Back home and back in the saddle folks.  While away on our wonderful vacation to Grasslands National Park in beautiful Southern Saskatchewan I had the opportunity to do some plein air hooking. It is the scene out the window of our suite at The Crossing.

The Crossing is a lovely spot right on the border of GNP, not far from the town of Val Marie.  It boasts a campground with tipis, a freestanding upper 2 bedroom unit, and two upper single units attached to the end of the house. The house itself was originally an old schoolhouse from the area.

We stayed in one of the single units attached to the house.  It was a kitchenette and let me tell you, this kitchen came with everything!  It was the best stocked kitchenette I have ever stayed in. 

The appointments in the suite are modern Scandinavian in style and very well done.  There is TV and WiFi for the addicted.  And an alarm clock and fan.  We did not need the battery operated fan.  But I’m keeping it because it might come in handy.

The owners of The Crossing are a delight.  Ken and Johanna Jensen went out of their way to make us feel comfortable quickly and to make our stay as pleasant and productive as possible.  They loaned us guide books, a topographical map, and bug jackets so we could do some hiking.

We did some of the simpler hikes – Eagle Butte Trail, Two Trees Trail, the eco-tour and the trails on it.  But truth be told, I was being a bit cautious because my heart rate was going wild any time I found a hill to climb…and there were lots there.  Still, we took it slow and I had fun examining the plant and bird life in the area. I figure I fit in about 15-20 km. of hiking throughout the week…easily.

In-between the hiking hubby did some writing while I did some sketching.  We read books and played cards.  We visited Val Marie numerous times to support the economy. 😉

Val Marie is a small town of about 100 people.  Very congenial and helpful.  No doubt wondering why we were in town .every.single.day.  Heads up for any visitors – the Museum sells yummy goodies and coffee made fresh every day! The Museum also has a gift shop and art gallery attached.  I finally decided to buy a painting done by a local artist who used to work with hubby. We met her serving tables at the local cafe.

We also visited the Grasslands Art Gallery…twice.  It is chockful of beautiful artwork made by Saskatchewan artists or artists who have lived in Saskatchewan at one point in time.  Laureen Marchand is the proprietress and she is very knowledgeable about art in the region, and in Saskatchewan in general.

On Saturday we went into town to see what was happening.  Only to find most everyone else had gone to a rodeo in Wood Mountain or off to Swift Current.  So we chatted up the ladies working at the Park Info. Centre and the Museum.  Great people!  Great town!  

Come Sunday our trip was just too short, but we had to come home.  We’ll be keeping this jewel of a Park in mind for a future visit as well!

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