My Great Western Auto Tour

May 6, cont'd: Calgary, Alberta, to Kenmare, North Dakota

Page last updated May 29, 2002.

In Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, I turned off the Trans-Canada Highway and headed southeast toward North Portal. [I just found out this morning that Moose Jaw is the home of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds! We flew together at the Niagara Falls air show this weekend, May 18-19. I flew from 9 AM to noon with the RC guys, they flew at the end of the day.]

As I went through a small town, I saw some men looking at smoke on the horizon. It turned out to be a grass fire set accidentally by a farmer. He apparently had raked his field in order to clean it for seeding and tried to burn just the chaff; the fire spread to the field and may even have set some railroad ties on fire. The smoke was amazingly thick as it crossed the road. I was completely blinded for a moment and hit the brakes in panic. I pushed through and then parked and discussed the fire with a father and son who had also stopped on the other side of the plume. The Germans call it "schadenfreude," taking joy in the sorrow of others. The farmer got the fire extinguished on his property, but the flames were spreading up the railroad embankment on the other side of his fence.

Near the border, huge excavators were strip-mining for some mineral. This is the Prairie Queen at work.

Monday, May 6: Calgary, Alberta, to Kenmare, North Dakota