PrologueWhat we are doing, and why we're doing it!
Several members of Barb's extended family are located in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Our route across the plains would take us through Calgary Alberta to Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Regina in Saskatchewan.
As we drove through pouring rain just past Calgary, the alternating high/low tones of the emergency broadcast system sounded an alert. It was a warning of flooding in Lethbridge, our next destination. The incessant downpour was getting more than irritating, it was getting seriously disconcerting.
As it turned out, our visit to Lethbridge didn't take us near the Old Man River where the flooding was happening. We even had a little sunshine as we parked the motorhomes to visit Danny Christie, a cousin on Barb's father's side. After a short visit, we spent our last night in the company of Nelson & Gilda before continuing east.
Our next destination was Medicine Hat in Saskatchewan. While once again driving through the rain, we heard an encore of the emergency broadcast system. This time the warning was for flooding in Medicine Hat. It seems we were traveling in the same direction as the storm as it rolled across the plains.
Our hosts in Medicine Hat were Uncle Al and Maudie. Once again, the rains stopped when we were visiting. We spent two days visiting, during which we got a tour of the town and surrounding areas. This time, we did get a chance to see areas that were flooding. It's odd (for someone from California) to see rivers rise past their banks under sunny skies.
The storm finally broke before we left for Regina. The temperature rose a bit to provide delightful weather for the drive.
Our hosts in Regina were Uncle Jim and Jean. We got a tour of Regina, and visited the gravesites of several generations of family to pay our respects. One of the highlights of our stay in Regina was a BBQ and get together of family from the surrounding area.
Uncle Jim runs an auto repair shop with his son Kevin. They graciously offered to let us pull the RV in for some needed maintenance. Their kindness and generosity was truly appreciated.
During the course of evening discussions about the family, we found out that some earlier family members were buried east of Regina in a town called Moosomin (pronounced moose-men). We decided to make a side trip to see if we could find their headstones.
As there were actually three graveyards surrounding Moosomin, we stopped in at the city office to see if they could help us figure out where to look. The office staff was extremely helpful, directing us to the old cemetery north of town. Searching through the old cemetery was a surreal experience. Only the front part of the grounds were maintained. The rear of the cemetery was overgrown with deep grass, encroaching brush and tumbled down headstones. We walked among tumbled gravestones reading names and dates. The stories chiseled in stone told of the harsh world of the 1800's on the plains. Most of the memorials were to children, sometimes to whole families that succumbed to Cholera.
We never did find the markers that we had come to see. The trip was still worthwhile for the glimpse into the past that it provided.
Having imposed on all of the family that we could find in the area, it was time to return to the 'States'. At least the drive south would be in the sunshine.