Vacay to Saskatchewan 2014: Day 5 (July 5)
Maple Creek and the Wedding
I’ve been so very, very lax in my blogging of late. Don’t have any good excuses, it has just taken a back seat to other things. But, it’s time to really get back in the saddle, finish my vacation posts, and then make a plan for the rest of the blogging year.
Maybe part of why I have been slow about this vacation series is that I haven’t really wanted the vacation to end. I’ve been back to work for, well for a long time now, but it is still hard to believe that summer is leaving us. We are still having such amazing weather here. Endless sun, unseasonably warm (not hot – it never really gets hot here), but it’s time to move on. Yes, I know no one here wants to think about it, but we do need the rain. The darker mornings and earlier night-falls are never easy to see coming back, but that’s life!
So, with that, let’s remember July 5th 2014 and the adventure that was The Wedding.
Short travel – it is only 4 hours from Brooks to Maple Creek. The main pass-through en route is Medicine Hat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicine_Hat, http://www.city.medicine-hat.ab.ca/). Medicine Hat is a city of 60,000 or so. The Ranchman, which was the only picture I got as we did NOT stop – had places to go – is apparently a landmark. A motel lost in time, it apparently features not only breakfast, but also on-site BBQs! It does not, however, have a website, but you can book a room using one of the many room-booking sites out there.
So, after Medicine Hat, it’s pretty much prairie. I don’t seem to have taken any pictures from the car of our journey except for this one, which was pretty much typical of the voyage to Maple Creek.
Then, we reached our destination – Maple Creek (http://www.maplecreek.ca/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maple_Creek,_Saskatchewan). Maple Creek is a town of about 2000 people – a typical prairie town with one main street and a few amenities. I must say, though, I was a little nervous about checking into the hotel when we pulled up.
The main floor was better – high ceilings and open, with a newly renovated restaurant in the back. But, once we went up the stairs (yes, no elevator for us!) to the second floor, we discovered that the hotel is indeed undergoing renovations. It sounds like it was bought by a Filipino family who is turning it around, and the rooms have all been newly redone. Small, but nice and comfy, not that we would be spending a lot of time there. The view out the window was nothing special – a typical small-town Saskatchewan view of the railroad tracks. But, it was time to get a move on!
Now, we did check out the wedding venue before checking into the hotel, just to make sure we know where we were going. The venue, a B&B called GhostTown blues (http://www.ghostownblues.com/ ), is a few miles out of town. But, I have to say, it’s a pretty cool place! Imagine this:
The place is run by an old (well, maybe a little older than us…) cowboy from the states who settled here I think about 14 years ago (I’d have to ask Kevin – he had quite a chat with the gentleman). The main focus of GhostTown Blues is an old church building which he moved from Hatton, Sask. and restored. The “rooms” are a series of restored thresherman wagons and homestead cabins, as well as sheep wagons, otherwise known as chuckwagons – yes, chuckwagons, one of which is a Studebaker! There are composting toilets and also a place for people to pitch tents for camping. Anyway, you need to check out their website to find out more! And you can read more about GhostTown Blues here: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/107892/15.
The wedding – we weren’t sure what to expect at the wedding. First, we were worried about heat and mosquitoes. And it was hot, but not as hot as I thought it would be. There were mosquitoes though, although they never bother me like they do Kevin. We did get lucky with a good breeze. Not gale-force Saskatchewan winds, but a good breeze that kept the heat and mosquitoes at bay for most of the evening.
The wedding started around 4:00 pm. We knew it was going to be in the Quaker tradition (LINK) and we also assumed it would be outdoors, unless it rained (we got SO lucky considering Saskatchewan had been water-logged for weeks before the wedding, although Kevin was sad that we did not see one of the famous prairie thunderstorms during out trip). Well, it was an outdoor wedding, but as I said, it was NOT too hot. The ceremony was held beneath a grove of trees, with that nice breeze moving the heat and mosquitoes away. And it was lovely. The ceremony, having everyone invited to speak and sign the marriage certificate, the reception and dinner, the scenery, the cake – everything! Jeremy and Nikko, congratulations on an amazing wedding experience! Here are a few pictures of the evening:
The dishes for the reception dinner were all collected by Jeremy and Nikko over months from second-hand stores. We all washed our own dishes and were invited to take any we liked with us for a small donation. Anything left was going back to the second-hand stores. What a great idea!
Dinner was an assortment of buffet salads and other wonderful dishes, but the crowning glory was the pig which had been slow cooked for 24 hours. Yum…glad Jeremy is no longer vegetarian (although there were lots of great vegetarian and vegan options to be had).
The band was Belle Plaine (http://www.belleplainemusic.com/)– the band Jeremy and the MC, Beth (the bass player) play in. They apparently perform out at GhostTown Blues a bit, and that’s how Jeremy and Nikko discovered it.
The cake was lovely and made by Beth’s partner Erin. AND it was gluten free!! That NEVER happens. I was in heaven!
And gradually, the sun set and while the dancing still went on, it was time for us to head back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep before getting ready to head for Regina for a few days to visit family and friends before heading back home.
Nothing like a prairie sunset!!