The best part about living in Regina is seeing it fade away in your rear-view mirror— not that I’m against some of the city’s finer points. I like the greasy pub food, half-decent beer selection and gritty rock concerts, but there’s a reason to leave it behind now and then. Feel small and ‘get lost’ in the wild. Go see how huge Saskatchewan really is.
Limestone crevices and steep river canyons. Badlands and buttes. Snake orgies and feral trout streams. This is just the tip of what you can find if you know where to look. And all of the information is out there.
The ease of access between cities and unincorporated wilderness is one of Saskatchewan’s greatest advantages. You can wake up in a hammock next to a stream, miles away from any cell service, then find yourself chowing down on a deep-dish pizza by suppertime. But if you want to enjoy what the province has to offer, you’ve got to be willing to take a risk and fly by the seat of your pants sometimes.
Challenge yourself to explore a new corner of the province. If you’re the kind of person who would die of boredom from a long highway drive or a night without Facebook, then maybe it won’t work out. Some imagination is needed to see the forest for more than just the trees. But if you know how to work to have fun, see things differently and take the good with the bad, you’ll do just fine.
The key to getting out is simple: bring like-minded friends that share your desire for adventure. Find people who know how to dance out of boredom and laugh at any ‘World’s Biggest’ roadside attraction.
But now you have to convince your friends that the trip is worthwhile.
Whether going off-grid or into a new park outside of your usual go-to destination, here’s what you can find on your adventure: friendly people, quaint villages, new restaurants, time to think, peace and quiet… And that’s only before you’ve entered the forests.
Camping in remote back-country, no story or picture can do it justice until you experience it for yourself. The stars mirroring a perfect reflection of the night sky over a calm lake. The sound of an animal trudging its way through the forest only steps away from your tent. The tug on your fishing line as silver flashes light up the bottom of the riverbed… Aside from the mosquitoes, these are the things that make the world’s colour shine brighter and even the food taste better.
There is a reason the people who choose to stay and live in Saskatchewan do so with a sense of pride. Listen and they will speak of a mysterious connection to the land— something is alive in the prairies which you can’t find anywhere else. Those who desperately want to leave might see this person as brain-washed, and maybe rightly so. But I argue that the person who chooses to stay is freer than the other.
Take the time to read and learn about what this province has to offer. With an open mind and the right group of friends, there’s always adventure at your doorstep.
. Andy Goodson .
Andy Goodson is the author of the outdoor adventure blog, The Saskatchewan Border, featuring stories and photography of his friends’ trips into the back-country of Saskatchewan and western Manitoba.