I grew up in a small city in Saskatchewan called Weyburn. Times were simple and play and adventure were high on my priority list. Often my brother(s) and I could be found out and about exploring Weyburn’s landmarks. Many of these sites were near our home on South Hill. Here is a sample of my favourite places and memories associated with them.
The “little” store was a convenience store located on South Hill. Our family, and others dubbed it the little store as it was the only small convenience store on the hill. I think its actual name was Southside Confectionery. It was six blocks from our house so we biked to it regularly. One of the downfalls (or perhaps advantages) of the store’s location was that we had to bike back up the hill to get home. This is why I had legs of steel back in the day.
Mount Saint Mary’s was a large hill used for biking and sledding. In the winter the hill was packed with parents and children tobogganing. In the summer we would bike the hill and surrounding trails. These were known as the “Honda trails” and one of the jumps was called cherry jump. In the early 1990s the city bulldozed the hill to the displeasure of many children.
Down the trails was a spillway which allowed us to cross the Souris River. Many afternoons were spent fishing from the spillway. I rarely had success, but my friends would catch jack and walleye regularly. On another occasion, we found a large turtle near the dam. Its carapace was a good six inches in diameter and it weighed a few pounds. We transported it home via bike only to have our parents tell us to return it.
Not far from the hill and the spillway was a group of rocks arranged in an oval. We would frequent the area, climbing, jumping, and chilling out on the rocks. At one point I sketched a map of the area and named various rocks and features of the circle. One rock was named bedrock as it resembled the Flintstones’ bed. Others names were golden spike, Thorn Valley, sponge rock, and Forbidden Forest.
On summer days we would frequent the park along the river, known surprisingly as Riverside Park. In the late 80s and early 90s the river was low enough that we could play along the shore and under bridges. We would flip over rocks and collect crayfish and other organisms we came across. Other days were spent climbing and lounging in trees. One tree I remember distinctly; its main branch grew obliquely making it very easy to climb. I also recall jumping down from that tree and tearing my pants on a branch. Luckily home was not far away.