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  • Writer's pictureKarl Koerber

Saskatchewan Road Trip, Part 4: Petroglyphs, Badlands and the Willow Bunch Giant

Day 7: After spending a couple of days visiting with family in and around Regina, we hit the road once more, heading south from Moose Jaw to our base for the next four days: the town of Assiniboia - population about 2,400. After checking in to our accommodation, we decided to visit the St. Victor petroglyphs, a short distance south of town. The tiny Fransaskois (Franco-Saskatchewanais) village of St. Victor has a population of about 25 people, and is situated near the St. Victor Petroglyphs Provincial Park.

There is an interpretive centre in the village, but it was closed when we stopped there.

The petroglyphs are carved into a horizontal limestone surface on a ridge overlooking the valley, and are believed to be 300 to 1500 years old. Otherwise, not much is known about them.

Nice views from the petroglyph site.

Since we were in the vicinity, we also stopped in the village of Willow Bunch to find the statue of Edouard Beaupre, the “Willow Bunch Giant.” Beaupre suffered from gigantism, a hormonal imbalance that triggers abnormal growth, and attained a height of over eight feet during his short and rather tragic life.

A sunset and the windmills around Assiniboia welcomed us back at the end of the day.

Days 8 and 9: Before we carried on touring the side roads, we visited the Shurniak Art Gallery, a world-class gallery located in Assiniboia, that houses the private collection of William Shurniak, who grew up in nearby Limerick. We spent a lovely morning enjoying the beautiful artworks from around the world that were currently on display.

In the afternoon we explored the area to the south, around Rockglen and Wood Mountain.

As usual, we saw wildlife along the way, including a whitetail deer and more pronghorn.

The following day we decided to check out the “Big Muddy Badlands" to the southeast, near the border with Montana.

The Big Muddy valley and its sandstone formations were created some 12,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.

Outlaws such as Sam Kelly, Dutch Henry, the Nelson Jones gang and the Sundance Kid are rumoured to have used the caves in the badlands to hide out from American authorities.

One impressive feature of the badlands is Castle Butte, a 200-foot-tall formation that is a conglomerate of various materials. The terrain in this area is certainly not what comes to mind when thinking about the prairies.

This red fox was hunting in the stubble of a field along the way, enduring the strong, cold winds that had accompanied an incoming a weather front.

Another sunset at the end of another amazing day in the not-so-flatlands of Saskatchewan.

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2 commentaires

23 oct. 2023

Your photography does the prairies proud, Karl.

Karl Koerber
Karl Koerber
23 oct. 2023
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