Monday, 30 August 2010

Eston, Saskatchewan

Photo from the River Trek website
I'm travelling to Kelowna, B.C. First stop: Eston, Saskatchewan.

Eston has been the home of many of my relatives over the years. Two of my relatives have been the mayor of this small community.

Eston is located at the junction of Highways 44 and 30 in West Central Saskatchewan. It is surrounded by some of the most productive farmland in the world; however, while the rain has been abundant this summer, the sun hasn't been. It's August 30th, and the crops still aren't ready.

The town of Eston has about 1,000 people. They have a pool, a community centre, restaurants, pharmacy, grocery store, churches, schools, senior's home, hotel, museum, bible college, and a health centre amongst other businesses and attractions. The town is really close to the South Saskatchewan river, which also gives them access to another pool, the Riverside Regional Park's golf course, campground and cottages. A Gopher statue sits at the end of Main Street to celebrate Eston as the Home of the World Gopher Derby.

Eston is also close to the mini-badlands that are "South of Gap," a location recently used for the filming of The Englishman's Boy.
I've spent much time in Eston over the years. It may not be the biggest town, but it has a lot going on. As kids, we would explore the town always knowing we would be able to find our way back to my grandparents', since they lived near the water tower.
I also remember the year I was 16, and walked to the fair grounds with my dad. Everyone  seemed to know him, wanted to see how he was doing, and many mistook me for my mom. At that age, I felt pretty special to be seen as so much older... and I think my mom didn't mind the complement, either!
More recently, besides relatives, it's been the Eston River Trek, that has drawn us there. The Trek, born out of my father's many ways to raise money to keep the recreation centre going. Each year, people register to join in the trek as part of a team, or individually. The goal is to cover 40 miles over the course of the day. As teams people walk different sections of the trek from Eston to the river and back again. If you are my brother-in-law, you walk/run the whole thing in only about 7 hours.
I've managed to walk 20 plus miles twice, but I need to get "practicing" for next year!
I haven't spent as much time in the town as I'd like over the last few years. It was great to be there this weekend.

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