Saturday, January 8, 2011

Where Shall We Hang Our Hat?

I was sent out to look at some places in Saskatchewan to call home. The first stop was in Mankota - basically east and a little north of Val Marie (best have Google Maps on a tab to see all the driving I did). The realtor picked me up in Ponteix, and I set out with him for an hour drive, with myself asking as many questions as I could think of. He drove me across some of the pasture in question, and we came along these three boys - looks like they thwarted the 2010 hunters.
The area is quite vast with rolling hills, and even with all the snow around, it was quite pretty.

A small valley is within the property, and there is always supposed to be water available - but then - how much can you trust what a realtor says?

We visited the main yard, and saw how they looked after things in the winter. Pretty fair corrals were there, and the buildings not in too bad shape.
The barn has a new roof, but there has to be some major renovation inside for it to be as useful as it can be.

The yard has a few buildings, and looked at a few that could be changed into potential dog kennels.

We went into the house, and for the 1927 little home, there were updates that made it nice.

One has to look in the bathroom as well - note the old fashioned tub:)

After the tour, we made our way back to Ponteix, and waited for another realtor to show me another property. The guy's name was Bert, and his buddy with him should have been called Ernie. It was an hour drive, and then found out we could only get within a mile of the property. The road had a little snow on it, and "Bert", even though he said he loved his Ford 350, couldn't muster enough gumption to plow through the 4" drifts. Yes, 4 inches. They say that 4 inches isn't enough- but it was enough for "Bert". Needless to say, I didn't get any pictures of that place - it was only pasture, so look at the previous pictures and that probably what it would have looked like.
I then drove to Regina to stay at my sisters, and the next day I went to Hanley - just south of Saskatoon.
This is an aerial picture. I showed this to my sister, and she asked where the snow was.
This place was developed for a yearling program - meaning that it was set up to feed 100's of yearlings throughout the season. There are MILES of electric fence - up to 10 fields in each quarter. The water is piped to all of the fields. It was a quite impressive setup.
The fellow was running 150 cows at the moment. He showed me around the property, and one thing that stood out was the flatness. Not even an A cup.

All his cows new what 1 wire meant. I couldn't help but think about our cows, and how 5 wires are often a joke to them.

The working corrals were very good.

The little barn was more of a horse barn, two boxstalls for horses, and some tiestalls.

After we had dinner - and finding out that he was the father-in-law to a person I went to University with (for those who know Lester Price ), and he was also related to Art Patkau who I knew from Brooks a lifetime ago. This world is a small place.
After this, I drove to Radville to stay with my brother (this is south of Regina). The next day, I went south of Bengough to see the Big Muddy Ranch. The realtor couldn't come with me, so basically I was there by myself. The fellow who fed the cows didn't come while I was there.

The 620 square foot summer home was the best thing of the place, and even it needed fixing up.

There was another home on the place- peeking through the winters it looked like it was a time capsule- stuck in the 50's.

There was no barn to speak of, and I am sure that with the corrals being in the bottom of the valley, there is a reason why it was called the Big Muddy Ranch.

On the east side of the ranch, there were branding corrals, and the winter feeding grounds.

I was about to leave when I found this waiting for me.

I found myself screwed in Saskatchewan.

When I was growing up in Saskatchewan, there was an afternoon handyman show, with a lady called Mary on it. We always joked that our mom's name was Mary, since she was very good in fixing stuff. Any road, I remembered the episode where Mary showed how to correctly change a tire. I went and started to remove it, then the top of one of bolts came off.
I was able to change the tire (since here I am blogging). Kal Tire will see me on Monday with my tire and a request for a bolt.
After Big Muddy Ranch, I drove home through a blizzard between Moose Jaw and Swift Current. It meant a little more time to travel, but thank god for the double lane highway.
Well the hunt has started, will have to look at a few more places, but the Mankota place seems the best so far. As for vet clinics, I will have to drive, but it would be no worse than driving to Calgary.
It also looks very nice for a double lift for my stockdog friends.

1 comment:

  1. I'm rooting for the Mankota place. I like the barn and the house looks cute inside!