us a tour of the place. It combines a campground, a superb gift shop, a restaurant (great Sunday brunch apparently), cabins, and more. I was particularly impressed by the tour of the caboose that was converted into a luxury cabin that would be a great motorhome layout! Donna is very enthusiastic about camphosting in the nearly new campground (this year will be the second in operation). It was so, so, so good to see her and Ken, but I didn’t get to visit with Midnight.

Our visit done, Jody and I pushed on to the town of High River where we spent hours climbing into and out of travel trailers, fifth wheels, and a few motorhomes. I’d never spent so much time in a bumper pull trailer before and was astounded by some of the layouts!

Before I get into my discovery of the day, I have to say that I have finally decided on what my next rig is going to be. I’ve vacillated between getting excited about fifth wheels and considering a B+, but I finally came down to earth and made a decision. I want to downsize and I can do that two ways: going smaller or going bigger. So, my next rig would be one of two choices.

The first choice, going smaller would mean going down to a B and seriously reducing my cargo. I’d have to be in the mode that this is my only vehicle and that everything has to be prepped for travel.

The second choice, going bigger would actually be going smaller in terms of over-all rig length without sacrificing my current lifestyle of having an apartment with a car: a toy hauler super C motorhome, such as those made by Haulmark, with a Smart Car in the garage.

So, all that to say that if I’m going down to a B, then I’ve found it. It’s a Libero by Leisure Travel. It has a bed in the back, full bath and kitchen, and the dinette in the front is definitely usable as a desk, plus it has the solid construction of a high-end unit.

One thing I find neat when I look at RVs is that I see ways in which I could improve Miranda but I don’t get a burning desire to replace her yet. What can I say, the old gal is home!

inside of the dining car, which was PM Diefenbaker's 'western car'!

inside of the dining car, which was PM Diefenbaker’s ‘western car’!

Vote for John G. Diefenbaker

Vote for John G. Diefenbaker

letter from Diefenbaker (about a week after my birth!) about the state of the Canadian economy and how disgraceful Parliament was (nothing changes in this country!)

letter from Diefenbaker (about a week after my birth!) about the state of the Canadian economy and how disgraceful Parliament was (nothing changes in this country!)

exterior of Diefenbaker's car

exterior of Diefenbaker’s car

inside of the cozy caboose cabin

inside of the cozy caboose cabin

Donna and Jody in the cabin :)

Donna and Jody in the cabin 🙂

shiny stove

shiny stove

kitchen

kitchen

love the loft: you climb a ladder to an area where they will put a reading chair, then climb up to the bunk!

love the loft: you climb a ladder to an area where they will put a reading chair, then climb up to the bunk!

bathroom sink

bathroom sink

shower stall with gorgeous natural stone

shower stall with gorgeous natural stone

all the door pulls are railway spikes!

all the door pulls are railway spikes!

exterior of the caboose cabin

exterior of the caboose cabin

speeder (Jody is obsessed with these things)

speeder (Jody is obsessed with these things)

caboose that may one day be used as a shuttle

caboose that may one day be used as a shuttle

Jody 'driving' the speeder

Jody ‘driving’ the speeder

I had to take a picture of the interior of this toy hauler: IT IS THE UGLIEST RV I HAVE EVER SEEN!!!

I had to take a picture of the interior of this toy hauler: IT IS THE UGLIEST RV I HAVE EVER SEEN!!!

Jody and I thought that this shoe space was clever!

Jody and I thought that this shoe space was clever!

like the look of the fake stone, but it's not practical

like the look of the fake stone, but it’s not practical

LOVE this livingroom in the top of the fifth wheel!

LOVE this livingroom in the top of the fifth wheel!

garbage can with exterior access could be entrance to kitty litter box!

garbage can with exterior access could be entrance to kitty litter box!

exterior access to the can (sorry, forgot to rotate)

exterior access to the can (sorry, forgot to rotate)

A Tale of a Giant Gorilla, a Snowed-in Town, a Mountain Pass, a Vanished Community, a Giant Truck, a Waterfall, and a Dam (it was a full day)

Jody and I went on another long road trip today. We didn’t make it out of the solar system this time, but we did leave the province!

