I arrived in Waskesiu on Friday May 19th, around 12:30p, a week after leaving Calgary. I began with a short maiden voyage, in my RV named ‘Bill’, to Dinosaur Provincial Park on a sunny but windy day. I don’t think I drove much over 80 kms an hour, it was like trying to drive a kite – a few tense moments as horse and rider get used to each other!
It was cold, rainy and windy the entire weekend I was there, a good way to begin really – a nice, slow introduction into the ‘RV’ world – getting used to all the ins and outs of operating a home on wheels – there is a lot to learn – as well as catching up on sleep, and getting better organized. Monday morning was beautiful and sunny, not as windy, a perfect day to start the next leg of my journey, north to Waskesiu – scouting along the way – letting my curiosity decide the drive, the starts and the stops…
I had lunch in Empress AB, at ‘That’s Empressive’, great spot! The owner, Pat Donaldson (Nokomis) is a wealth of info and great stories. After spending a night in Oyen, I continued north on the Buffalo Trail , highway 41, and came across an ‘area of interest’, Mud Butte. So off I went to explore this unusual geological formation, deciding that I would love to go back and create an installation there. I took photos, walked around, got a feel for the land.
Mud Butte AB
Next, a brief stop in Consort and a serendipitous encounter with a bank employee who happens to farm at Mud Butte, before continuing on to Battleford, SK. where I stayed for a couple of nights, checking out the area a bit, connecting to wifi, catching up on email, and housekeeping…rather RV keeping!
The drive from Battleford to Waskesiu was not an easy one. The roads were not in good shape – terrible really, lots of construction, and early weekend traffic. I was glad to finally get to Prince Albert National Park, to drive in on the 263. It was all brand new pavement beyond Christopher Lake. Not much traffic after Lake Country and once in the park I was virtually alone on the road. It was a glorious drive – tree tunnels, filtering light through the forest, eagles and elk, blue rivers, blue skies….. I was almost there…
I found a place for the night at Namekus Lake. The campground was partially flooded, but it was beautiful, and except for the lull of croaking frogs and chatty birds, it was quiet, and peaceful.
Namekus Lake Prince Albert National Park SK
I arrived at Waskesiu Lake campground just after lunch the next day May 19th.
I had made it – back to the place where it began…where I began, the journey of me – to now begin a new journey – One of the first things I did when I got settled at the campground, was to decide that the space right in front of me was the perfect place to put up my first piece, that trying to find my parent’s original property was going to be impossible. Where I was, was beautiful – mossy, trees, uneven land, water, puddles. The land lent itself to circles and spirals, it felt very womb like – perfect – light meeting the earth – being planted – creating something new – birth!
May 21st 8:30am
I’m looking through the footage that I shot over the last few days and seeing how beautiful this small personal piece was – the way the wire meets the earth leaving the paper floating – sometimes seen sometimes not – leaving one curious – light scattered through the forest – Two people ‘saw’ it, even though many people drove / walked by – 2 were ‘drawn’ in – connection – it was after all a personal piece.
The next day campers arrived at the spot next to where I had installed the work – two kids and a dog – so as spontaneously as it went up, it came down – I haven’t stopped long enough to seriously reflect on how important and meaningful me being here is, but I feel the significance in every fibre of my being –
It all began a year ago as an impulse to move, to see new places, to have new experiences It started out as a pilgrimage, a loop across the western provinces, and eventually turned into an art project from an RV named ‘Bill’, returning to my birth place – Waskesiu
The process of getting here has been fascinating in so many ways – the serendipity of all the necessary components coming together, all the people who came to my assistance to help make it happen, the enthusiasm and support of all my ‘cheerleaders’ who helped send me on my way, and who continue to cheer me on everything came together to make it a reality – gratitude for all of it fills me –