August 31, 2009 GMT
Saskatchewan

I crossed the border into Saskatchewan at Flin Flon. This mining town was established by the Hudson Bay Company who asked the residents what they wanted the town to be called. When no reply came a message was sent to the residents stating that unless they responded and chose a name it would be called after the fictional character Flin Flon. This was probably said in jest but when the residents failed to come up with a name the Hudson Bay Company registered the town as Flin Flon.


West of Flin Flon I hit my northern most point so far in this journey across 'Northern' Canada. I had passed a sign marking the 54th Parallel which didn't mean much at the time but assumed it to be significant for somebody to go to the bother of erecting the sign. That evening I checked the World map to see just how far north I was compared to my more familiar Europe. Somewhere in Norway, Denmark, Iceland maybe? Er... no, I was exactly in line with Newcastle upon Tyne, my home town in England. So much for the intrepid adventure traveller!

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Nipekamew Sand Cliffs, Highway 165, Saskatchewan

From another wild camp at Nipekamew Sand Cliffs I headed for Meadow Lake Provincial Park not too far from Alberta. The route consisted mainly of unpaved roads with a couple of short paved sections. The unpaved roads varied from smooth where I could do a steady 50mph to rutted loose gravel and sand that made 15mph exciting. After a long tiring day I had to detour 40 miles for fuel before camping. I had travelled 420 miles without seeing a fuel station. I was a little concerned at how much the lower gear dirt roads would effect the fuel range. However on refilling there was 5 litres left so the bike could comfortably do 450 miles between refills. When I finally arrived at the campsite they actually sold fuel so the detour was unnecessary.

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Greig Lake Sunset, Meadow Lake Provincial Park

I spent a few relaxing days here and started thinking more about where to spend the winter. I had planned a loop North to Slave Lake but decided to head straight for Edmonton and start the search for a winter residence in Alberta.

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Meadow Lake Provincial Park Campsite

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Campsite Deer, Used To Being Hand Fed I Suspect As It Walked Right Up To Me

Whilst riding on a dirt road within the park I finally saw a moose. There were two, an adult and a younger one standing in the middle of the road. I couldn't get close enough for a photograph though. They were off into the trees as soon as I tried to approach.

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But They Are All Good At Hiding

I was on my way to the start of a walk where I saw plenty and varied ‘scat’ and footprints. One clear bear footprint dwarfed my hand. The wildlife itself stayed well out of sight though.

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There Be Bears Lurking In These Woods

Heading towards Alberta, the first 70 miles were on unpaved roads within Meadow Lake Provincial Park. The parks are big and Canada is VAST!

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Beware Skiddoos

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Lake And Trees

A couple of minor problems have cropped up. I suspect the dirt roads are the cause. The fuel tap in the Touratec second fuel tank developed a leak. Tightening the retaining screws has stopped the leak but the O ring is dislodged so I will need to drain the tank and remove the valve to effect a proper repair. The pump on the petrol stove has packed up which means I can’t cook anything. I had some spare parts for the stove but naturally, not the one I need. I will try and get the part in Edmonton, my next stop.

Saskatchewan 055 Lake And Trees.jpg
Trees And Lake

Posted by ianmoor@tiscali.co.uk at August 31, 2009 10:18 PM GMT
 

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