She was happy to drive again so I just sat and ogled the scenery.  Since I’m a movie buff she thought our first stop, Cardston, would be of interest, which it was. This town is the birth place of Fay Wray, most famous for the iconic scene of her trapped in King Kong’s fist while he’s climbing the Empire State building! The town isn’t much, but there is a little fountain and sign in her homage.

We then pushed on to Waterton Lakes national park, which is pretty much shut down for the winter. There’s not much to do or see except for TONS of snow, but there’s also no access fee. We drove around the few streets of this winter ghost town that were plowed and also drove up to see the Prince of Wales Hotel.

Next, she took me through the Crowsnest Pass! This is one of those iconic Canadian sites that you just need to go through at least once. We stopped at the site of the Frank slide, which happened in 1903, and buried the community. The area is still unstable.

We continued into BC so she could show me the world’s largest truck in Sparwood. It’s big!

Heading home, we detoured to visit the Lundbreck Falls and the Oldman River dam.

We got back to Lethbridge pretty late and were grateful that Gary had barbecued dinner for us. That mountain air sure whetted our appetites!

welcome to Cardston, birthplace of Fay Wray

welcome to Cardston, birthplace of Fay Wray

Cardston's little homage to its most famous resident

Cardston’s little homage to its most famous resident

of all the movies she did, she'll always be remembered for the one with the problem boyfriend

of all the movies she did, she’ll always be remembered for the one with the problem boyfriend

Fay Wray fountain

Fay Wray fountain

Fay Wray

Fay Wray

Mormon temple

Mormon temple

I only knew about this museum because it was prominently featured in an episode of the Simpsons!

I only knew about this museum because it was prominently featured in an episode of the Simpsons!

driving west

driving west

driving west

driving west

driving west

driving west

driving west

driving west

entering Waterton Lakes national park

entering Waterton Lakes national park

Waterton Lakes national park

Waterton Lakes national park

the snow was high and right up against all the boarded up buildings

the snow was high and right up against all the boarded up buildings

the snow was high and right up against all the boarded up buildings

the snow was high and right up against all the boarded up buildings

Prince of Wales Hotel

Prince of Wales Hotel

Waterton Lakes national park

Waterton Lakes national park

Prince of Wales Hotel

Prince of Wales Hotel

Waterton Lakes national park

Waterton Lakes national park

lots o' deer on a hill

lots o’ deer on a hill

Waterton Lakes national park

Waterton Lakes national park

Waterton Lakes national park

Waterton Lakes national park

entering the Pincher Creek area

entering the Pincher Creek area

arrive in Pincher Creek (I just noticed the pinchers on either side of the sign!)

arrive in Pincher Creek (I just noticed the pinchers on either side of the sign!)

sign about the Burmis Tree

sign about the Burmis Tree

the Burmis tree, 'a sign of endurance for the people of the [Crowsnest] pass', died in the late 1970's but resurrected

the Burmis tree, ‘a sign of endurance for the people of the [Crowsnest] pass’, died in the late 1970’s but resurrected

entering the municipality of Crowsnest Pass

entering the municipality of Crowsnest Pass

a crow in a nest...

a crow in a nest…

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

the site of the Frank slide, the deadliest in Canadian history

entering BC!

entering BC!

the biggest truck in the world! (Sparwood, BC)

the biggest truck in the world! (Sparwood, BC)

people in front of the biggest truck, for scale

people in front of the biggest truck, for scale

sheep on the highway

sheep on the highway

another sign about the Crowsnest Pass

another sign about the Crowsnest Pass

I finally got a picture of the welcome to Alberta sign!

I finally got a picture of the welcome to Alberta sign!

Lundbreck falls

Lundbreck falls

Lundbreck falls

Lundbreck falls

Lundbreck falls

Lundbreck falls

Lundbreck falls

Lundbreck falls

Lundbreck falls

Lundbreck falls

Lundbreck falls

Lundbreck falls

Lundbreck falls

Lundbreck falls

I can't believe I can be on a structure like that now!

I can’t believe I can be on a structure like that now!

Lundbreck falls

Lundbreck falls

bridge near Lundbreck falls

bridge near Lundbreck falls

Oldman River dam site

Oldman River dam site