Posted by: Silver | July 23, 2011

Lloydminster to North Battleford

Lloydminster to Turtleford:
Distance: 100 km
Ascent: 466 m
Cycling time: 5 hours, 15 minutes

Turtleford to North Battleford:
Distance: 91 km
Ascent: 229 m
Cycling time: 4 hours, 17 minutes

The ride from Lloydminster to Turtleford was my first day in Saskatchewan proper, and a very enjoyable one it was too: blue skies and tailwinds accompanied me all day, as did a quite stupendous number of dragonflies! I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for these prehistoric flying aliens, and since learning that they eat mosquitoes, they’ve risen even further in my estimation. 😉 Mile upon mile of highway 303 was lined with clumps of bright yellow, daisy-like flowers, and, with their heads all turned south towards the sun, they truly seemed to glow with the beauty of summer. I’d been warned that the roads in Saskatchewan were not in very good shape, but whilst it’s true that highway 21 (on which I spent a little time during this journey) was not the most smoothly paved road I’ve ever cycled on, it was certainly no worse than many I encountered in BC, and highway 303 was perfectly lovely: well-paved, well-shouldered and – most enjoyably for me – not particularly well-travelled. 🙂

Turtleford is but a tiny place, without even a local paper to speak to, so my stay there was basically just an overnight stop to break the journey between Lloydminster and North Battleford. However, that didn’t stop me from finding the time to not only talk to the president of the local Lions Club and persuade him to suggest to the club that they make a donation to SOS Children’s Villages once they start meeting again after the summer, but also to take an extremely pleasant and refreshing swim in Turtle Lake. 🙂 Yes, Silver the water baby strikes again: 100 km on the trike, and still I couldn’t resist taking the plunge! Suffice it to say I wasn’t swimming particularly hard, though…

And the next day, I found yet another handy use for my fairing: as a sail! The torrential rain that greeted me first thing had pretty much eased off by the time I was on the road, but the strong tail winds kept up for most of the day, so I didn’t so much cycle to North Battleford as sail there!

The Battlefords* have four Lions Clubs between them, but as in Turtleford, they were all on holiday. Fortunately, however, some of the executive members were still in town, and a dinner party was very kindly arranged for me so that I could still meet some of them despite the seasonally ill-adjusted timing of my brief visit. I did some more passionate enthusing about how fantastic SOS Children’s Villages is, and in return received some more promises to discuss making a donation once life returns to normal in September.

Yes, I do have their phone numbers; and yes, I will be ringing to check that they still have the leaflets I gave them come September… 😉

* there are actually two of them: the old town on the south of the river, and North Battleford, which grew up and took over prominence after the railway diverted across the river to avoid a southside farmer who wouldn’t sell his land…

Oil, agriculture - and hills: anyone who tells you Saskatchewan is flat has clearly only ever driven along highway 1...

I saw this rather beautiful old barn in a field on the way to Turtleford, looking especially splendid in the summer sunshine

It's a small town. It's called Turtleford. What did you expect?!



  1. Happy Travels:
    I enjoy reading your posts and am glad to hear someone else who would agree that Saskatchewan isn’t all flat! I enjoyed you photo of the turtle, and if your travels take you to south-western Manitoba, be sure to look for a turtle statue in Boissevain and other turtle connections in Killarney!

  2. I played in that barn as a kid

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