Well, it’s August already. I have a week and a half left at camp. My sister gets married two weeks from today. I return to Vancouver in less than a month. Looking back, I may have learned just as much about leadership, service, and Christian community from practical experience up at camp as I did in the classrooms of Regent. I’ll have to write about my learnings sometime. I’m looking forward to being back at Regent, though. It’ll be refreshing to be in charge of only me again, and to see everyone.
I have many goals for this week. First of all, I need to learn how to walk in heels. I can’t. I discovered this today when I tried and then Rachel did an impression of how I looked. It was quite zombie-like. She then tried to teach me to use my hips, but I think I pulled a muscle. Another goal is to endure the week as a leader at camp without either leaving or cutting off appendages, like many other leaders have done in past weeks. My other goal is to not feel self-conscious as I play guitar on the worship team up at camp where Riley Armstrong, recording artist and excellent guitar player, will be present. Riley is our speaker at camp this week.
As promised, Rachel and I offer you our description of the landmarks on the way up to camp, a 2-hour trip we’ve now made forwards and backwards 12 times this summer. Witty comments will be inserted by Rachel in purple. We hope you find it enlightening, even if you’ve never made the trip. Maybe it will make you notice landmarks on your own well-traveled trails…or at least make you laugh.
1. The Coverall Factory. On the edge of Saskatoon, this marks the beginning of our trip. How ironic that our trip begins and ends with a coverall, wouldn’t you agree Beth? I would agree, yes, Rachel, thank you.
2. The Pioneer Grain Inland Terminal. Rachel says it’s not a landmark, but I think any grain silo with such a cool name deserves landmark status. Beth that isn’t a landmark.
3. The Warman Ferry sign. Again, Rachel disagrees, but I think it’s funny that we have ferries in Saskatchewan, especially after riding them in Vancouver. sigh
4. Neuanlage. This town has no services. No bathrooms in the entire town. Yeah, so don’t bother stopping there. Also note the wonderfully hard-to-pronounce Mennonite name. Others along the way include Gruenthal and Blumenthal.
5. Rumble Strip Test Section. They were trying to make the line in the middle of the road rumble when you drove over it. No word on whether it passed the test or not. Also not a landmark.
6. Hague. A town where you must slow to 80 km/h. Also a synonym for h-e-double-hockey-sticks among small-towners, as in, “What the Hague?”
7. Rosthern. This town has a Mennonite Museum and a Mennonite Youth Farm, where we assume they farm youth.
8. Secret Spy Posts. Some say these strange little orange tents scattered over the fields contain bees and honey, but we know better.
9. Duck Lake. As you can see from the sign, Duck Lake is home of one of the world’s largest outdoor art galleries. Which is incredible, because there’s so many of those. Glen Scrimshaw is severely over-rated.
10. Ducks. There’s always a lot of ducks near Duck Lake. Beth living things are not landmarks. Why not? Because they move. Fine. Whatever. Duck-hater.
11. Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine. We stop here every time we make the trip, and pray for at least two hours to the Lady of Lourdes. Good old lady of Lourdes. Who the hague is the Lady of Lourdes anyway?
12. Celtic Gallery and Highland Games. What do they display at the Celtic Gallery? Celts? What are Highland Games? And is Celtic pronounced with a soft or hard “c”? Maybe one day we will take the turn-off and solve all of these mysteries. I’ve heard they filmed A Knight’s Tale there.
13. Hubcap lane. For about a kilometer, each fencepost has a hubcap on it. Some bored farmer has been collecting for some time. He’s probably sitting there right now, by the side of the highway, just waiting for someone to lose their hubcap.
14. The Leaning Trees. Credit for this landmark goes to Sherri. See how they lean. Ok, I guess living things with roots can be considered landmarks.
15. Noah’s Ark Family Fun Park. One time, Rachel tried to turn off and find this fun park, and drove and drove and found nothing. Some sort of supernatural water-related disaster must have wiped it out… Yah, we found neither families nor fun.
16. Vintage Power Machines Museum. A bunch of old, rusting metal machines in one lot. Can you feel the power? No Beth, I can’t feel the power, because it’s NOT A LANDMARK!
17. Prince Albert ponds. I’ve never noticed these ponds right before the turn off to PA, but Rachel has. Let it be known that this is the only thing I think is a landmark that Beth doesn't. Here is where we turn left, and drive through (or more often, stop to get fast food in)…
18. Prince Albert, which has many of its own landmarks: the Galaxy theater, the McBarn (a McDonalds in a silo), the big hill, and the Sketchy 7-11. Oh the sketchy sev. Be careful you people of PA.
19. Smokey the Bear. A large bear with a moveable arm, set to point at “low”, “moderate”, “high” and “very high”, according to the level of risk of forest fires. Us camp staff are always checking it to see if we can have campfires.
20. The Craft Haven Unique Wedding Boutique. Because lots of people have the urge to get married as they drive along the highway to Christopher Lake. I know I do.
21. Tall Pine Bait. The large fish and fisherman statue on top of it is hard to miss.
22. Huge “Johnson’s” sign, lit up on someone’s lawn. This family is proud of their name. I think we need a big “Malena’s” sign on our lawn. I have a theory that Jack Johnson lives there. Rachel, that’s just silly. Hey I can dream!
23. Handson’s hill. On a hill, there’s a big red sign that has an outline of a hand and the word “son’s” on it. Hand-sons. Or, as Jordan pointed out a couple of weeks ago, it could be “Glove-sons”. Mmm Bop.
24. Northside, the town with the Jax Saloon.
25. The Left turn to Christopher Lake, where you’ll find Logan’s Grocery Store, Ed’s Chicken Inn, the Silver Bullet Bar, and not much else. One time Rachel and I parked at the post office and crossed the highway to go to Logan’s. Upon exiting Logan’s, Rachel lamented, “Aw, man… we left the car on the other side of town!” Haha I did say that. I’m freaking hilarious. Freaking magical. Yah, that too.
26. Sign to Tweedsmuir. We just like saying Tweedsmuir. This town doesn’t actually exist. No one could say the name of the town without laughing and so… they all moved away. Now it’s just a sign and a tumbleweed. Yup… one tumbleweed. We call him ol’ tumbleweedsmuir.
27. The Valley. Another one of Sherri’s landmarks – a lush green valley that looks like a scene right out of Ireland. Except for this year – it’s brown and dry. It’s taking a break, I guess.
28. The Turn of Death. A rather sharp turn for Saskatchewan roads. I don’t always remember to slow down, and I almost killed Rachel and Tall Jordan one time. I almost died for this landmark.
29. Ambrose, where you’ll find the closest store to camp. Unfortunately everything is really expensive, except for the ice cream. Callan called it HamGross. To learn more about Callan, visit http://rachelmalena.blogspot.com.
30. The culvert, where there’s some good fishing, if you can avoid the suckers.
31. The good old Quest sign, which is very professional-looking but small. Still, we never miss it. Yup small. unlike this blog.
The end. Chris, if you read this, I miss you already. Whatever you do, don't forget to find me a man in St. Vincent. It's the secondary mission on your missions trip.