The Cremation Garden and Fire Truck Tour of Radville, Saskatchewan

Radville, Saskatchewan is a town of about 800 nestled fifty miles north of Plenytwood Montana. I’ve spent the past week here, guest of the town, preparing mule Polly for the Lost Sea Expedition.

First, thanks loads to Mayor Dave and everyone else who came out to visit with mule Polly and me last night. According to Jeannette Verhelst, “We were cooking up hamburgers so fast in the Zamboni room we had to keep sending back to the Co-op for more.” The Zamboni is an ice-grooming machine that keeps Radville’s curling and skating rinks in top condition. The Co-op is the grocery store.

Thanks, also, to the kid in the hamburger line that informed me she’d taken a donkey into the rec center for the Christmas Nativity scene. Yep, that got me thinking…

Food for thought. Heck, the wagon was alread in there…

So that’s right, we brought mule Polly inside.

Mule Polly shamelessly working the young crowd

Okay, now back to Radville.

Here’s mule Polly and my favorite things about the prairie town.

Coolest sign we haven’t figured out:
Cattle-Lack Ranch Supplies

Favorite place for a Fish Sandwich (I think it was whiting, not Lost Sea shark):
She Ray’s Snack Shack

Favorite abandoned grain elevator:
We had to travel to Brooking for that. Radville’s elevators have been removed.

Brooking elevator
Outside Radville, SK

Minimum weight


Mill scale and abandoned homestead

Place mule Polly and I will go bowling next time we’re in town. (Yes, I’ll make Polly wear her rubber shoes…):
The Alley Oop Bowling Center

Favorite sculpture:
Bucephalus by reknown Radville stone sculpturer Scott McCleod.
Scott carved this sculpture from a piece of petrified coral, a remnant of the Lost Sea. It came from six miles outside Neptune, a fitting send off I figured – a stone horse from the Lost Sea. Bucephalus was Alexander the Great’s mount. Scott made no mention of carving a mule in honor of Captain Bernie.

Coolest fire truck:
Unit #1
This one’s for fighting stationary fires only. It reportedly doesn’t “pump and run”, a fire truck skill needed in this prairie fire prone land. Around Radville, the volunteer fire fighters have to chase down their blazes.

Best place to have your remains scattered:
Radville Laurier Scattering Garden
(Note: You must be cremated before you can be scattered.)

Largest camera: Lindsay Hoemsen – Okay, so she came from CTV television in Regina…

Now, for the Expedition.

Today, mule Polly and I strike off for Neptune, Saskatchewan. It’s blowing a Lost Sea gale, with gusts over 35-mph reported. Hazards to navigation include tumbleweeds, dust clouds and we just narrowly missed a bow-on collision with a wind-blown fertilizer bag. Fortunately it was empty.

“we’re going where…”
Mule Polly questions Bernie and Albert’s motives

From Neptune, we slip into the Sea of Grain, climb a 10,000 year-old glacier moraine and roll toward Lake Alma, Gladmar and Regway. A sailor gets lonely here at sea so if you’re in the area and feel like dropping in for a chat, or picking up a copy of the “Woody and Maggie” book, remember to bring Polly a carrot. Okay, if you want a copy of the book and don’t feel like trekkng across the plains, just click on the link above and I’ll send you a copy from the General Store.

Have a great week in whatever sea your in. I’ll check in with you next time I drop the hook.

(Traveling by mule isn’t a solitary ordeal. In fact, it takes a whole army of folks to see me across the Great Plains. I’d like to thank all the folks who’ve made my stay in Radville such a treat. Thanks Vic and Jeannette Verhelst for hosting me, Ray and Jeannette Galarneau for hosting mule Polly, and to everyone else, I say “Fair winds and thanks for helping me with my dock lines!”
Captain Bernie
Radville, Saskatchewan
May 2, 2007


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