I am incredibly excited to take off on a backpacking trip that I have lusted for since my teens. That being said, I also do love the place that I’m from–Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I grew up in Saskatoon, went to the University of Regina (only two hours away) and have grown to live for certain events, namely the entire summer. If you live anywhere in Saskatchewan, you know that winters can be, for lack of a better word, brutal. Typically cold, snowy, windy, icy, scrape-the-frost-off-your-car-while-your-fingers-go-numb-every-morning pleasantness. And for those who don’t know, when I say “cold”, I mean can get down to -50C, -20C to -30C is more common though.
So, here in Saskatoon we live for the summer! And in honour of that, here is a list of my “Bucket List” of things to do before leaving on my backpacking adventure.
1) Attend Taste of Saskatchewan
The top food and drink vendors from the city set up in the park beside the river, and it’s a glorious smorgasbord of deliciousness. I fully intend to go and indulge in things like deep-fried pickles, Saskatoon Berry cheesecake, maple bacon donuts and all sorts of other deliciousness.
2) Eat ice cream from The Bus
A local favourite, summer wouldn’t be the same without a trip (or several) for some ice cream!
3) Attend Saskatoon Fringe Festival
Saskatoon doesn’t have much (and by “much”, I mean any) in the way of street performances. But once a year, they close down several blocks of Broadway and the streets fill with street performers, buskers, good food, tables selling any kind of jewelry or clothing you might look for, as well as the classic spray-paint artists (one of my personal favourites to watch). There are also various plays that are performed in the surrounding theatres. I absolutely love wandering around, people watching and enjoying the variety of people that my city has.
4) Go to the lake
Or several lakes. A fantastic way to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Saskatchewan, I spend a good chunk of each summer out at a cabin or camping, enjoying books, sunshine, beaches, and campfires. Speaking of …
5) Have a backyard fire (complete with s’mores)
Who doesn’t love the smell of a campfire, sitting around with friends, drinking beer and roasting marshmallows?
6) Drool over cars and bikes at Cruise Weekend
Another yearly event, Cruise Weekend offers people from in and around Saskatoon a chance to show off their sweet rides. I love to wander around the Show ‘n’ Shine where classic cars take over downtown. And to end off, sitting on 8th street, watching people cruise up and down in their classic cars and trucks, tricked out drift cars, brand-new high-end cars, and motorcycles. A definite to-do.
7) Go for many motorcycle rides
Yep, if you don’t know me, or didn’t get a hint from the picture at the start of this post, I am in love with my motorcycle. Being a motorcyclist in Saskatchewan isn’t always easy, because we only get about 5 months of the year to ride, 6 if we’re lucky (or you’re super tough, I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to cold-weather riding). Over this summer I intend to soak in all the time we have, and take my bike out for a few good long rips around.
8) Hang out on roof-top patios
As I mentioned, Saskatoon winter sucks. You’re stuck inside, all the time, which I greatly dislike. So I fully intend to take advantage of the roof-top patios that many of my favourite bars and restaurants have to offer. Really, any patio will do, but roof-top patios offer a special level of people-watching that you can’t get when you’re on the ground.
9) Attend Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan
I’m putting this on the list because it has a special place in my heart from my youth. Sadly, I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be able to attend this year, but never the less it’s a tremendous part of a Saskatoon summer, in my opinion. My mom was a high school English teacher for many years, and raised me and my sister with an appreciation for proper grammar, and Shakespeare. I will fully admit that I absolutely love Shakespeare, and each year they put on two plays in large tents beside the river bank. I’ve gone with my family since I was young, and it has always been a fantastic experience. So this one earns a spot on the list for nostalgia alone.
10) Just hang out and enjoy
I’m not planning out every step of the next two months. Some of the best summer moments are spontaneous. I intend to do some relaxing, enjoying time with my friends and my family before jetting off to the unknown for quite some time.
So there we go, my Saskatoon Bucket List for the summer. Do you have a favourite thing to do in the summer?