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Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Tour of Saskatoon Saskatchewan

I've found myself in Saskatoon Saskatchewan by virtue of being a part of a series of meetings to review the Commissioning efforts for an expansion at a nearby potash plant. 

Naturally, I've taken this opportunity to discover what Saskatoon is all about.... and first, let me say it is a beautiful city where the Saskatoon River runs right through it.... a city of 7 bridges and a city where folks just naturally get out and enjoy the scenery along the river via the wonderful network of hike and bike trails.

The Meewasin Trail runs several miles along each side of the river and zig zags back and forth across many of the 7 bridges.

So, we might as well get started on this next chapter in the neverending saga of Discovering America and now the World.... on 2 Wheels!

The first thing I did when I found out I was heading to Saskatoon, SK was to do a little research on bicycle shops there..... and found the closest one to my hotel was City Park Cycles at #20 1100 7th Ave in Saskatoon.

After arriving in Saskatoon, I got settled into my hotel, which was right on the Saskatoon River and adjacent to a large city park.

I went to City Park Cycles and talked to the owner, Ken, and left the shop with a nice rental bike - an Opus Cervin Commuter bike that was totally set up with a Pannier, lock, bell.... and let me tell you, this was the perfect bike for riding the streets, hike and bike paths and trails around the city.

That evening I around till after dark and ended up at the man made weir north of the College Drive Bridge.  It increases the level of the river upstream of it making for better recreational use by boaters, skiers and jet skiers.
The next morning I got up early and decided to ride over to the Broadway Street area and check out some of the cafe's and restaurants Ken at City Park Cycles had told me about.  I took a picture of the Circle Drive Bridge from the Broadway Bridge.
I pulled into the Broadway Roastery for a cup of coffee and a muffin.
Then rode south on Broadway east on Taylor and then turned north on Preston.  My objective was to ride back up to Bridge 1, the Circle Drive Bridge.  Many of the main streets and avenues have dedicated bike lanes on them as shown here.

This part of the country is well known for agriculture and farms and I found myself riding between hayfields and the river.

The Meewasin Trail crosses the Saskatoon River at the Circle Drive Bridge by suspension between the 2 vehicle lanes.... Very Cool!

Bridge 2 is the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Bridge.  The bike and hike crossing is even more unique since it crosses the Saskatoon River on the railroad bridge.  Note:  The bridge is still used for regular railroad traffic.  
View of the manmade weir from the CPR Bridge.

Once I crossed to the East Side of the Saskatoon River, I entered the University of Saskatchewan campus.... what an incredible campus with beautiful architecture, research facilities, grounds, museums and scenic gardens.  The following pics speak for themselves.

I crossed back over the Saskatoon River at the University Bridge (Circle Drive).

View of the Iron Bridge (Victoria Ave) from underneath the University Bridge.
Then I crossed the Victoria Avenue Bridge (Bridge 5) and explored the west side of the Saskatoon River along the River Walk.

View of the Victoria and Broadway Bridges from the west side of the Saskatoon River.

View from underneath the Idylwyld Bridge.

Skateboarding park north of the Idylwyld Bridge.

The southernmost bridge, Bridge 7, the Grand Trunk Bridge.

The Meewasin Valley Trail is an incredible Hike and Bike Trail System that reminds me of the Greenbelts in many US cities.  The US oughta come up here and see how it's supposed to be done!

Nice metal art along the River Walk.

A tree tunneled section of Saskatoon along Idylwyld Drive.

The Historic Bessborough Hotel.

I'm back in Saskatoon now for a 2 week stay and took this picture from my hotel room.

The architecture of each of the 7 bridges is different but each is beautiful in its own way!

Saskatoon continues to expand and improve the Riverside Hike and Bike Trail system.  An 8th bridge will be in service by 2013.  It will complete a circle of the city appropriately on South Circle Drive.

Saskatoon is a Great City to tour by foot or bicycle and truly a city defined by the River Running Through It! 

Back in Saskatoon Saskatchewan and decided to....

... change it up a little bit by taking a morning run on a footpath on the East bank of the Saskatoon River. I've had 3 flocks of beautiful Canada Geese fly right over my head and land in the river. It's overcast and about 55 deg... perfect for a nice brisk jog!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Don't see that every day!

A Ski Trail Etiquette Sign on a Hike and Bike Path....hmmm... kinda makes you wonder what this place looks like in December. Last evening in Saskatoon for a while so I'm taking a late evening ride.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

View of Downtown Saskatoon and the Historic Bessenborough Hotel....

... from Bridge 3 - the College Dr Bridge... 3 down 4 to go!

University of Saskatchewan Museum of Natural Science

This campus is beautiful and has a variety of sites of interest... it is obviously an epicentre of Canadian Govt Research in Agriculture, Biology, Biotech, Energy, Engineering, Geology and much much more.... it has buildings w/ amazing architecture and is set on the banks of the Saskatoon River... what a treat!

Bridge 2 is even Cooler!

It's a Railway Bridge that they added a Bike / Pedestrian Path to.... and just below a manmade waterfall on the Saskatoon River! Amazing!

Saskatoon was made for Cyclists!

I'm crossing Bridge 1 aka the Circle Dr Bridge... on a specially made bike / pedestrian pathway suspended between the 2 vehicle roadways - how cool is that?

Taking a Sunday Morning Bicycle Ride....

... along the Saskatoon River... I hate to tell you this but it's a crisp and clear 60 degF this morning... my goal for the day will be to zig zag and cycle my way through the city of Saskatoon SK while crossing all of the 7 bridges the city is famous for. While doing that I'll eat at "the Yard and Flagan" and tour the campus of the Univ of Sask incl'g the Museum of Natural Science (naturally) and then over to the Mendel Art Gallery and many other sites of interest in between... my pics and texting will be limited because of International charges but it's a new place in another country which calls for a new adventure while I continue the neverending lifestyle of .... Discovering America - oops I mean - the WORLD on 2 Wheels!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

You can take the Boy out of the Country...

In Saskatoon Saskatchewan with the Saskatoon River and 2 of the 7 bridges - the Broadway and Victoria Bridges - in the background. Went to Park City Cycles and rented this fully outfitted commuter style bike for the week for $50... Ken the owner was great and gave me a great rundown of the city sites and food places so I'm just riding the Hike and Bike Path down the river. I'm watching some brave souls water skiing and listening to some live music on the other side of the river.... think I'll mosie over that way...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Surfside Jetty... fishing the Easy Way!

No Boat... No Fishfinder... just a Wagon or Cart to haul your gear, your fishing tackle, bait and your fishing skill... got a lot of good memories of this place...

Images of Home... a familiar view...

... of the Intracoastal Canal from the Hwy 332 / Surfside Tx Bridge. I got my Trek 1500 reassembled yesterday and decided to take a ride down to the Surfside Jetty and see how the fishing is. It's good to be Home!

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Back in the Heat Humidity Mosquitoes and...

Bats! Well... 1 bat in an upstairs bedroom... removed it to the back yard. It didn't look too energetic. Of course, bats aren't supposed to be in the daylight. If I start gravitating toward nocturnal activities and developing a taste for blood...

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