While I plan conferences and teach pilgrimage classes here in Montreal, my colleague Hugh Henry has been doing the heavy lifting of contacting folks along our planned walking route in Saskatchewan. Some of the on-the-ground details remain to be determined. But the route is set, and those who would like to walk with us for a day, a few days, or longer, are encouraged to contact the SK Historical and Folklore Society, at http://shfs.ca/contact/ for more information and to register their names for the walk.
Today I met with two young film-makers who would like to be part of the project. Some of you may hear from them soon, as they are setting up a crowd-funding site.
In the meantime, here is the tentative itinerary:
NWMP Trail – Walk Schedule
July 17 arrive at Wood Mountain Post Prov. Historic Site Accommodation: camp at Wood Mountain Regional Park (adjacent to Post – pool, showers, food service) Activities: tour Wood Mountain Post; Rodeo and Ranch Museum; NWMP cemetery
July 18 trek ‘commissioning’ event in morning at Wood Mountain Post; walk through W. M. First Nation to Orthodox church south of Glentworth distance: est 13 miles/21 km Accommodation: tenting at church yard; hotel in Glentworth (food service) Bike Hwy 18 – 19 mi./29 km to Glentworth
July 19 from church to McCord distance: est. 12 mi /19 km Accommodation: tenting at campground next to McCord museum (store and service station in town) Bike Hwy 18 – 8 mi./13 km to McCord
July 20 from McCord to Mankota distance: est. 11 mi /17.5 km Accommodation: hotel in Mankota. or tenting in town; showersOther events: public presentation about history of NWMP Trail markers; reconsidering the history Bike Hwy 18 – 11 mi. to Mankota
July 21 from Mankota to Walker farmyard distance: est. 13 mi / 21 k Accommodation: tenting in Walker farmyard Bike Hwy 18 – 41mi. to Val Marie
July 22 from Walker farm to farm at corner of Hwy 18, E of Val Marie. distance: est. 14 mi / 22.5 km Accommodation: tenting in farmyard
July 23 from farm to Val Marie. distance: est. 9 mi / 14 km Accommodation: Val Marie hotel / convent / The Crossing, campground in town
July 24 rest day in Val Marie Activities – visit Grasslands N.P. interpretive centre; Prairie Wind and Silver Sage; etc. Program in evening – presentations at Prairie Wind & Silver Sage (Museum); campfire sing-along Note: `Sleep under the Stars` event at Grasslands National Park on July 25.
July 25 from Val Marie to Range 15/16 road. distance: est. 13 mi /21 km Accommodation: tenting in abandoned farmyard
July 26 from Range 15/16 road to Jensen family ranch. distance: est. 13 mi /21 km Accommodation: tenting in Jensen Ranch yard
July 27 from Jensen Ranch along Frenchman; detour to Bible Camp. distance: est. 8 mi / 13 km Accommodation: Riverview Bible Camp on Hwy #37, south of Frenchman (toilets, showers, campfire)
July 28 from Bible Camp to Gronhovd farm. distance: est. 13 mi / 21 k Accommodation: tenting in Gronhovd yard
July 29 Gronhovd farm to Wig farm (?) along Frenchman river. distance: est. 13 mi / 21 kmAccommodation: tenting at farmyard
July 30 Wig farm (?) to Chimney Coulee. distance: est. 14 mi / 22.5 km Accommodation: tenting at Chimney Coulee
July 31 Chimney Coulee to Eastend. distance: est. 3.5 mi / 5 km Accommodation: Cypress Hotel, Riverview Motel, B&Bs, camp at Pine Cree Reg. Park
August 1 Rest day in Eastend SHFS-sponsored field trips and presentations (archaeology, geology, paleontology, local history, etc.). Communal supper (café or catered) Accommodations: hotel, motel, B&B, Park
Aug. 2 from Eastend to Ravenscrag corner, Hwy 13. distance: est. 13 mi /21 km Accommodation: tenting in Arnal farmyard
Aug. 3 from Ravenscrag corner to farm near Robsart. distance: est. 11 mi /18 km Accommodation: tenting in farmyard near Robsart
Aug. 4 from Robsart to Cypress Lake. distance: est. 15 mi / 24 km Accommodation: tenting at Cypress Lake (no facilities)
Aug. 5 morning at Lake; Cypress Lake to Brost Ranch distance: est. 6 mi / 9.5 km Accommodation: tenting at Clint Brost ranch. NWMP patrol station (Cottonwood Coulee ?)
Aug. 6 Brost ranch to Parsonage Ranch. distance: est. 14 mi / 22.5 km Accommodation: tent at Parsonage Ranch
Aug. 7 Parsonage Ranch to Ft. Walsh distance: est. 5 mi / 8 km Event: welcoming celebration
- Walkers are responsible for providing all of their personal needs. A support vehicle will follow walkers to carry food, bedding and other supplies. Note the towns passed along the route and the possibility of booking motel or related accommodations. (On your own for this.)
- Suggested bike route at beginning of trek is on paved Hwy and parallels the NWMP Trail. There is the opportunity to join walkers during stops at Wood Mountain, McCord, Mankota or Val Marie. Daily travel distances and pace to be determined by individual bikers.
- There may be opportunities to trace the Trail on horseback, along dirt roads or through pastures. Details on dates and locations will be determined after landowners have been consulted, and may be affected by weather events.
- The daily walk schedule may be affected by weather, so distances and stops are approximate. Also, the number of walkers able to access cultivated fields may be restricted by landowners.