eh Canada Travel’s Road Trip to Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan
“The best way to experience Saskatchewan is on the grid roads. My suggestion is to always, when you can, venture off the #1 Highway and explore the true beauty of Saskatchewan!”
Contact : Cary Horning at sask(at)ehCanadaTravel.com
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Spring is finally in the air! This week was my first road trip of 2015 and my destination was Maple Creek, Saskatchewan in Cypress Hills. It felt so good to get out on the highway again exploring Saskatchewan. As always there are many unforeseen adventures including wildlife sightings on this trip. The Antelope and Bison sightings we encountered just confirmed that Spring has arrived in Saskatchewan.
Thank you very much to Gail Kesslar, Director of The Cypress Hills Destination Area for inviting me to their annual membership meeting and for the opportunity to speak and share the benefits of joining ehCanadaTravel.com with their CHD members. It was an educational experience, sharing tourism ideas, and meeting the determined tourism businesses of the region. I took home some great memories including trying, for the first time, some Rhubarb and Cherry wine from the Cypress Hills Winery. I will definitely be stopping by the winery for a wine tour this coming May. I look forward to seeing you all again soon.
We had the pleasure of staying at The Commercial Hotel which dates back to 1883. Located on Pacific Avenue in the heart of the Historic Downtown area, The Commercial Hotel, was built by T.C. Power Brothers of Fort Benton, Montana. It was a two story log building that was the largest of its kind at the time. Today, after several owners and a devastating flood in 2010, the hotel is being restored to its former glory by Mr. Noy Lim and friends. The lobby is filled with history that includes photos of the hotel in days gone by, an antique cash register and an old safe made in New York by the Cary Company. I rarely see anything with the correct spelling of my name, Cary, so finding this old safe with my name spelt correctly was a thrill and gave me a real connection to this hotel. If only the walls could talk!
On the 2nd floor was my room for the night. Just like the olden days I was given a real key to open the door not a swipe card. Not many hotels are left with this nostalgic feature. Our room was clean and modern with an inviting decor and presented us with some lovely restored touches from the past such as a shiny gold radiator.
Staff were excited and eager to answer our questions about the hotel and they even made a print out of the complete history of their grand Commercial Hotel that I could bring home with me which I appreciated very much. Mr. Noy Lim and Staff, I would like to thank you very much for your hospitality during our stay in your gorgeous hotel. I look forward to visiting you again very soon.
Maple Creek is located in Saskatchewan’s South-West region – just a short drive off the Trans Canada Highway. It is a quaint historic town nestled amongst rolling hills. Visitors are invited to take a relaxing stroll, bike ride or an in-line skate around the beautiful community of Maple Creek. After, there are shops, stores and restaurants to keep you entertained.
Two key attractions of the community are found along the trail – the Jasper Cultural and Historical Centre and the Southwest Old timers Museum – plus a variety of recreational facilities. Nearby Cypress Hills Inter Provincial Park and Historic Fort Walsh are a must to visit as well as the Cypress Hills Winery. Remember to taste their Rhubarb & Cherry wines and have a Tour. I bet you don’t leave empty handed!
Heading out of Maple Creek we stopped at Sunnyside RV Motel Campground and B&B located just north of the Trans Canada Highway. The log home B&B is a stunning place to relax. Lyle’s warm prairie hospitality was so welcoming after a busy 2 days. The RV Motel is for those who would like to go camping but do not have their own trailer or camping equipment. There are trailers on site for rent for your outdoor vacation needs. Yes, Fido can join you here on a getaway weekend too, how awesome is that!
You will be greeted warmly at Sunnyside by a gorgeous friendly Husky named Loki. Loki has the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen and sure hammed it up for the camera. Thank you Lyle for the great cup of coffee and tour of your gorgeous home, we look forward to camping with you in May. Lyle will be welcoming his first guests starting this May so book early.
We said goodbye to Lyle and Maple Creek and took a few detours down grid roads on the way home to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. One of my favorite things to do is to get off the #1 Trans Canada Hwy and explore the grid roads. There you will find old homesteads and barns still standing but abandoned many, many years ago. I always stop and take a picture of these lonely buildings, appreciating their unique beauty. I thank each and every Saskatchewan farmer for leaving these pieces of prairie history standing for so many to see.
Traveling grid roads will also give you the best opportunity to see wildlife and birds you won’t likely see traveling the highway. We were very fortunate to see two white Snowy Owls just outside Courval, SK. One Snowy Owl perched on top of a sign, dove into the tall grass on the roadside snatching a mouse in his claws and proceeded to eat his catch in the field nearby unaware he was being watched. All the wildlife we saw during our 2 days on the road seemed to be enjoying the spring weather as much as we were. They were basking in the warm sun and nibbling on the first green shoots appearing in the fields and on the hillsides. Eyes closed facing the sun…just enjoying life.
The best way to experience Saskatchewan is on the grid roads. My suggestion is to always, when you can, venture off the #1 Highway and explore the true beauty of Saskatchewan!
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