It was nice to get away from the traffic!
You really have to have a car to explore in Saskatchewan and, for once, it was nice to get off the main highways and onto some of Saskatchewan's lesser roads. Just north of Regina I swung off Highway 6 onto the unpaved secondary Highway 729 and the traffic immediately dropped to practically zero. The road itself was very solid and not bumpy so I was able to relax as I slowed down and took in the sights. This view shows my first glimpse of the Qu'Appelle River valley as the highway cut through an earthen mound on the valley wall.
After I had finished looking around the village of Craven, I continued alongside the river on Highway 99 (second photo) as it looped back to Highway 6 several miles further up from where I had initially turned off. Once again, there was no traffic, the road was in good shape and it was very scenic as I drove along looking at the meandering bends in the river and at both sides of its uniquely cut valley walls.
The 3rd photo was taken as I was approaching the village of Craven and shows a typical very wide, but shallow ditch beside Highway 729. In this case, it was full of water from melting snow, with its surface still partially frozen from the overnight temperatures.
- Road Trip
The river has been bridged a few times
My drive along the Qu'Appelle River ended where Highway 99 returned to connect with Highway 6, one of the main provincial roads. It was there that I saw three bridges in a row, with the first two no longer in operation. This view of the middle of the three was taken from the oldest bridge and shows the typical concrete arch construction used in its period of bridge-building. However, other than the words "Qu'Appelle River" etched into the concrete abutments at each end (seen in my Intro photo) there was nothing that revealed its age. On one of my earlier business trips to a Potash mine located over 2 hours away, I noticed an identically designed (and abandoned) bridge as I crossed the Qu'Appelle at that location.
The next two photos show the first bridge across the river at this location. It was also built of concrete but had a much narrower road surface, more suitable when cars were of the skinny Model-T variety! This bridge had even less information than the arched bridge, but I would guess it dates from the early 1900s while the other has a more Art Deco 20s and 30s look. I cannot find any information on either bridge. The 4th and 5th photos show the 'Art Deco' bridge from other angles, but the third (modern) bridge is just a flat contraption that was so plain I could not even bring myself to take a photo of it!
- Road Trip