Saskatoon, 2013, number 1

Welcome to Saskatoon.

First day, out to Batoche, another place people on both sides have died, terrified.

Second day. Wanuskewin. An aboriginal (Cree?) wintering site. All I can think of, having spent lovely time in a tipi, bloody cold all winter long. Thank goodness for central heating. Return to Saskatoon.

Third day; what started out as a pleasant walk under 8/8 cloud turned in to an 11 or 12 kilometer walk in the rain, with 5 or 6 km in a bloody downpour.

Saskatoon is not cyclist-friendly. Saskatoon is not very pedestrian-friendly. But good god is there a lot of space devoted to vehicles. And parking. And the endless damage that Winter does is most heeded on those places where cars want to go. Sidewalks, and pedestrians, not so much.

Walking across the University Bridge there is a near-constant volume of water being sprayed on pedestrians as vehicles splash across the bridge. Dirty, gritty, ugly water.

Sidewalks, damaged by years of frost heaves, are nothing but pools of water. Drainage is noticeable in its absence.

I’m sure the folks are friendly, if they get out of their 4 X 4 trucks, but then they’d have to crunch through a Winter’s accumulation of gravel (used on the roads for traction) that is dense enough that you can kick the piles. In mid-June.

A lovely friend, an actor, said that when in Saskatoon on tour they elected to stay in the beige, boring motel room rather than face downtown Saskatoon. I can see why.

More later.

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