• Jaime Lee Lightle

Crossing Canada Day #11: Hello Rouleau!

We continue our Chronicles of Crossing Canada. Welcome back!

We set our first destination of the day on Rouleau Saskatchewan where CTV Show, "Corner Gas" was set.


Gas Station Parking lot, Manitoba (2022) Jaime Lee Lightle

We woke up to a break in the rain. We were already packed thanks to the previous evening’s preparation, so we just hit the comfort station, then headed off. We left the park under some dramatic clouds, our view from the Cypress Hills plateau was phenomenal. Magpies were up early, bouncing from the road shoulder to the fenceposts, looking for breakfast and watching us curiously as we drove by. We set our first destination of the day on Rouleau Saskatchewan where CTV's "Corner Gas" was set. If you're a fan, you know about "Dog River".


Rainbow Falls, Lake Superior Ontario (2022) Jaime Lee Lightle

After Swift Current, we started seeing salinized lakes. The water was milky with crusts of salt on the banks. Bird sanctuary, Reed Lake and Champlin Lake were close by. We stopped for gas and ice at a friendly gas bar across from one of the lakes. I took a photo of the salt lake with the truck in the foreground while James filled the truck up.


Salt Lakes / Gas Bar, Saskatchewan. Photo credit: Jaime Lee Lightle

At some point before we turned off the trans-Canada, we saw some Pronghorn on the side of the highway. At Moose Jaw we turned sights on ‘Dog River’ and made a right on to a two-lane highway that ran parallel to the rail line.


Rouleau, like the ‘Dog River’ depicted on ‘Corner Gas’ is truly a quintessential small, Saskatchewan town. They are not bold and boastful of their fame derived from a CTV show; however, they did have a mural and photo area where you could stick your head through a hold to pose for a photo as a character from the show.


Dog River Hotel, Rouleau Saskatchewan (Photo credit: Jaime Lee Lightle)


The Dog River Hotel – it’s real and it’s authentic. The brick building that was used as the police department in the show, however, it did not fare well to the revenges of age and neglect. We took some photos of these iconic buildings before we jumped back in the truck. We doubled back to the Trans-Canada highway, avoiding the good ‘ol Saskatchewan dirt road connectors, continuing our drive west to Moosomin Saskatchewan: home of the living sky.


Dog River Grain Elevator, Brick building, Rouleau Saskatchewan (Photo credit: James Lightle)


We turned on the local talk radio network to find out what’s going on in the world: the election, the COVID “crisis” and it was also the 20th Anniversary of the attack on the World Trade buildings in New York City and the Pentagon. The news and the anniversary of 9/11 invited some discussion and reminiscing between James and me. Both of us still searching in our minds: “what was it all for?”


We reached the Hotel in Moosomin weary but grateful to be within 4 walls, dry and surrounded by all the best comfort of home while just outside our door, the best food spots we could dream of. We chose A&W, went back to our room and watched ridiculous comedies and action movies whilst devouring our burgers, fries and cool, sweet root beer.


Jim:


The 20th anniversary of 9/11:

When the planes hit the twin tower in New York City on September 11th, 2001, I was on my Engineer 3’s course, and Canada was still a peacekeeping nation. At the point when I saw the footage of the second plane hitting the twin towers, I realized that Canada would never be at peace again.


People remember different things about that fateful day in September, but many forgot what government was in power when the war in Afghanistan began. Tragically, we had more casualties from the war that followed 9/11 than casualties from the terrorist attack itself. There’s blood on everybody’s hands from 9/11.


The drive from Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park to Rouleau Saskatchewan was beautiful. There were Salt lakes along the highway, the colour of the water was a light, milky blue. We thought it was snow piled along the side of the shore, but it was beautiful salt. After a quick stop at Rouleau and Dog River, we headed to Moosomin. We were planning on staying at the campground we stayed at during our way west through Canada, but we could not get a hold of the camp, so we decided on the second-best thing: The CANALTA hotel.


When we first arrived at the Canalta hotel we recognized music playing in the lobby; it was a tune that Jaime and I listen to during our morning workouts at home. It was nice to hear familiar music as we checked in. We ordered our meal at A&W from yet another, hardworking new Canadian who was keeping our economy going whilst many white-collar workers sat at home behind their Macs. We took our A&W to our room and ate heartily.


It was nice to stay in a large, comfortable room for the night. We had a short trek today but there will be a longer one tomorrow. It was time to rest our joints and bones for the night. Truck house was parked outside with its posts down waiting for tomorrow’s journey.



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