( This is number one in a continuing series. Hope you enjoy.)
The sky above was dark, no moon, no stars. The road was a ribbon of darkness, no street lights to be seen. The trees beside the roadway huddled in darkness. Only a few yard lights here and there told the driver he was not on a distant planet in a galaxy far, far away.
He was on Saskatchewan Highway 340, heading north from Radisson to Hafford, driving a bus that should, if all went as planned, arrive at its destination in less than an hour and deliver fewer than two dozen sleepy-headed students to another day of classes. ( see map)
The farm yards were few and far between as he drove, not too fast, not too slow, over a roadway that defied the definition of the term “highway.” He was travelling over a loosely knitted surface of potholes, patches, worn out pavement, bumps, lumps and skimpy snow drifts. Not at all what one would expect in a so-called “civilized” country.
Part of the Canadian culture in this portion of the country is the yard. The farm yard. Large, usually not very well lit, usually populated by outdoor animal companions. One yard was home to a pair of dogs and four cats, all of whom lived year round outside. The dogs had a dog house or two while the cats lived in a small hut with a plastic flap for a door and a red light for heat. None of them seemed to mind. They kept company with tractors, combines and fuel tanks.
He drove on, mindful of the schedule he must keep but alert to anything that might be out of place. Everything was going well. So far. He knew, though, that this could change in an instant.
(to be continued)
( see video)