Me debunk an American myth?
And take my life in my hands?
Where the great plains begin
At the hundredth meridian
At the hundredth meridian
Where the great plains begin

The Liberty Elevator
The original Liberty Grain Elevator, there are still a few wooden elevators left in the province, I got to see three.
Sony a6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS

As a Canadian, I’m ashamed to say the furthest west I’ve ever travelled in our remarkable country is Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. But after getting married two years ago, I gained a whole new branch of the family and my wife, and I decided that it was high time I met them. And earlier in the month, Heather and I went out beyond the hundredth meridian and dived deep into the great plains. While not a photo-heavy trip, as we were there mainly to visit family. Uncle Randy and Aunt Pat were more than happy to show us around driving us around Regina. During the first two days with a visit to the Legislature and the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and a visit to Scotty who is the world’s oldest and largest Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Mind's Garden
A beautiful piece of art at the University of Regina, The Mind Garden is a cut steel sculpture by Joseph Fafard, OC SOM.
Sony a6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS
The Ledge
The beautiful Saskatchewan Legislative Building.
Minolta Maxxum 9 – Konica-Minolta AF Zoom 17-35mm 1:2.8-4 D – Lomography Potsdam 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C
The North-West Territories
The original North-West Territory Administration building, Regina served as the territorial capital from 1883 to 1905.
Minolta Maxxum 9 – Konica-Minolta AF Zoom 17-35mm 1:2.8-4 D – Lomography Potsdam 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C
Scotty
Scotty, as shot from above.
Sony a6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS

It would not be a trip to Regina without a visit to the RCMP Depot, Regina is the historic home of the RCMP and its predecessor, the Royal North-West Mounted Police. Today those landmark buildings make up the Training academy. During the summer they run a series of Sunset Ceremonies to provide additional learning for the cadets with marching, artillery demonstration, music, and manoeuvring. The family again got Heather and I VIP seats with Uncle Tom and a quick behind the scene’s tour after the fact.

Sunset Ceremony
Cadets show off how a gun crew would have operated during the North-West Rebellion of 1885 which would be the first time the NWMP went into combat.
Sony a6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS
Sunset Ceremony
RCMP members performing similar manuvers that would be done during the iconic musical ride but without horses.
Minolta Maxxum 9 – Minolta Maxxum AF 50mm 1:1.7 – Lomography Potsdam 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C
RCMP Memorial Chapel
The RCMP Memorial Chapel is the oldest building in Regina, built in 1883 originally a guardhouse, then a messhall, before being converted in 1895 to a chapel and is one of the oldest places of worship in Canada.
Sony a6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS
Headquarters
The training academy admin building remains today marked for the Royal North-West Mounted Police and is the former headquarters building for the force.
Sony a6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS

If you scratch the surface, you will find the dark underbelly of history through the province. We couldn’t make it out to any of the battlefields from the North-West Rebellion; we did visit Moose Jaw. For many of the post-war (World War One) years, Moose Jaw was the centre of a great deal of criminal activity connected to the mob, specifically Al Capone. We even went underground and took in the Little Chicago tunnel tour, which was a bit more show than history but a fun trip all the same. The city itself shows the slow march of time but makes for great photography.

Moose Jaw Station
The Moose Jaw CPR Station, built in the early 1920s and still operates today, although in a far more limited manner than the golden age of rail travel.
Sony a6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS
FRB No. 49 - Lomography Potsdam 100 - Roll No. 2 (Kodak HC-110)
The original Central Fire Station for Moose Jaw, it operated from 1908-1989.
Minolta Maxxum 9 – Konica-Minolta AF Zoom 17-35mm 1:2.8-4 D – Lomography Potsdam 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C
Commercial Building
One of the many buildings in the city in need of a facelift. The whole down town is a mix of restored and sagging building blocks.
Sony a6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS
FRB No. 49 - Lomography Potsdam 100 - Roll No. 2 (Kodak HC-110)
The city hall was originally built as a Government Building in the Edwardian Classical style in 1911, it became the new city hall in 1965.
Minolta Maxxum 9 – Konica-Minolta AF Zoom 17-35mm 1:2.8-4 D – Lomography Potsdam 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C

One thing I quickly learned about the Province is that places are not that far distant from each other. We rarely ranged further than an hour outside of Regina; it seems that way because of the lack of geographical changes. It is mostly flat, there are some hills, plenty of valleys, but when you can see a city centre from twenty-four clicks away. You know you’re in the prairies. Speaking of hills, the second highlight of the trip was the visit to Claybank. Located in the Cypress Hills, clay had been discovered there in 1886, and the clay found it’s way into area brick plants. It wouldn’t be until 1912 a plant found itself built near the source. The coal fire kiln produced bricks that were put into historical buildings across Canada and the firebricks into locomotives and destroyers. But as times changed the plant shut down in 1989, abandoned in place and now a place to visit. As a former explorer, a place like Claybank proved precisely why I explored.

Enter the Banks
There’s a lot left at the site, all original, just sitting there, even bricks that never were shipped out.
Sony a6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS
Into the Maze
Heather and some of former coal fired kilns, after the switch to Natural gas in 1975 the bricks lost their colour and construction companies lost interest.
Minolta Maxxum 9 – Minolta Maxxum AF 28mm 1:2.8 (Red-25a) – Rollei Retro 80s @ ASA-80 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. E 8:00 @ 20C
The Bunk House
The only restored building on site is the bunkhouse which serves as gift shop and offices.
Sony a6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS
The Clayfields
The starck emptiness of the old clayfields.
Minolta Maxxum 9 – Minolta Maxxum AF 28mm 1:2.8 (Red-25a) – Rollei Retro 80s @ ASA-80 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. E 8:00 @ 20C

As vacations go this one proved far more relaxing than most, and our final day in the province would be spent at the shore of Last Mountain Lake where more family has a cottage, although we did see some wildlife, a moose and a pelican.

Moose!
I’ve never seen a moose out in the wild this close!
Sony a6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS
Last Mountain
Don’t let the water fool you, it was pretty green, we didn’t go swimming.
Sony a6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS
Pelican
We did get a lovely visit by this pelican!
Sony a6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS
Last Shot
The clouds started rolling in so we packed it in and headed back into the city.
Sony a6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS

Now, these photos are just a small taste of the images I captured on the trip; you can go and check everything else over on my Flickr site. And even these only scratch the surface of everything the province has to offer and Heather and I are certainly planning a return trip. That list of places is only getting longer these days, but hey, it means we’ll never be out of ideas of places to go. And as someone from the East, I’m now rather fond of Western Canada.

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