Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be; A Good Afternoon In The Cypress Hills, and That’s No Sitting Bull
The weather was a little threatening this morning, but gradually got better during the day. The morning got off to an auspicious start with Jeannine’s successful creation of cornbread in the convection microwave:
We drove into Maple Creek and found the Composite School where I began my teaching career forty years ago this weekend:
By sheer luck, a teacher arrived just as we did, and graciously took us on a tour of the school, which has undergone a major renovation. I did find my original classroom; it was a very strange feeling to be back where it all began:
After getting a sandwich at a little coffee shop on the main street, we decided to head up into the Cypress Hills and visit the Fort Walsh Historic Site. This was built as the first western headquarters of the North West Mounted Police, who were sent here in the wake of the Cypress Hills Massacre a couple of years earlier, and the arrival of Sitting Bull and his 5000 Sioux, on the run after the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
You can Google this event, and I would recommend reading the trilogy of historical fiction novels by Gus Vanderhaeghe , beginning with “The Englishman’s Boy”. They are very well written, and are set in this geographical area. They do a great guided tour of the fort, and concurrently run a children’s tour, which turns the kids into NWMP recruits, complete with dogtags and certificates:
This was well worth the visit, and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in this period of Canadian history.
We returned to Maple Creek in time for the 7:30 Mass at the lovely little Catholic church, presided over by an enthusiastic African priest who burst into song (twice!) during the homily. We just wanted to snap a leash on him and bring him home. We returned to the campsite in the glow of a beautiful prairie sunset.