One of the things I looked forward to doing in Saskatchewan is marathon canoeing – a part of my heritage!
Graham has already competed several times and has some plaques to show for it… I on the other hand have only transferable paddling skills and good breeding. Graham was patient enough to paddle with me a couple of times, and even let me steer. I also got to paddle with one of the club’s veterans, Ann, who seemed happy enough to paddle with me up front while she steered us down the river in the light of the full moon – big and orange for October. One day I will learn to find the fast water and washride like I did in kayak, but until then I will probably be paddling the front of any women’s crews.
Last Wednesday night Graham went in MC-1 for the first time, and still challenged for the front of the group against all the tandem crews. Not bad for the first time out! He may need a few tennis balls before the year is up. This past week I have sterned with two other fellows. Both tended to throw out some unrequested draw strokes, I guess they don’t like my line? Hopefully I will get better and inspire more trust in my paddling partners so they don’t try to steer from the front.
On the long weekend Graham found a good deal on a rental car. We got a lot of use out of it, making a few trips to Superstore to stock up the pantry and also making some fun trips further abroad than out bikes would take us.
We went out to Beaver Creek Conservation area for a hike and picnic in 20-degree weather. Pretty nice for October! We also got in a few paddles on the weekend to take advantage of the good weather.
Moving does create some waste. I was happy to get used moving boxes form my Dad (and lucky to also get tape etc from him, Thanks Dad!) It is surprising that so many cubic meters of boxes flattens down to such a manageable pallet-load. I will put up a sign in the lobby in case someone else wants them – especially the high-quality IBM boxes that moved Andrea’s stuff (twice!), my stuff in 2007, Mom and Dad’s stuff in 2010. ‘Reuse’ is better than ‘recycle’!
We arrived on Saturday, and luckily our stuff did too – so we were reunited with all our furniture the same day. We spent Sunday unpacking, but also got a chance to ride the bikes around to do a bit of shopping and ‘sightseeing’. It is a small town, but we were greeted with unseasonably warm weather (highs in the mid-twenties) and folks have been friendly so far.
I have gotten pretty good at packing and moving, after moving out of and into our Vancouver apartment, and into and out of the Gävle apartment. Now we are getting ready to move out of the Vancouver apartment again and move into the Saskatoon apartment. I thought I had already gone through everything and thrown out any extra stuff before leaving for Sweden, but I found a ton of new stuff to go through this time.
Right now the apartment is a mess of boxes and furniture. Last week I went on an Ikea trip with my Dad to pick up some furniture for both apartments, since we are now splitting our 1-bedroom apartment worth of stuff over 3 bedrooms’ worth. The moving van comes in 2 days, and I think we are almost ready!
How do you select an apartment when you are searching at a distance? If Hasse is your property agent it is awesome and easy. However, in other cases it is more of a challenge. Saskatoon has a lower vacancy rate and higher rent than Gävle, although we still got to benefit from a helpful colleague-to-be. Thanks Shelley!
The new place is downtown across the bridge from the University (walking or biking distance) and has space for guests (because everyone wants to come to Saskatoon!) Despite being in a group of many residential apartment towers we appear to be in a downtown food desert – not sure how long that can last, since Graham and I both like to cook and eat. Too long a walk for groceries and our lettuce will freeze (don’t laugh!) We plan to live car-free as we have in Gävle and Vancouver, but we may rent more often.
We get possession on Oct 1. You will still be able to reach us (toll-free from Vancouver) on our 604 number. The directions from Vancouver are easy: drive East for 30 hours. Turn left at Regina and drive another 4 hours or so. See you in 2-3 days!