Although there’s no traffic on these back roads you’re not alone. And you’re being watched.
It is the red-winged blackbird that guards the Red Coat Trail these days.
Eastend, Saskatchewan began as the most eastern North West Mounted Police (NWMP) detachment from Fort Walsh and was the east end of their patrol. Today it is home to the fossil remains of the Tyrannosaurus Rex nicknamed “Scotty” which was found nearby.
As we approach the West Block of Grasslands National Park 70 Mile Butte looms in the distance. A four kilometre hike takes you to a 100-metre-tall hilltop and a lookout over the French River Valley.
The views at the summit are not the only reward along this front-country hike.
Prairie dogs would be visible until you motioned to take a photo of their colony. Gophers weren’t as shy.
To view bison graze at dusk was a spiritual experience but was captured only in our memory.
The solitude of the grasslands shall haunt us.