Monday, August 8, 2011

Dear Saskatchewan, Your roads suck (big time!)

Well now, I guess we know the tone of this blog post!

But I will try to be brief, then get on to the great parts of Sask.CIMG6097CIMG6098

Dear Saskatchewan government,

Now that you are raking in millions of $ in gas and oil revenues, it is time to open the purse strings and spend at least a little money on your crappy roads!  Yes, I know that you have a small population, and lots of roads, but let’s get started.  It’s a big job. For starters, I caught a rock from a passing vehicle in the Yukon almost two years ago, and the cracks had not spread since, and totally avoided my viewing area.  Two years.  That is until I hit the first few miles of roller-coaster, pot-hole laden roads in Sask.  That was enough to send the dormant cracks heading out into fresh glass in front of the passenger side (for now). Granted, most of your main roads are in decent or even good shape, but your secondary roads belong in the third world.  Mexico would be embarrassed by some of these routes!  Some of the road seemed to change back and forth between gravel, oiled surface with potholes, and back to gravel.   At least the Mexican topes (speed bumps) are marked; not so your potholes.  But like Mexico, you could detect impaired drivers on the road because they were the ones going straight down the road, not swerving and braking like any sane sober person would do to avoid these award-winning potholes!  I saw drivers considering head-on collisions with oncoming trucks, rather than plunge into one of these car-eating holes!  There is a story going around that Saskatchewan has NO road maintenance crews.  I was ready to buy into this hypothesis, till one day – it happened!  I actually saw people dressed up, pretending to fix the roads!  Here is the evidence in this un-retouched photo.  You be the judge!CIMG6111

Dear Saskatchewan Roads department,

Have you ever heard of signs?  I know tourists and strangers are rare in some parts, but not everyone lives just down the road, OK?  Consider investing in some SIGNS!

I had the misfortune to be driving about on the back roads attempting to locate an old college chum.  Normally, this would not be a problem in, like, Alberta.  With the aid of road signs at the intersection of each and every back road, and with my Google Maps app working well on my iPhone, navigating is a breeze.  Oh yes, one more note:

Dear Roger’s,  Your cell coverage sucks, big time.  Almost everywhere.  Well, actually it does not exist here, so that may prevent it from sucking?  If you have Roger’s in Saskatchewan, stick to PA, Saskatoon, and Regina.  that’s it. Elsewhere, try smoke signals or Sask Tel.

Eventually, I found the place, but I am a lot older now!

Dear Meadow Lake,

Your roads suck.

Warning!  Don’t leave the pavement in Meadow lake and attempt the service roads – especially with an RV.  I did and the rig was rocking and bucking so much I thought I was at sea in the perfect storm!

End of rant.  Disclaimer:  I was born and raised and worked in Saskatchewan, and lived in Meadow Lake, so I feel that I am entitled to an opinion, and can offer advice to them.  Otherwise it would be rude, so don’t jump on this bandwagon.  I am also a Roger’s customer, for some dubious reason?

I’ll let you know if they ever fix the roads!

Here are some pics from a totally anonymous, unmarked un-signed road near St Walburg, Sk.  The storm looked ugly, but I managed to out run most of it as I headed north, and only drove through a refreshing rain.


I knew of an old fire tower location that might offer a scenic camp spot for the night.  Unfortunately, the road to the tower was washed out, but I still found a nice trail-side spot with a bit of a lake view.  I suspect the tower was removed years ago, thus the road was not maintained any longer.CIMG6112CIMG6113


I toured through Meadow Lake Provincial Park, where they have beautiful clear lakes, with great beaches.  Sorry Alberta, yours don’t compare. And they mow the grass to keep things nice and well maintained.  Take notes, Parks Canada!CIMG6117

Wow, this is a negative blog, isn’t it!!

I was very impressed by the new solar powered water system in place at Mistohay Lake in the provincial park.  And they even had an excellent sign showing exactly how the whole thing works!  Bravo.


I then took the road around the north end of Prince Albert National Park.  It was raining, so there was no dust, and almost no traffic.  Attempted a couple little side roads near Smoothstone Lake as camp spots, but the mud was very greasy, and I was glad I was not towing a trailer, as I barely managed to turn around.  Note to Sask. highways department: You sorta forgot to gravel highway 916 past the 41km mark from where it meets highway #2!  Please check that out!  I did not locate any enticing camp spots along the route north of the Park, so ended up going into Prince Albert National Park for the night near Waskesiu Lake.  They have had a lot of rain in Saskatchewan lately, which was reflected in very high lake levels in many place.  Some of the beaches and lake-side picnic areas were flooded.


Even sections of highway #2 were covered with flood waters, and highways crews were in attendance.  Yes, this road is in very good condition!CIMG6133CIMG6134

The main reason for going to Saskatchewan at this time, was to attend the wedding of my nephew.  I must commend him for having the best wedding I have ever attended.  His planning was a bit off, however, as he chose to get married on the same day as a Saskatchewan Roughriders football game.  But he made up for it, as the speeches were wrapped up quickly, so the big screen could come down, and the entire reception got to watch the big game!  Well done!  Too bad the Riders did not do so well.

As usual, I prefer to be in the country as opposed to the city, so for the days I spent there, I was able to locate a scenic spot along the Saskatchewan river to spend the nights in peace and quiet.


From there we eventually headed back home to mow the grass, and do laundry.CIMG6147

And Hailey wanted to get back to dealing with the mouse population under the steps!


Next post:  Hike to Limestone Mountain Lookout, and my first geocache!


  1. I'm thinking you might just qualify for Saskatchewan's no 'Road Inspector' position. I hear they are looking for someone to travel their many miles of secondary roads documenting & photographing each & every pot hole. Pay is low of course but the job does offer a lot of free fresh air. Job description says, 'Only Single Men with Cats Need Apply'. I think maybe you might have a paw in the door to speak:))

  2. Hi,
    we used to live in Alberta just beyond the Sk-border. Took initial trips to Meadow Lake as well. I never got back there. Reason? The Roads. Had one terrible ride with a class C along SK. border up to Meadow Lake. I really thought the thing would fall apart.

  3. Hi,
    we used to live in Alberta just beyond the Sk-border. Took initial trips to Meadow Lake as well. I never got back there. Reason? The Roads. Had one terrible ride with a class C along SK. border up to Meadow Lake. I really thought the thing would fall apart.

  4. Hi Ivan. I realize it would be politically incorrect for a born and raised Alta. boy to comment on anything SK, but just love it when lapsed Saskatchewanians or Saskahovians cross over and get remined why they live in Alberta! Triple whammy with the roads,rushed vows and the Riders losing once again! The definition of 'consistent' in the SK dictonary lists crappy roads and another Rider loss. Will leave any mention of the Leafs to a winter blog. Welcome home. Ollie sends his regards to Hailey. Cheers Duane