Westworld Saskatchewan

Spring 2013

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/107892

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getaways Bunking with History Fully restored and artfully appointed, the cabins and wagons at this Saskatchewan B&B once housed cowpokes and schoolmarms Story and photography by Darrell Noakes T o describe the midsummer day as sweltering would be an understatement. The thermometer had soared past 35 C shortly after noon. At 5:30 p.m. I'm slouched in one of two big wicker chairs on the porch of a 100-year-old log cabin. The porch, covered by a broad tin roof, faces away from the afternoon sun, and a southwest breeze gently curling around the cabin fans away the day's heat while I take sips from a tall, dewy glass of water. The crickets love the heat. They're chirping frantically, all around. I waggle my wrist and the ice in my drink tinkles against the side of the glass. A few crickets nearby go silent, but only to take a deep breath it seems, because they quickly resume their chorus 16 W e s t w o r l d p16-21_Getaways.indd 16 >> with renewed ferocity. With a slight chuckle, I lean back in the chair to listen to nature. It feels like we're a hundred miles from nowhere. In fact, we're barely a mile west of Maple Creek, on the highway that leads to Fort Walsh National Historic Site and Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. Our cabin, originally a cowboys' line shack out on the prairie, now sits lovingly restored and comfortably modern on the grounds of Ghostown Blues Bed and Breakfast. Ghostown Blues is an oasis featuring a main lodge, cabins, wagons and tent sites, all clustered together like a fledgling pioneer town. A gravel walkway winds from a re-created sheepherders' camp, past the log cabin, a small house and a thresherman's wagon, all gathered around a former church transformed into the site's central lodge. Three summers ago, this was an empty field. "It started as a backyard party gone wrong," says owner Greg Hisey, a rancher, cowboy, pro bull rider and movie star of sorts (he acted as a stunt double for Jon Voight in the Return to Lonesome Dove TV mini-series), who has lived in the house just south of the field with his wife for the past 17 years. "We were having a party in the backyard and someone said, 'you should open a bed and breakfast.' Well, I had a really pent-up need to create something," he says with a laugh in explaining how this landmark B&B came together. My friend, Sandra, and I decide to head into Maple Creek for supper. We'd noticed SPRING 2013 13-01-22 8:01 AM

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