One of the reasons I love this area is its rich history as a NWMP Fort, dating back to 1875. Growing up, I always romanticized the 1800's on the prairies, imagining open plains roaring with bison, roamed freely by the First Nations, their thriving culture lived day-to-day in completely un-tamed and un-tainted wilderness. Sometimes I imagine this land back to its 200-years-ago state, erasing our imprint, drinking in lush trees, open prairie and rushing rivers.
Neal and I recently took a Saturday to roam around historic downtown and visit the reconstructed Fort, a little travel in time...
It was a picture-perfect spring day - green land, blue sky and white cotton clouds. We toured NWMP barracks with bison-skin blankets on straw mattresses, a dining hall complete with a playing organ, walls adorned with the Union Jack and a picture of Queen Victoria, and we spied the lay of the land from a corner lookout tower. The NWMP presence on the Prairies was necessary at first to deal with the no-good, rabble-rousing illicit whiskey trade, and the walls of the Fort came down after a mere 10 years of being in operation. The current city sprang up from families in the Fort, and a large farming colony across the river.
These lovelies are in bloom right outside the Fort,
It was a day filled with history, nature and good company - the best way to spend a Saturday in my books!