Even though we hadn’t driven this part of Highway 1 before, we noticed on the map the detour of Highway 13; the Red Coat Trail, was marked as a “scenic route” and since we were here to see Canada, we went that away. Unlike the Yellowhead highway (16), which is full of hills and water features, most of Highway 13 is what you imagine the prairies to look like—absolutely flat and full of golden seas of wheat. (You can watch your dog run away for hours, etc.) That is what makes it scenic. And it just goes on like that, with a little town and a grain silo every now and then, and sometimes those fire chimney things that burn off natural gas. It was beautiful and vast but there’s not much to note about it.
At Weyburn we stopped for gas, then veered north back towards Highway 1. We were tooting along when Step noticed a grain silo that said “Dog River” on it. We don’t have cable, but I have watched some Corner Gas on DVD since I know (very slightly) some of the people on that show. Step hadn’t seen it, but it was he that clued into the fact that Dog River was, in fact, a fictional place. So we turned off and found the set to Corner Gas, which was a fun photo-op. There were a surprising amount of people there, doing the same things we were doing. The town is really called Rouleau, by the way. We didn’t go into the town so I don’t know if they have a traffic light or a charming cafe or what.
We were near Moose Jaw and we decided to stop for Dunch—that’s the meal between dinner and lunch. We drove all over the town of Moose Jaw and didn’t see one decent looking dunch spot candidate. There were some really divey looking places and the ubiquitous Chinese-Canadian eateries that are never good. I know I only spent a few hours there, and in fact did not even get out of the van downtown, but Moose Jaw really struck me as a dump of a town (sorry, Moose Jawians). There were a bunch of corporate chains near the highway. I wanted to go to Bonanza but Step prevailed and we went to (a weirdly crowded) Boston Pizza, where I ate a completely disgusting order of Lasagna, that about half way through I started worrying I was eating mad cow disease, so I did not enjoy it at all.
We got to Swift Current and we were too tired to drive on. We kind of looked at a $30 a night RV park, then said “what the heck” and stayed for a second night in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart.