Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Drive 4: Driving a Stick

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Amanda is a friend in the department, working on a Master’s in Soil Science. She used to drive a Honda with a manual transmission, and told me she’d like to make sure her stick-handling skills have not been degraded by the most recent few years driving an automatic. So she dropped by on Sunday afternoon, and we went for a drive.

We didn’t have any particular plans, except to run through the transmission a few times with her at the wheel, so we started out heading west on highway 16.

Like elsewhere near Saskatoon, west of the city is flat and open. The landscape looks pretty much the same from the passenger seat.

Amanda is enjoying the handling and gear shifting on my old Honda. Her skills had not degraded at all, as far as I could tell.

After driving west for a bit, we haphazardously chose a smaller road running north, and got off the main route. We were just outside city limits, so there was still a fair bit of activity around, even on a Sunday afternoon.

There were big yellow machines around these short cliffs, leading me to think this is some sort of mine. There are big potash (K2O) mines in Saskatchewan, but I think most of those are deep shafts, not surface scrapes.

More flatness. We have a lot of this vital resource around here.

I like the clouds in this picture.

Re-approaching Saskatoon from the north, on a tertiary “highway”.

My colleagues in the Faculty of Agriculture and Bioresources, where I work, would probably ridicule me for not recognizing the one still-green crop growing here.

I dropped Amanda off at her home after we’d been driving for about an hour, then rumbled around the south western part of Saskatoon for a bit, squinting into the low-hanging sun. Sunsets in this part of the world can be quite spectacular, and I’ve been meaning to get some photographs for a while. However, my car at the time was missing the license lamps (small white lights that illuminate the rear license plate) and I’d been told by a neighbour that the police like to pull over cars for minor offences this time of year. Apparently, this is the season when people are putting their nice summer cars away and bringing out their winter beaters, and the police want to keep the really old and broken cars off the roads. I’ve been told they’ll inspect rust levels, too, and impound cars that are considered too far gone. I don’t want to give the police any excuse to pull me over and decide my car is unsafe, so I’ve been avoiding driving at night until I can fix the license lamps. But I still found some industrial backgrounds to take a couple of shots of my car.

I think this is an active grain elevator, during the week. I like the way the lighting from the setting sun makes my car look more silver than blue.

From the other side, with the sun shining through the windows.

The sun was low enough that the slight camber of the road, the water-shedding peak in the middle, was sufficient to cast a shadow across the eastern (north-bound) side.

The full moon was striking over the twilight-shrouded road.

I returned home just after sunset. I took this picture to demonstrate that Boba Fett continues to accompany me on my adventures. No rebels were captured in the making of this picture.

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