Canada’s 150th birthday celebration has been full of all kinds of excitement, but what I’ve loved most about the occasion has been getting the chance to see more of the beautiful and diverse country that I call home. Ford Canada has been helping bloggers across the country explore some of the hidden treasures near their homes and recently I had the chance to do just that in the 2017 Ford F-150 Lariat!
Since I have a baby on the way, my husband and I decided not to venture too far away from our hometown of Saskatoon, but we soon realized that we didn’t have to travel very far for amazing experiences! On our first day, we drove to Fort Carlton, a Saskatchewan heritage site that was once an important stop on the Hudson Bay Company’s trade route.
One of the best things about this site is the fact that it’s so hands-on. We had the chance to feel the difference between the different types of furs that trappers brought to trade, see some of the iconic Hudson’s Bay blankets used by trappers and learn about the most popular items in Fort Carlton’s general store.
We also learned how much the prairies where I was born and raised have changed since the days of the fur trade. In fact, two of the animals once hunted for furs have gone extinct: the Prairie Grizzly and the Prairie Wolf. Both died out when the buffalo were wiped out, since both fed on buffalo as their primary food source. The Prairie Grizzly was actually bigger than modern grizzly bears, big enough to run down a buffalo!
After leaving Fort Carlton, we decided to set out on an adventure to see the World’s Largest Lily, a beautiful prairie lily located just outside Prince Albert in the small town of Parkside. I used the Ford F-150 navigation system to set the destination and hit the road. Needless to say, I was pretty surprised when the route led us to a ferry over the South Saskatchewan River!
After our bonus boat ride, we were back on the road. We soon arrived at the beautiful lily display and treated our Ford to a photo op. Then we decided to head home for the day and head out again in the morning. Riding in the Ford F-150 meant I was comfortable the entire time, even with my pregnant belly to contend with, so I was more the eager to indulge in another day of exploring.
While stormy weather ended up keeping us home the next morning, we were able to do some more exploring later that week, and the nearby Batoche National Historic Site was the perfect destination. Since admission to National Parks and Heritage Sites is free for the entire year, it was a great opportunity to discover this historic Metis village.
The area was the location of an important battle in which the Metis, led by Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont, defended their village from the North West Field Force. The buildings feature character actors to take visitors back in history, and a cemetery featuring a beautiful monument to Gabriel Dumont and his efforts to assist the Metis people.
After exploring the grounds and enjoying a hike by the river, we headed back to Saskatoon for a nice dinner to end our adventures. Saskatoon is a foodie city and we take great pleasure in finding the unique niche restaurants the city has to offer. On this occasion, we tried the superb Thai food at Keo’s Kitchen. Hot, fresh and authentic, the flavour and spice had us thirsting for more!
And with that, it was time to take our beautiful Ford F-150 Lariat back to the dealership. But we couldn’t resist sneaking in a few final stops on the drive back to Regina! A quick visit to Kenaston, the blizzard capital of Saskatchewan, let us snap a photo of the truck with the Kenaston Snowman.
Then, a little further down the highway, we pulled into Davidson to get a photo with the Davidson Coffee Pot. I’d often seen this giant display when making the drive from Regina to Saskatoon, but had never actually stopped to look at it up close before. The monument is surprisingly stylish in a pretty park with a picnic area, and well worth the stop!
Exploring our province and nearby Saskatoon historic sites in this Ford F-150 made our little vacation feel extra special and I was surprised at just how well suited to a family road trip the vehicle was. From the leather interior that featured both heated and cooled seats to the safety features including a Blind Spot Information System and Adaptive Cruise Control, driving this vehicle was pure comfort every kilometre.
Heading out on this little adventure was a great reminder that a family vacation doesn’t have to involve weeks of planning or huge expenses. Sometimes it’s as simple as searching online to see what attractions are nearby, packing a few snacks in the vehicle and hitting the road. From quirky roadside attractions to meaningful historic monuments, you may be surprised by just how much there is to discover just outside your front door!