Wednesday, 13 August 2014


Workstay #3 - Broadview, Saskatchewan

We knew that sometimes we may not come across some ideal situations during our trip and our third workstay was not ideal for safety reasons, mainly. The hosts were wonderful, truly. An old time trapper and his wife, with lots to teach us, to be sure, but for safety reasons we could not really stay as Molly was the first child they had had stay on their farm, so the risks were too many. The trapper's wife had been ill and we understood that she hadn't been physically able to do the necessary work to look after a large farm house. But we offered to help get things cleaned up, but we the trapper was a bit afeared that the missus wouldn't take kindly to things being moved around and displaced, so that really meant that we hit a roadblock in how long we could stay there in those conditions.

We spent one day picking wild sage, which really was a wonderful workstay job to do, but just not ideal to drag Molly to a field for five hours to do this job. She was a trooper though and picked wild flowers, sat in the back of the pick up truck with a book or explored the field we were in.

Four freezers full of moose and rabbit meat. I made my first massive moose roast, complete with moose(!!) gravy. The funny story he told us was about his younger trapper Native buddy who spotted a moose on the near horizon one day. He got his rifle and when he shot, he thought he needed another round, so he bent down to reload. When he came up again, he realised the moose was still standing. So, he fired off another shot. Then when he looked back up, he realised the moose was still standing, so he fired off another shot. Finally, the moose was down. When they all went up to see the beast and start the arduous task of quartering the moose (with a workawayer in tow), to their surprise and dismay, he had actually shot three moose. And the roast I made was one of those badboys.

There were millions trillions gazillions  lots of mosquitoes.At night, all we could hear was the loud, collective hum, warning us to just dare to open the tent window. Taunting us. Hundreds resting on our screen windows, just waiting to have a chance at us. In the old farmhouse, there were seventy birds in a sunroom, connected to the living room, squawking and fluttering. Imagine feeding your hip city kid moose for every meal - it ain't happening. Nosireebob. The old fellar was an indoor chainsmoker and we still had Molly on a puffer trying to recover from the brutal cough she caught she caught from the first kids in North Bay.oh, but let's not forget the ticks. Ticks everywhere. And we can't get the image of the bunnies in the basement NOT being raised as pets. There was only a bath, no shower and Oscar swears that the upstairs roof was held up by jacks.

We felt really bad about having to leave, but we didn't really have a choice. Luckily, they have had close to seventy Wwoofers stay with them over three years and more were on the way to help them after we departed. It is just a different way of living, and it gave us a taste of how some people lived when they really lied off the land. It can be a really tough life.

B'N B Saskatchewan, Country Comfort with our host, Stephanie

We booked a bed and breakfast after leaving our workstay on the muggiest day. Oscar and I had a few meltdowns taking down the tent earlier, while mosquitoes attacked us relentlessly. So, when we arrived at this bed and breakfast, how happy we were to find a clean bathroom, a steady, cool breeze and no mosquitoes to be found. Our host, Stephanie greeted us and we roamed her wonderful property - cows, sheep, owls, an amazing black lab named Rocky and handfuls of kittens.

She discover a ewe that seemed to be lambing, but something was going wrong. Here is Oscar's version of what went down.

So we showed up to a little B and B south of Swift Current, Saskatchewan , chill out before we head up to Calgary . It's a beautiful working farm with herds of cows, horses, a flock of sheep, some chickens, pigs and bunnies. We we're here for an hour when the owner (a tough ,no holds barred lady named Stephanie) noticed that one of her sheep had been lying down in the field for a long time. She knew that the ewe was lambing , but something was up, something was awry. She went and checked out the situation , the lamb was breached , the legs we're coming out first. " Oscar can you help me here, if you don't mind gettin dirty ?" "Um, ok" immediately we realized there we're complications with the lamb,it was dead inside the mother. All we could see was the tail. the mother was not dilated . I'll never forget that smell or the sounds. Her partner came down to help her . Her arm elbow deep in the ewe trying to get the dead lamb out so the mother could be saved. After what seemed forever she finally found the lamb's leg , pulled it out, but the leg ripped right off. She tried again , but only entrails came out. No point in paying 250$ for a 300$ sheep that was septic and wouldn't survive the c-section. Only one course of action remained. Two rounds from a shotgun. I helped load the remains onto the truck. The air sucked out of our lungs, not a word was said between any of us. That was day 5 in Saskatchewan.

The next morning after breakfast, after Stephanie had realised what our mission was on this trip and how we were staying and helping on farms for food and lodging, she offered us two more nights to stay and help her out with a few things that she needed done on the farm. In return, we could stay in her sweet guest room, free of charge and she would feed us meals. Done! We spent the next two days doing odd jobs like tearing down a trampoline, tearing down an iron fence, gardening and weeding and a few other jobs. The breeze was steady, the sun was shining and we were well fed. It was a wonderful place to stay and we hope to land back at Stephanies in the fall to help her out again.

I discovered that I love the landscape of the prairies. golden yellows, emerald greens and with the perfect purple blue skies.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We Are Laguan With The Wind...