My buddy Jimmy asked if I wanted to "go on an adventure" one night... and that's how I found myself sitting on railway tracks watching the Saskatchewan river while the sun was setting.
The Railway Bridge is a few minutes away from the University of Saskatchewan and we quickly got there by bike.
It's an absolutely gorgeous place where pelicans cluster in the river below.
Saskatoon may not have much in terms of culture (comparatively), but it definitely has a few sights up its sleeve.
To get to the bridge, we walked passed a field full of statues.
We stopped along the way to take some photos.
Saskatoon is beautiful in a calm, peaceful, homey way.
If Sydney, with its glamorous harbour filled with the sleek design of the Opera House and soaring bridge is Audrey Hepburn all dolled up for the red carpet; then Saskatoon, with its Prairie land and un-manicured shrubbery would be Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (1964), pre-transformation; a little rough around the edges, but charming in its own way.
Saskatoon is definitely a "ripped jeans and hoodie" sort of town.
It's funny though, because everyone from around here refers to Saskatoon as a "city".
I was talking to a guy (he was wearing plaid of course!) at a bar one night and he said he was from a smaller town in Saskatchewan, but recently moved to "the city".
It is so strange for me to hear this because for me, a "city" is a metropolis like Toronto or Hong Kong or Sydney or L.A. or Chicago or New York.
It's quite barren here.
One day, I walked 7 km through fields, a highway and a reserve and discovered a Loblaws Superstore, which is a grocery chain in Canada. It was an exciting moment for me because it meant I could shop for a sweater at Joe Fresh, which is a relatively generic brand of clothing sold at the grocery store. This is sad but funny at the same time because in Toronto where there are clothing stores everywhere, I turned my nose up at Joe Fresh.
But back to the story.
We arrived at Railway bridge as the sun was setting and observed the view for a suspended period of time.
If I grew up in Saskatoon, the Railway bridge would definitely be the place I would hang out with my friends every night. We would kick back with a couple of beers and talk about life.
Of course, I'm not really a beer person. But I wonder if that fact is because I grew up in a place where beer culture was not as prominent (as it is today). Also, my family preferred wine.
We hung around for a bit, chatting with a stranger. Then it got cold so we headed back.
It's a unique experience; balancing on a bike seat, legs dangling, core muscles straining and one hand holding on for dear life while bumping along dusty, gravel roads. I wouldn't want to experience the Prairies any other way, however.
I came to Saskatoon to ride in rusty pick-up trucks and get to places in dirt bikes or by walking. I plan to attend at least one bonfire in someone's backyard and explore a barn on a farm. I've got a plaid shirt ready and some Daisy Dukes I'm ready to rock. Maybe I will even get myself out to a cowboy bar while I'm at it.
There will be other places a little more glamourous than Saskatoon that I plan to visit in the future where I can roll up in a Mercedes Benz and step out in high fashion. For the moment however, I'm going to try to forget my city preferences and live life as a girl in a small town.