Shaunavon, Saskatchewan is a male testosterone scented town. Located south on Highway 37, west of Moose Jaw, the industrial looking municipality consists mainly of a truck-refueling centre, Quonset huts used as stores, wind gusts and a dry gulch feel.
We arrived early evening on August 13, 2012, and looked for a safe place to stay for the night. The best-looking building we found was the Stardust Motel, run by a very caring Korean couple. The free pen was a perk.
We chose Shaunavon Pizza & Chicken, located directly across from the motel, to purchase take-out food but were so disappointed with its greasy food that we could hardly manage it. We were hungry enough though to peel off the re-deep-fried chicken coating and munched on the meat around the bones.
The following morning we headed out of town and stopped at Manny’s Place to fill up on gas. I asked Manny what keeps the city going and he laughed and said, “Two shacks and an outhouse makes this a small town, Missy.” He revealed to us that agriculture and some oil and gas keeps the place going.
“I’ve been here eight years and I still don’t feel like I’ve landed,” he said.
Manny is the only independent gas station owner in Saskatchewan. In the thirteen or so minutes it took him to fill our gas tank and handle the transaction, he told us that he’d lived in Russia during Stalin’s time and that he’d left after the man died.
“I took my boiler-maker journeyman’s ticket after that and travelled to every country in the world except for Argentina and New Zealand,” he said. “My wife heard that there were earthquakes in New Zealand and told me she didn’t want to go. So, I never got there.”
His phone rang and interrupted his story telling. We left the building and climbed into our van thinking about our next destination – some place west.
|Avoid Pizza & Chicken|