July 21 & 22, 2012


- or -


(with distinct apologies to J. R. R. Tolkien)



A couple of intrepid trailblazing motor vehicles gathered at the sacred store before setting off towards the uncharted wilderness to the north.

We set off towards the great unknown territory.

A brief bivouac at at what looked to be a promising local source of sustenance.

Then once again on the trail heading to the north-west to discover the great unknown.



On our way, we discovered a fair sized settlement of local inhabitants.

Who knew such a large settlement had been established in the vast wilderness?

The friendly inhabitants of this large settlement then invited us to a local religious gathering.
We believed it was to demonstrate their prowess with black powder weapons,
as it was at a gathering place called "The Muzzle Loaders Club".

Music, dance (more of a staggering I suppose), refreshments, and freindly chat lasted to the wee hours.

We came across some well organized foreigners like ourselves (foreigners like ourselves ...
not the organized part).

We left the gathering light of heart and light of mind (as a local beer called "Pilsner" was widely inhaled).
We came to realize that this group of local inhabitants were rabbit worshipers, as the metal containers from which they drank this local brew was covered in rabbit symbology.

It was then back to the inn at the heart of the settlement for a good night's rest.



The next day the locals had gathered outside our inn for a celebration of some sorts.

They brought their mighty steeds from far and wide, most of which were old and smelled of burning oil, horsehair, and leather.
It was obvious they adored there mounts, as they all seemed very well groomed
(the cars ... the locals were another matter).

Most of these precious steeds were indeed old; try as they might to keep a sense of dignity, almost all were unable to keep from leaving behind some sort of "remembrance". In what we learned later to be a ritualized cleansing ceremony, all of the owners, at some point in the day, discretely bent over to look below their precious mounts to see whether the animals were able to refrain from the dreaded "marking of the spot".

We came across some foreigners from a north-western outpost called "Edmonton". There were some from "Lloydminster" which we understood also to be to the north-west. We encountered some brave individuals from a river-fort named "Calgary" which is near the great mountains to the west.

An old friend of Mike's appeared.

Some other travellers were found from our home territories. Although they quietly kept to themselves (other than a few snide comments about our travel attire), their very presence displayed a plucky perseverance that made us proud.

We discovered the locals had developed mechanized farming techniques.
It was starting to become apparent that the locals were not as backward as their remote location would have lead us to believe.

Finally, our relief column arrived from home, having left in the early morning hours. They too seemed surprised at the sophistication of the local inhabitants of this remote outpost.

We left the gathering shortly before the evening meal, having enjoyed our encounter with this remote settlement's inhabitants. The trek home was one of reevaluation of the known world, having encountered this previously unknown remote outpost which the locals called "Saskatoon". There was much to commend the locals' spirit and spunk, and all of our party of adventurers vowed to return.

We stopped for a brief break and a quick meal at a small local hostelry on the edge of the wilderness. The fair was good and the portions generous.

Mike was so happy to return to civilization that he danced a brief jig while three of our adventure team discussed the shortest path home.

Although we expected to be able to make the final leg to home without stopping, one more surprise lay ahead.

Phil roared past us just outside of the Chamberlain settlement, taking us all by surprise.

When we arrived at the settlement, we found the reason for his haste ... ice cream.

Then, indeed, the final leg home.
As the sun set in our rear view mirrors, we all carried on to our individual homes, safe in the knowledge that we had discovered a fledgling civilization on our very doorstep.